If you hope to travel to China’s rural areas, see authentic villages, and engage with their local cultures, then Guizhou, in south of China, is the place for you.
Before you depart on your journey, though, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Guizhou has the character 贵 “gui” in its name, which means “expensive” or “costly,” but Guizhou is one of the poorest provinces in all of China. This means that there are no fancy, luxurious hotels, not a lot of high-speed trains reach the region, and you shouldn’t expect to find a metro system either. Roads are rough and the drives are long.
Also, be prepared to eat only local food. Western-style restaurants have yet to reach many of these areas.
Nevertheless, what it lacks in financial wealth, Guizhou more than makes up for it in beauty and serenity.
Guizhou’s landscapes are dotted with small minority villages and beautiful, natural surroundings with so much history and culture. When planning your trip to Guizhou, don’t miss these must-see attractions:
Ethnic villages: Visit the Miao minority in Xijiang village, Dong minority in Yintan Dong Village, and Gejia ethnic minority in Matang Gejia Village, where you can see the colorful clothing created by the people.
Nature’s hidden beauty, Guizhou’s most famous natural attraction is the Huangguoshu waterfall, one of the largest waterfalls in all of Asia. Take a day tour to feast your eyes and heart in Mother Nature’s amazing work of art.
For a glimpse into the past, visit Zhenyuan Ancient Town or Qingyan Ancient Town which are both hundreds of years old!
For the foodies, all good experiences must include some local delights. Guizhou cuisine’s specialty is in spicy and sour flavors, such as sour soup, pickled vegetables, and spicy tofu.
How to get there?
To reach Guizhou, you can either take a flight to Guiyang, the province’s capital, or travel with trains to Guiyang or Kaili, the second hub for easy travels. There are bullet trains from Guiyang to Guilin and Kunming, and even further away, to Xi’an, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Kaili also has a bullet train station and is a stop on most of the lines heading to or from Guiyang.
When and how much time to plan for Guizhou?
We recommend that you make it a 5-6 day trip to get the most out of your experience. Since you will find yourself spending a lot of time on the road, a shorter tour is doable, just make sure your expectations are reasonable.
The best time to visit Guizhou is between August and November when the weather is good and many local festivals are being held.
If you have more time on your hands, visit Guizhou’s neighbors, Guangxi, with Guilin, Yangshou, and the famous rice terraces of Longshen, or Yunnan province to further maximize your cultural experience.
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