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Discover hidden Guizhou, where minorities preserve their customs and traditional ways of life amidst a backdrop of karst mountains, rice terraces, and wooded hillsides. Explore minority villages, hike through countryside long-forgotten, and discover the heritage and history of the fascinating people you’ll meet as you go.
Guizhou may truly be one of the last hidden gems of China, rich in minority culture and natural beauty. This southwestern province is home to several minorities, including many types of Miao as well as the Yi and Buyei people, each with their own special clothing, customs, and language. Guizhou’s natural beauty ranges from jutting karst peaks and gushing waterfalls to river gorges and azalea gardens. On this trip, discover the hidden side of Guizhou: wander through villages modernity has forgotten about, get a better understanding of the intricacies of traditional dress, and get hands-on with clay and cloth as you learn the crafts that give this region so much character.
Upon arriving in Guiyang, your WildChina guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall • Visit Wangba Gejia subgroup village, walking around the village, learning the art of batik, and visiting a local home • Walk to the three ancient bridges near Chonganjiang, an old waterfront Miao village that dates back over 200 years – If weather permits, watch the sun set over the rolling valleys • Drive to Kaili, a historical and cultural hub surrounded by terraced hillsides and quaint towns
Drive to the Leishan Area, the heartland of the Miao people in China • Hike between the Baibi and Gengan Miao villages, cutting through picturesque rice paddies and quaint villages and passing a dramatic gorge along the way • Wander through the villages of Baiyan and Taoyao, renowned for their pottery artisans • Learn how to make a lusheng pipe (a traditional musical instrument made from bamboo) in the Miao village of Paika then learn how to make pottery in Wangfeng village • Visit the village of Datang, home to the Short-Skirt Miao and distinctive stilted, granary barns built over the water
Travel to the village of Wengxiang and learn Miao embroidery with Miss Li, a protector of this intangible piece of cultural heritage, and hear the fascinating tale of how the stories of the Miao people are woven into their costumes • Visit the Embroidery Museum in downtown Kaili, and then, if on Sunday, visit a local market to have a closer look at daily lives • Explore the village of Shiqiao and learn from local masters how they make traditional paper out of tree bark
Enjoy a brief hike to the Black Miao village of Fan Pai, so nicknamed for the dark color of their traditional clothing • Learn how their textiles are indigo dyed during a home visit and wander past the stilted architecture that is typical of the area • Drive to the Dong minority heartland of Rongjiang and check into your hotel for the evening • Along the way, marvel at the collection of wind and rain bridges and, if available, join the locals at their weekly market
Visit Dali Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its traditional wooden buildings and hidden amongst the hills • Visit Zhanli village, home to a unique fish-rice-duck agro-ecosystem that has persisted for more than 1,000 years • Listen to the townspeople’s tale of their ‘magic wells’ and how the water within is said to create a special family-planning potion that can decide a baby’s sex • Head to the rough-and-tumble musketeer village of Biasha, the only village in China where one is allowed to carry a shotgun • Continue your drive to Zhaoxing, a rustic border town lined with tiered drum towers
Head to Tang’an, a village with over 700 years of history that is said to be the “most primitive Dong village” in China • Explore Tang’an and the living Dong Ethnic Eco-museum as you learn the traditional ways of live, from agricultural techniques to how the Dong people give cloth a metallic sheen using egg whites, pig’s blood, and a wooden mallet • Hike from Tang’an to Zhaoxing through terraced rice fields, charming villages, and verdant forest • Explore Zhaoxing and see if you can tell which of the town’s five drum towers represents which virtue (benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, and faithfulness)
Designed in typical Dong style, this hotel is made completely of fir wood and offers lovely views of the surrounding landscapes.