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Guizhou Province is home to a perfect combination of natural landscape and minority customs. If you love nature, would like to know more about ethnic minority groups, or would simply like a cooler place to spend the summer, Guizhou could be just the place for you.
Guizhou is listed as the 6th best region in the world for travel in 2020 by Lonely Planet (the only region in China listed) due to its new slick infrastucture alongside quaint rural life.
This article will give you some inspirational ideas for your upcoming Guizhou tour.
Guizhou is home to minority people and customs, with people from more than 50 ethnic minority groups living in the province. Most villages are located around green mountains and near clear rivers or streams.
Visiting minority villages, you can participate in lively welcome ceremonies, admire their people’s costumes, observe their unique wooden architecture, experience their folk handicrafts, and relax in natural environments.
However, some large ethnic villages are undergoing commercialization, and their customs, arts and crafts are disappearing. In the Qiandongnan (southeast Guizhou) district, around Kaili city, quite a few ethnic villages still preserve their traditional lifestyle. Below, we mention several special villages where you may be able to experience the essence of minority customs:
Discover the top ethnic minority villages in Guizhou.
There are over 1,000 festivals celebrated in Guizhou minority villages. If you are interested in folk activities, or just like to have some fun, you may choose to go on a minority festival trip to Guizhou.
Check the calendar of Guizhou minority festivals.
Guizhou Province is mountainous terrain widely covered by karst landscape, and much forest. Together with its pleasant climate, Guizhou’s amazing and beautiful natural landscapes make it worth visiting.
Guizhou is a paradise for photographers and hikers, with its gorgeous scenery. Some villages, tucked away among emerald-like mountains and decorated with terraced fields, are eye-catching subjects for photography. Hiking between minority villages is also a popular activity.
Your guide can suggest to you some of the best places for photography, or for hiking.
Stay 5 to 6 days in Guizhou, and you will have enough opportunity to visit some of the enchanting minority villages and experience their customs and crafts. Here is a sample itinerary for your reference:
Detailed itinerary: 6-day Diverse Minority Adventure
Remember this is not a fixed itinerary, and you can customize it according to your interests. If you only have 2 or 3 days, it would still be possible to travel to some villages around Kaili. See the first three days of the itinerary above for reference.
If you have 8 to 10 days, it should be possible for you to visit Guizhou and some surrounding destinations, such as Zhangjiajie and Guilin. Please refer to the following itineraries for some ideas, but remember all can be customized:
Detailed itinerary: 10-day Guizhou & Zhangjiajie Tour
Detailed itinerary: 8-day Guilin & Guizhou Tour
Guizhou has a humid subtropical monsoon climate. It can be visited all year round, for it avoids the excesses of scorching heat in summer and freezing cold in winter.
April to October is the best period in Guizhou, for the weather is generally fine. Late August is the golden period, with pleasant weather and less rainfall. It is also the peak season, however, and you may need to ask your guide for help to avoid the worst of the crowds.
If you want to celebrate festivals with local people, traveling during festival time is worthwhile; for example, during late February for the Lusheng Festival, or late April for the Sister’s Meal Festival.
Guizhou Province has one international airport in the capital city Guiyang (Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport, KWE) connecting nearly all major cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei. It also has international airlines connecting Seoul, Osaka, Nagoya, Bangkok and some other overseas cities.
Railway transport in Guizhou is developing rapidly, affording more options for travelers who are already in China. People can take a direct bullet train or high-speed train from Chongqing, Chengdu, Kunming or Guilin.
Find out more about Guizhou transportation.
Guizhou is not only attractive for scenery and ethnic customs, but also for its mouth-watering cuisine. Its distinctive flavors are sour and spicy. If you like such flavors, don’t forget to ask your guide for some recommended restaurants. Here are some dishes popular among local people and travelers alike:
If you don’t like strong-flavored food, your guide can instruct the chef to use less seasoning in your dishes, or you may just let your guide take you to some western-style restaurants instead.
Find more Guizhou food.
In Guizhou, you will have plenty of options for accommodation, and you may be able to stay near the tourist attractions. In the city of Guiyang you can enjoy better accommodation, with 5-star hotels.
Generally, however, Guizhou is not so modern and developed, even in the capital city, so the service and equipment of hotels cannot be compared with those in other large cities (a 5-star hotel in Guiyang may be equivalent to a 4-star hotel in Beijing or Shanghai). You’d better lower your expectations.
In Kaili or other cities of towns, it is next to impossible to find a good star-rated hotel, but some counties and villages have boutique hostels and guesthouses. These are not luxurious, but are decorated and equipped according to ethnic customs. Would you like to have a try?
Below we mention some hotels for your reference, and you are always welcome to tell us your requirements.
We receive no payment for listing these hotels, but all hotels we recommend have been vetted by our staff. See how we select your hotels.
China Highlights will help you maximize your Guizhou travel experience by suggesting less-commercialized attractions, authentic handicrafts, traditional performances, local diets and boutique accommodation.