ZHAOXING, around four hours by bus from Sanjiang, is an extremely attractive single-street Dong town set in a small valley, with a generous smattering of old wooden buildings including five square-based drum towers, each differently styled and built by separate clans. Accompanying wind-and-rain bridges and theatre stages are decorated with fragments of mirrors and mouldings of actors and animals. Houses are hung with strings of drying radishes for sour hotpots, and the back lanes resound to the noise of freshly dyed cloth being pounded with wooden mallets to give it a shiny patina. 

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