The Zengchong Drum Tower is the largest and most famous drum tower of the Dong style in the Guizhou Province. It stands proudly above Congjiang in the village's center square. The tower was completed in 1672 during the Qing Dynasty, which lasted from 1644 to 1911.
The Zengchong Drum Tower is the most common style of a drum tower, featuring a beautiful octagonal pagoda design and fire wood construction. The legend behind this tower is that it was built according to the 'king of cedar' and the worship of trees. Therefore, the overall outline of the tower actually does have a cedar appearance.
The interior of the Zengchong Drum Tower features four large pillars, with benches between the pillars surrounding a central fire pond.
All events in the Congjiang village take place at the tower, whether it is a musical festival or a gathering for villagers to discuss important issues. The large drum hangs from the top of the tower and it is beaten whenever there is an event.
The drum tower is also considered a shrine for the Dong people. During worship celebrations, the villages will knit a thatch design to hang on the gate of the village to indicate that admittance is for residents only.
The Zengchong Drum Tower is open all day, except during the worship services. Admission to the tower is 5 CNY.
The tower is located in Zengchong Dong Village, Congjiang, which is within the Guizhou Province in southwest China. Although the village is not the easiest area to access, it is reached from Kaili by taking a four hour bus ride to Rongjiang along a bumpy but paved road. In Rongjiang, take the bus to Congjiang and get off at Tingdong. At this point, travelers can wave for a tractor heading to Zengchong.
The Guizhou Province has a subtropical humid climate, so it is often cloudy and rainy in Congjiang. Therefore, travelers should always have an umbrella and rain gear handy.
There are only minor temperature fluctuations throughout the year, both the winter and summer seasons are relatively mild. However, it is possible for winter temperatures in Kaili to reach as low as 41 °F. In general, the climate makes Congjiang and the Zengchong Drum Tower a reasonably pleasant destination at any time of year.
The Zengchong Drum Tower is near many other interesting attractions in Guizhou. The region is distinguished by rugged landscapes with low development, effectively hiding some amazing natural scenery. Some area sites include Yintan Dong Village in Liping, Flying Clouds Cliff in Huangping and Qinglong Cave on the cliff of Zhonghe Mountain in the east of Zhenyuan.