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Guizhou Travel Guide

Guizhou highlights and culture experience

Guizhou is a multi-minority province in Southwest China. It is located southwest of Beijing, and northwest of Guilin and Hong Kong. Guizhou is famous for its marvelous landscapes, unsophisticated ethnic customs, cultural and historical relics, and pleasant climate.

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Guizhou Facts

Guizhou minority peopleGuizhou minority people
  • Chinese name: 贵州
  • Chinese Pinyin: Guìzhōu
  • English name: Guizhou
  • Capital city: Guiyang
  • Location: southern central China
  • Area: 176,167 square kilometers (68,018 square miles)
  • Population: 34.7 million
  • Languages: Mandarin, Miao, Bouyei, Dong Yi, Shui, and more

Reasons to Visit Guizhou

  • There are 48 different minority groups living in Guizhou. Travelers can admire their colorful cultures, celebrate festivals with them, and learn traditional handicrafts.
  • Guizhou has typical karst landforms with remarkable mountains, caves, and lakes.
  • It’s a good place for vacations with its cool summers and pleasant winters.

Guizhou, the Switzerland of China

Xijiang Miao Village, GuizhouXijiang Miao Village, Guizhou

Landlocked, with beautiful mountains, lovely lakes, a nice climate, good food, and friendly people speaking in different languages in different regions… Sound a bit like Switzerland? Well, this is Guizhou Province.

In 2017, according to a report by The Economist, Guizhou was not a developed province, with a GDP per capita of only $5,449. In 2017, Switzerland was the richest country in the world, with a GDP per capita of $81,051.

But look at the mountains in Guizhou, listen to the people singing there, and watch them farming. See how they coexist amicably, although they often speak different languages. Doesn’t all of this remind you of Switzerland?

Guizhou, like Switzerland, is a wonderful place for a vacation.

Weather

Guizhou in the rainGuizhou in the rain

Guizhou is in the humid subtropics with a monsoon climate. That means it's pretty wet. It can also be overcast and changeable. Local people say you can experience all four seasons in one day.

The average annual temperature in Guizhou is 15°C (59°F). The coldest time of year is January, with average temperatures of 5°C (41°F); and the hottest times are July and August, with average temperatures hitting 27°C (81°F).

It's not too hot in summer (at high altitudes) and not too cold in winter (at low altitudes), so Guizhou has the potential to provide the perfect vacation experience.

Read more about Guizhou climate and weather.

Natural Attractions

Fanjing MountainFanjing Mountain

Guizhou is the only China province without any plains. The mountainous terrain is widely covered by karst landscapes and a lot of forested areas. Together with its pleasant climate, Guizhou’s amazing and beautiful natural landscapes make it worth visiting.

See how to plan a Guizhou tour.

Famous Attractions

  • Huangguoshu Waterfall, at 67 meters high and 83 meters wide, is the biggest and most famous waterfall in China and the whole of Asia.
  • Fanjing Mountain: At an altitude of 2,493 meters and with a forest coverage of 95%, it is a famous Buddhist mountain and an ideal summer resort. It was listed as a Natural World Heritage site on July 2, 2018.
  • The Wuyang River in Zhenyuan: The river separates Zhenyuan Ancient Town into the diagram of yin and yang. Travelers can take a boat trip to enjoy the gorge scenery.
  • Jiabang Terraces: Created by the Miao people, the villages and terraces embody the beauty of harmony between humans and nature.

Cultural Attractions

In addition to enjoying the scenery, tourists can explore the rich and varied folk customs and cultures of different minorities living in the region.

Multi-Minority Culture

Matang Gejia VillageMatang Gejia Village

Guizhou Province has the country's third largest minority population, after Tibet and Xinjiang. Many minority groups live in Guizhou, including the Miao, Dong, Shui, and Gejia. Different ethnic groups account for about 39% of the province's total population.

Do you want a taste of minority civilization in flux? Come and visit the minority people of Guizhou — they are traditionally hospitable and kind. You can still observe their colorful, distinctive clothing, some unique customs, arts, festivals, or even try some traditional handicrafts.

You may like to read about interesting minority customs in Guizhou.

Interesting Minority Villages

Ancient papermaking in Shiqiao Miao VillageAncient papermaking in Shiqiao Miao Village

In the southeast of Guizhou, near Kaili, there are quite a few villages preserving a traditional lifestyle, and still inheriting their arts and crafts. We have selected some special villages for you if you want to experience authentic minority cultures.

  • Matang Gejia Village, the batik village: Gejia is known as a branch of the Miao ethnic group. The women in Matang wear special armor-like costumes and are skilled in batik. The design elements of Gejia batik used to be shown at Paris Fashion Week. In this village, you will have the chance to learn batik and create your own design.
  • Shiqiao Miao Village, the papermaking village: China National Palace Museum purchases Shiqiao paper to repair ancient books as this kind of paper can be stored for over 1,500 years. You can visit the ancient papermaking workshops in this village or even try using the ancient papermaking technology.
  • Kongbai Miao Village, the silversmithing village: Kongbai Miao Village is believed to create the best silver ornaments in Guizhou. In this village, you can admire exquisite silver artworks and learn silversmithing from a local master.

Read about the top villages in Guizhou.

Festivals

Sisters' Meal FestivalSisters' Meal Festival

Guizhou is a land of festivals, where hundreds of festivals are celebrated every year. Local people are happy to invite you to participate in their ceremonies. Will you join in?

  • The Lusheng Festival: A lusheng is a traditional reed pipe instrument. Near Kaili, the Lusheng Festival is the loveliest period for local people. During this time, the women will dress up in their best clothes and ornaments, and the men will take out their instruments so they can perform the Lusheng Dance together.
  • The Sisters’ Meal Festival: The festival is considered to be the oldest form of Valentine's Day in China as it is the time for single men and women to find a lover. The men sing songs to express themselves while women prepare a special meal to show their love.
  • Miao New Year: Unlike Chinese New Year, Miao New Year is celebrated after the autumn harvest. The festival may last for 5 to 15 days, during which time people will visit neighbors, play lushengs, worship ancestors, and pray for the harvest of the coming year.

Check the times of Guizhou’s minority festivals.

Transportation

Take a highspeed train to Guizhou.Take a highspeed train to Guizhou.

Guizhou transportation used to be very inconvenient but things have changed dramatically in the latest decade with the launch of an international airport connecting major cities and high-speed trains operating through the province. It's no longer the isolated provincial island it used to be, but a hub of Southwest China.

Guizhou now has railways and express highways connecting cities and attractions, and it only takes 1–2 hours’ drive to get from one attraction to another. If you are going to visit some further attractions, you should be prepared for twisty mountainous roads, some of which are rough.

Read about transportation in Guizhou.

Travel Tips

Roads: Be prepared for twisty mountain roads, some of which are very uneven.

Hotels: Guizhou has 4- or 5-star hotels in Guiyang and some major cities, but the facilities may not be as good as elsewhere. In villages, there are comfortable and characteristic hostels and guesthouses.

Zhenyuan Ancient Town, GuizhouZhenyuan Ancient Town, Guizhou

Temperatures can vary greatly between day and night, so warm clothes may be required, even in summer.

Take some walking shoes and a raincoat.

Guizhou people like to eat spicy and sour food. You are suggested to try some dishes if you like these flavors, or tell your guide if you don’t like spicy or sour foods. It is possible to find a Western restaurant.

Mosquito repellent may be necessary during the warmer months when touring the village areas.

If you are planning to visit some minority families, a small inexpensive gift from your home country may be warmly appreciated.

Read more Guizhou travel tips.

Major Cities

  • Guiyang: This is the capital city, where most travelers choose to arrive first and then transfer to other cities.
  • Kaili: The cultural hub of ethnic minority groups, this is a major destination for visiting some minority villages and to experience folk cultures.
  • Anshun: Visit Huangguoshu Waterfall.
  • Liupanshui: Enjoy the national forest park.
  • Tongren: Visit the Natural World Heritage site of Fanjing Mountain.
  • Zunyi: Visit natural landscapes and characteristic towns.

Tour Guizhou with Us

Visit Guizhou with us!Visit Guizhou with us!

Guizhou used to be like a shy girl hiding in the mountains and is now embracing the world with open arms. In Guizhou, you will experience a pleasant climate, unique landscape, mouthwatering food, and – most importantly – disappearing minority cultures. Now is the best time to travel to Guizhou.

Please see our recommended tours below for inspiration. Alternatively, you can contact us to create a Guizhou tour according to your requirements.

Discover more Guizhou tours and remember that everything in the itineraries can be customized.