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Tongdao and Suining: Inspiration of the History Alive

By Nasralla Alsaid (Sudan)

Hunan, located in central China, is blessed with immense undiscovered beauty. The food is delicious, the culture is beautiful but most special thing about the province, is its people; so warm and welcoming. It is definintely needs to be explored to its depths! And that opportunity was given to us by Hunan Official Web Portal. They organized a photography competition and invited us foreigners to visit beautiful places around Hunan. This year was its second running. I, together with some other foreign friends took part and were taken to a free four days trip to Dayuan Miao Ancient Village of Suining County, HuangsangNational Forestry Park of Suining County,  Yutou, Huangdu, and Pingtan Dong  Villages of Tongdao County , and Nanshan Mountain Pasture of Chengbu County.

The trip started off early in the morning and our first stop after five hours of bus ride was Dayuan Miao Ancient Village of Suining County. The villagers welcomed us by a warm dance by some beautiful girls.  The village showcased beautiful traditional architecture of Miao people surrounded by a beautiful bamboo forest.  It's amazing how the people of the village still hold their original customs, rich and colorful connotation, values and way of life dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasty (1368-1912). It really was like looking into a piece of history, only it was still present without much influence from the outside modern technology and advances. From here we went to see a rather strongly built wooden ancient bridge known as Dingyuan Bridge. The day was concluded with a lighting ceremony with more traditional performances and encounters with more foreigners who had come to see the beautiful village.

On the second day, we went to Huangsang National Forestry Park of Suining County. We visited the Hemlock Trees and took pictures of the beautiful stream that ran at the foot of the mountain. After taking bucket lots of pictures, we went to Huangdu Dong Village to have a delicious and traditional banquet.

The third day was my favorite! It's because I saw one of the most beautiful panorama view from the top of the Yashang Drum tower! It was at Yutou Dong Village of Tongdao County. Day was also filled with some fun filled games such as 'a jostle-of-war' competition on a bench and 'Da Ciba' which is making glutinous rice cakes.

On the fourth and final day, we went to Nanshan Pasture of Shaoyang City. It was really a fascinating place. Mesmerizing beauty of the plateau pasture that resembled an emerald is lying on mountains bordering Hunanand Guangxi. Not only did we gauge at the beauty but also had heaps of fun chasing cows, riding ponies, and sitting on top of an old airplane. After this we were gathered in a conference room to discuss our feelings and opinions about the trip.

All-in-all it was a very beautiful and fun trip. China is a big beautiful country with lots of different cultures and ethnic groups still practicing till date which keeps the history alive and drags foreiners from far away lands to come and be inspired. I was definitely inspired by the people and awed by the beauty and I recommend this trip to everyone.