Discover the Colorful Chinese Minority Culture
6-Day Guizhou Miao Minority & Huangguoshu Waterfall Tour
Urbanization liberates villagers from poverty; yet all this modernization threatens to bring traditional handicraft to its knees. Southeast Guizhou is inhabited by minority groups, where people are skillful at all kinds of delicate manual crafts, yet unfortunately, ancient crafts and traditional customs are disappearing.
This 6-day adventure gives insight into the diverse but disappearing culture of different minority people.
- Paint and learn how to make stunning batiks.
- Experiment with the oldest way to make paper, using vegetable fiber.
- Go behind the scenes to see how a silversmith creates dazzling ornaments, step by step.
- Discover China's last gun-tribe and observe how traditionally they cut hair with a sickle.
- Hike through the hills and view breathtaking rice terraces between the clouds.
About China Highlights
Since 1998 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"
Camping on the Great Wall
Did a hike of the wild Great Wall, which was an amazing experience. Highly recommended if you want to get away from the crowds. Many thanks to my guide, Oliver, who was first class. Hiked, climbed, had a bbq and camped on the Jiankou section of the Great Wall. The views were serene. An unforgettable memory! more
Welcome to Guiyang! Your private guide will meet you in the arrivals hall and transfer you to your hotel in a private car.
We offer a half-day tour of city highlights, including a brief introduction to Guiyang's history, with a walk through the city observing different architecture and tasting classic local snacks. If you arrive before noon and might be interested, let us know.
Howard Johnson Plaza Guiyang (4-star)
Sofitel Guiyang Hunter (5-star)
After you have gained a basic understanding of the ethnic minorities in Southeast Guizhou from the Kaili Ethnic Museum, pay a visit to a special minority village.
Apart from the Han and the 55 recognized minority peoples, there is a sub-group of the Miao who claim they don't belong to any tribe. They say they should be recognized as the 56th ethnic minority, because they are distinct from all others, descendants of the legendary sun archer, Hou Yi.
If you are curious about this and would like to talk to the villagers, your guide can arrange a short visit to a local family.
It is interesting to observe the females, some of whom dress in army-uniform style, as their ancestors used to belong to the army. They also hang two batiks on the door instead of the usual antithetical couplets on red paper, as the village is renowned as a home to batik artisans.
Villagers dye white cloth blue by using indigo plant and paint various patterns with wax. You will have a chance to step into their dye-house, see how batik is made and try to dye.
Heaven Sent Dragon Hotel (4-star)
The Miao are a large minority group with a complex set of sub-groups and a myriad of cultures. Today you will explore the charms of different kinds of Miao.
No group of people in China knows how to work with silver better than the Miao. It is normal for a woman's full set of silver ornaments to weigh up to 15 kilograms, partly because such ornaments are understood as symbols of wealth and also as amulets to ward off evil spirits.
Hidden deep in the mountains, the village you will visit first is famous for its silverware making. Observe a respected silversmith and learn how a dazzling ornament with complex patterns comes into being, step by step. Then have some fun taking part in the process.
After lunch, visit a village famous for its gorgeous mini-skirts and for its centuries-old creative way to store food.
Rural people are experts at using any available resources to make a living: for example, paper is formed from wood pulp and so on. There is a village where people today are still using their ancestors' methods for making paper.
Together with your guide, find the local heir of traditional papermaking methods and learn how intelligent ancestors were able to make paper simply from wood, and without smart machines, thousands of years ago.
The handmade paper is mainly used for writing. Some is mixed with colorful flowers and leaves to make delicate crafts, to be sold to other neighboring villages, to factories and even to places like the Forbidden City in Beijing.
You are encouraged to be as imaginative as possible and make a unique paper craft with your own hands, under the guidance of an experienced natural-paper maker.
After having lunch in a farmer's house, cooked with fresh ingredients, set off for China's last tribe of gunmen.
Apart from those who work in certain specific jobs, citizens in China are not allowed to carry guns. But you will visit an ancient village where men still carry a gun, gunpowder bag, bullet bag, and a knife. The traditional customs of the warrior Miao have been officially acknowledged and respected.
Grand Noble Hotel Xi'an (4-star)
Wyndham Grand Xi'an South (5-star)
The most impressive of the rice terraces in Guizhou lie wild and high. Today you will have a chance to hike through some. You can't stop marveling at how in the past people constructed such large-scale terraces around the wild hilltops, without any firm scaffolding or convenient transportation.
The views from this 4-hour hike range from spectacular rice terraces and authentic hidden villages to stretches of green paddy field. Follow your guide and stroll along the bluestone paths, zigzagging between cloud-enveloped mountains.
Feel free to have a shower and freshen up at the hotel after your hike. Spend a relaxed afternoon at Zhaoxing, one of China's biggest Dong villages.
Sometimes young, single people gather in the drum tower on the main street to find their match by singing antiphonally. Girls simultaneously embroider small accessories like insoles, to give to their favorite boy at the end of the gathering.
The road condition is pretty smooth and the views are various and spectacular, but you can hike only half of the route and the car will pick you up if you want.
Every element of the tour above can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.
1. Extend the Tour
- Zhenyuan: Add a day for a relax gorge cruise and a peaceful ancient town.
- Anshun: Add a day for China's biggest waterfall and karst park.
- Guilin and Yangshuo: Add 2-3 days for Li River Cruise and Yangshuo countryside.
- Zhangjiajie: Add 2-3 days for Zhangjiajie.
2. Hotels and Meals in Remote Areas
In remote areas, such as Zhaoxing, star-rated hotels might not be as good as the same standard of hotels in big cities.
China Highlights has carefully selected the best restaurant and hotel available, based on criteria like location and environment. Your private guide will assist you in ordering the dishes you like and will accompany you to check in to your room.
As China's new big data valley, the network of Guizhou high-speed rail now links to many directions over the country.
Guizhou is a mountainous province but roads to every villages are accessible. So car is a ideal vehicle when transferring between villages. To provide you with a comfortable experience, private car is provided.