Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province in southwest China, has been gradually thrust into the tourist limelight as one of the best cities in China for escaping the summer heat. In 2006 Guiyang had the distinction of being chosen as the best summer destination in China. But that does not do full justice to the city's pleasant summer weather conditions and unique charm.
While the vast majority of China has very hot summers, Guiyang is an enclave of coolness where a thin quilt is still needed during the night time. The city is situated at low latitude on the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau. The average temperature from June to August is approximately 26 degrees centigrade.
Economic development and urbanization in some cities in China have been widely criticized for being at the cost of the environment. In the large industrial cities of the north, pollution can be quite bad. Fortunately Guiyang has retained an environmentally-friendly atmosphere, thanks to the attitude and efforts of the local government.
Aside from its comfortable weather conditions, Guiyang lays claims to a unique karst landscape and colorful ethnic cultures.
Unlike the neighboring Guangxi, whose karst terrain is still ‘under development’, Guizhou's topography features a myriad of developed karst landscapes, epitomized by numerous waterfalls, stone forests, caves, ravines, pinnacles, subterranean lakes and hot springs. The magnificent and thundering Huangguoshu Waterfall, the glittering Hongfeng Lake, and outcroppings of the Fanjingshan Mountain are highlights of the natural scenery.
Guizhou's natural scenery is impressive but its pervasive ethnic savor steals the show. China's western frontiers are nicknamed the corridors of the nation's minority people, as they are populated by the greatest concentration of China's minorities. Compared with other provinces in Southwest China, ethnic groups in Guizhou are more unsullied, simple and mysterious. The strong exotic minority flavor lies at the heart of Guizhou's tourism resources and the various ethnic communities scattered throughout the region embellish the physical space and add more vitality to nature.
Guizhou is home to more than 10 ethnic groups; most live in the southeastern region bordering Guangxi and Hunan. Their culture, traditions and lifestyle are well preserved and accessible to others. They still live in their aged houses, practice their centuries-old customs and adhere to their simple lifestyles.
A trip to Guizhou will surely give much pause for thought to urban people. It’s a trip for returning to nature and for tasting the destinies of the region's ethnic people.