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Jianshui is China’s last Mongol enclave where the ladies still dress in traditional, fantastically coloured costumes.

Your first sight of this peaceful town is likely to be the Chaoyang Gate, topped by a busy teahouse frequented by locals, which is an earlier version of the dusky pink gates in Tiananmen Square.

Around Jianshui

Double Dragon Bridge, JianshuiFrom this traditional town it is possible to visit the 700-year-old Twin Dragon Bridge and Swallow’s Nest Cave, a cavern into which you can journey eight kilometres on foot and three kilometres by boat.

The area sees a remarkable festival each August when local men shin up the stalagmites, risking life and limb to retrieve the empty swallows’ nests, a regional delicacy.

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Audley Travel specialist Chris

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Map of Jianshui

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