Xijiang Miao Village
Xijiang is one of the biggest Miao villages in China. It may also be one of the most commercialized. It's about 37 kilometers from Leishan county town and about 80 kilometers from Kaili. It takes about an hour to drive there from Kaili.
A Tourist Village
There is a parking lot by the village entrance big enough to accommodate many tourist buses. Tourist facilities, including clean hotels and restaurants, have opened on the developed main street.
It's a little expensive to enter the village: 110 RMB. Restaurant food and hotel accommodation is also generally expensive.
What You Can See and Do
Most Miao people are still friendly to foreign tourists. So people can enjoy a hike around their valley and see the farms and villages surrounding the area. You may be able to have a meal with a Miao farming family.
Strolling along the farmers' paths you can enjoy the local environment, including a river valley with terraced fields, intricate wooden houses built in Miao architectural style, and farmers working the land with their oxen.
The area is really beautiful, with lush mountains all around. Depending on the season, you may see a lot of butterflies.
Along with the surrounding natural beauty, you'll have an opportunity to observe traditional Miao culture. The village still exhibits traditional architecture.
There is a Miao museum in the village. Also there are free song-and-dance performances twice a day, one in the late morning and another in the late afternoon.
Miao women in Xijiang wear elegant and glittering silver ornaments. On festival days they wear large neck rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, beads and sheaths of engraved silver.
For a few RMB you can dress up as a Miao man or woman and have your picture taken. You can browse in the village's jewelry shops for some Miao jewelry to take home; and local hand-made embroidery can also be purchased.
The village is a center for grand Miao festivals and celebrations. Miao people from surrounding villages gather in Xijiang for festival celebrations.
Famous festivals include the Lusheng Festival, the Miao New Year and Sisters' Meal Festival. Song and dance are a major part of these festivals.