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Irresistible attractions

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-26 07:20
Yellow Crane Bridge Peak Forest scenic area in Enshi features a karst landscape with rock pillars and peaks. [Photo by Xu Lin/China Daily]

Unique traditions and breathtaking landscapes make the Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture a perfect getaway for tourists.

First the tourists raise a bowl of fragrant plum wine, propose a toast to each other and swallow it neat. Then, they smash the bowls onto the ground one after another, just for good fortun. However, other diners are not shocked by this, as such behavior is common in the restaurant located in the Tujia Girls' Town scenic area, in the Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture, in Hubei province.

The spectacle is a tradition of the local Tujia ethnic group. It is called shuaiwanjiu, which literally means smashing bowls.

Legend has it that an ancient Tujia hero sacrificed himself to protect his kingdom. And before he killed himself, he drank his wine and smashed the bowl to show his resolve.

Nowadays, visitors can also sample local Tujia dishes comprising fish, cured meat and dried tofu and then smash their bowls.

Waiters and waitresses dress in traditional costumes and sing local folk songs for the diners to complete the experience.

The Tujia Girls' Town - a complex built for visitors - showcases the Tujia ethnic group's customs and traditions with performances for visitors such as marriage ceremonies.

According to local customs, a Tujia bride has to cry at her wedding and sing a weepy song to express her emotions.

The town's architecture features traditional stilt houses, or Tujia diaojiao buildings.

One can stay in a themed hotel, enjoy delicious food, and relax at cafes, bookstores or bars.

A two-hour drive from the town is Enshi Grand Canyon, the most famous scenic spot in the prefecture.

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