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How to Plan a Guizhou Tour

Guizhou natural landscape and minority villageGuizhou natural landscape and minority village

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.

This article will give you some inspirational ideas for your upcoming Guizhou tour.

Top Things to Do

Experience Minority Customs

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.

Gejia batik workGejia batik work

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:

  • Matang Gejia Village: The women in Matang wear special armor-style costumes, wearing their history and legend on their clothes, using embroidery or batik. Here, you will have a chance to learn Gejia batik and create your own batik designs.
  • Kongbai Miao Village: Kongbai is praised as a village of silversmiths. You can admire exquisite silver ornaments, or try your hand at processing silver with a local master.
  • Shiqiao Miao Village: Shiqiao still preserves ancient papermaking technology. The paper made in Shiqiao can be stored for over 1,500 years. Come here to experience this ancient technology.

Discover the top ethnic minority villages in Guizhou.

Participate in Minority Festivals

Guizhou Lusheng FestivalGuizhou Lusheng Festival

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.

  • Sister’s Meal Festival: Celebrated between the 15th to 17th days of the 3rd lunar month (around late April).This is an important festival for young men and women to communicate with each other and talk about love. People prepare the sister’s meal, dance and sing, or go to the festival market.
  • Lusheng Festival: Lusheng is the favorite instrument of many local people. With our private tour, you may join in the lusheng celebration around late February. There are lots of things to witness, including lusheng dances, antiphonal singing and bullfighting.

Check the calendar of Guizhou minority festivals.

Admire Wonders of Nature

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.

  • Huangguoshu Waterfall: Huangguoshu is the largest waterfall in Asia, and can be viewed from all angles. Often, however, it is very crowded, and it is not very accessible.
  • Fanjing Mountain: At an altitude of 2,572 meters and rich in natural resources, Fanjing Mountain is a world ecological reserve. It is also a Buddhist holy place.

Outdoor Activities: Photography & Hiking

Hiking between Tang'an and ZhaoxinHiking between Tang'an and Zhaoxin

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.

  • Tang’an Dong Village & Zhaoxing Dong Village: These two villages are wonderful places for relating to the Dong minority people, and it is not so difficult to hike between them. The hike is about 9 km.

How Long to Stay: 5 to 6 Days

Kongbai silversmith workshopKongbai silversmith workshop

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:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Guiyang.
  • Day 2: Travel to Kaili, visit Kaili Ethnic Museum, visit Matang Gejia Village and experience Gejia batik (if it’s Sunday, visit the Kaili flea market).
  • Day 3: Visit Datang Miao Village, experience silversmithing in Kongbai Miao Village.
  • Day 4: Experience ancient papermaking in Shiqiao Miao Village, visit Huanggang Dong Village and Basha Miao Village.
  • Day 5: Hike between Tang’an Dong Village and Zhaoxing Dong Village (about 2.5 hours), return to Guiyang.
  • Day 6: Leave Guiyang.

Detailed itinerary: 6-day Diverse Minority Adventure

Shiqiao ancient papermakingShiqiao ancient papermaking

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:

Guizhou and Zhangjiajie

  • Day 1: Arrive in Guiyang.
  • Day 2 to 6: Visit Guizhou attractions, then travel to Fenghuang Ancient Town in Zhangjiajie.
  • Day 7 to 9: Visit Zhangjiajie.
  • Day 10: Leave.

Detailed itinerary: 10-day Guizhou & Zhangjiajie Tour

Guilin and Guizhou

  • Day 1: Arrive in Guilin.
  • Day 2 to 4: Visit Guilin and Yangshuo, take a train from Yangshuo to Congjiang in Guizhou.
  • Day 5 to 7: Visit minority villages in Guizhou.
  • Day 8: Leave.

Detailed itinerary: 8-day Guilin & Guizhou Tour

When to Go

Guizhou has lots of rainfallGuizhou has lots of rainfall

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.

How to Get to Guizhou

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.

Cuisine in Guizhou

Spicy and sour, this is Guizhou cuisineSpicy and sour, this is Guizhou cuisine

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:

  • Sour Soup Fish: This is probably Kaili’s most famous dish. It uses sour rice soup as its basic ingredient, and is made with local fresh fish, marinated tomato paste and chili.
  • Siwawa: This snack can be described as wrapped vegetable shreds. The chef cuts several kinds of vegetable into shreds and wraps them with skin made from flour.
  • Beef Noodles: This is one of Guizhou’s specialties. The soup is cooked with multiple ingredients, including Chinese herbs. Enhanced by large pieces of beef, the noodles taste fresh and fragrant.

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.

Accommodation in Guizhou

Guest house in GuizhouGuest house in Guizhou

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.

  • Guiyang: Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Guiyang (贵阳天怡豪生大酒店)
  • Kaili: Heaven-Sent Dragon Hotel (嘉瑞禾腾龙酒店)
  • Zhaoxing: Indigo Lodge Zhaoxing (肇兴青定阁精品酒店)

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.

Enjoy Guizhou Ethnic Customs with Us

Travel Guizhou and experience authentic customsTravel Guizhou and experience authentic customs

China Highlights will help you maximize your Guizhou travel experience by suggesting less-commercialized attractions, authentic handicrafts, traditional performances, local diets and boutique accommodation.

All itineraries can be modified. Just check some Guizhou tours or contact us about your interests and preferences.