Old Country Living: Guizhou and Guangxi

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12 Days
Spring, Fall, Winter

A National Geographic “Tour of a Lifetime”, this backcountry adventure through Guizhou and Guangxi takes in bamboo forests, classical karst peaks and undulating rice terraces. Trekking between villages, you’ll share the hospitality of vividly distinct ethnic groups that still practice a traditional way of life.

About this Journey

With fairytale images of rustic lakeside farms, terraced rice fields, jagged karst peaks and colorful ethnic minorities, the southwest provinces of Guizhou and Guangxi have been a favorite refuge for travelers for decades. Selected as one of National Geographic Traveler‘s “Tours of a Lifetime,” this journey takes you on an exploration of the breathtaking backcountry and vibrant ethnic minority culture of these historically secluded areas. Starting in Guizhou, hike through remote pastures and rice paddies as you trace local footpaths from village to village, stopping to share meals and spend nights with local ethnic minority families, each with their own customs and traditions.

What we love
  • Experiencing the real, hidden China by interacting with various ethnic minority communities
  • Soaking in the astounding surroundings of oblong mountains jutting out amidst terraced rice fields and picturesque villages on a cruise along the Li River
  • Hiking through the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, which display a different concoction of vibrant colors with every passing season
Where you're going
Guilin and Guiyang map

Day 1 - 2Guiyang

Hike through the trees and hilly terrain of Qianling Shan Park, sometimes called the “urban forest” • Watch local villagers perform a private dixi (“ground”) opera performance, a major form of local entertainment • Explore a Ming-era abandoned fortress resting atop a mountain, followed by a relaxing walk through the untouched countryside to Tianluowa

Day 3 - 4Xiaba - Kaili

Visit Xiaba village, a modern Han community • Hike through the quaint villages, dense bamboo groves and clear streams of Damochong Valley • Try your hand at traditional papermaking, and learn to make lanterns, notebooks and more in an array of colors, patterns and textures • Travel through mountain villages, stopping at Yangming Temple, which adheres to the rules of feng shui

Day 5Leishan

Enjoy tea with residents from the Miao minority village of Kaijue, where locals are known for their traditional long skirts • Hike through scenic rice fields while visiting Kaijue, Miaoshe, and Xijiang villages • Learn the art of making pottery and watch craftsmen fashion vases, bowls and dishes in a village • Enjoy a village homestay

Day 6 - 7Langde - Zhaoxing

Rise early for a golden sunrise over Mt. Kawegebo (if weather permits) • Spend time at Nixi Village on your drive to Shangri-La, once a key stop on the Tea Horse Road • Watch local craftsmen knead, fashion, and fire their famous black clay products • Stroll through the Dukezong Old Town, once an old trading post • Wander through the largest Tibetan lamasery in Yunnan, Songzanlin Monastery • Exchange stories over butter tea with the temple’s lamas • Enjoy a picnic lunch at Napa Wetland Park and explore its ephemeral lake on horseback • Spend an afternoon at the Shangri-La Craft Brewery.

Day 8 - 9Longsheng

Explore Sanjiang village, home to the Southern Dong ethnic minority and Chengyang village, bordering on the Linxi River • Spend the day hiking through minority villages along the verdant Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces

Day 10 - 12Guilin - Yangshuo

Cruise along the Li River, which many call the most beautiful river in all of China, to Yangshuo • Walk past stone houses down the cobbled streets of Fuli Old Town • Depending on time and interest, go for a hike or visit a traditional Chinese medicine doctor • Hike or bike through the Yangshuo’s countryside


Banyan Tree Yangshuo

Luxury Boutique

Nestled against the meandering Li River, Banyan Tree Yangshuo effortlessly intertwines traditional Chinese design with luxuriously appointed contemporary comforts.

Guilin Yi

Local Boutique Hotel

This local boutique hotel is located in Guilin’s botanical gardens and offers a delightful escape from the city.

Yangshuo Moondance

Local Boutique Hotel

Stay at a local boutique hotel situated in the midst of Yangshuo’s stunning scenery.

Shangri-La Guilin

5 star

Located on the famously picturesque Li River, the Shangri-La Guilin offers weary travelers comfortable, elegant rooms as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools.


Recommended seasons




What’s Included

  • All overland transfers with private chauffeur and in-transport refreshments
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary
  • All meals as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water
  • All services of WildChina English-speaking guide(s) and expert
  • All accommodations, based on double-occupancy and including breakfast, service charge, and government tax
  • Private chauffeur service to and from airport at start and end of your trip

What’s Excluded

  • International & domestic flights and relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel, health and trip cancellation insurance
  • Meals apart from those included in the itinerary and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and chauffeurs
Why WildChina

We’re on the ground with you

Our team of advisors will design every detail of the trip with you through close consultation, then orchestrate your entire journey while on the ground. We’re in the same time zone as you, so we can fulfill requests and handle issues without a hitch. With over 40 staff in Beijing and an expansive network of operational partners across the country, we have the manpower to ensure your journey is safe, reliable and comfortable from beginning to end.

Your trip, your way

Flexibility is our highest-ranking compliment. We pull off journeys for pioneers with a 6-hour layover to Hollywood’s elite, and everywhere in between. Our team regularly pulls off unprecedented logistical feats; nearly any time frame or budget is within our realm. No matter how you wish to experience China, we are here to bring that dream to life.

We embody passion

WildChina guides are carefully handpicked for their knowledge and charisma, then meticulously trained to maintain our exceptional service standards. They are expert storytellers and passionate natives of the regions where they guide, having the perfect combination of local insights and service know-how to bring you seamless once-in-a- lifetime moments all across China.

The little things, the big picture

Supporting inspired local economies allows you to experience the soul of the destination, while also protecting and cultivating China’s artisanal culture. From watching artisans hand make shoes in Yunnan, to picking organic vegetables for dinner on a local farm in Fujian, our tours are designed to showcase and protect China’s heritage, both natural and human.

2 Reviews
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Group Traveller

We had the most wonderful experience with WildChina! First, working with WildChina to plan our trip was a pleasure. They listened to where we wanted to go and the type of experiences we wanted to have, and then formulated a trip tailored to exactly what we had envisioned… I cannot say enough about our local guides and could not begin to choose which one we liked the best, because they were all fantastic. Each guide was very knowledgeable, fluent in English, and very helpful if we had a specific thing we were looking for or wanted to do in their city. The guides were amazing, the hotels were great, and, in short, our trip was perfect from start to finish, mainly because WildChina took care of all the details, large and small… If you are looking for a tour company for an amazing trip to China, I highly recommend WildChina. Cannot think of a single negative aspect of our trip. Thank you, WildChina, for orchestrating our amazing trip to China.

October 15, 2019


Family Traveller

My family (husband, 9month old baby, and in-laws) travelled to Guangxi for four days with WildChina. We were extremely pleased and impressed with the communication and organization of Agnes, who we communicated with over email. It did rain the four days we were in Guangxi – but honestly – I prefer the rain in low season to the inevitable crowds in high season. Getting around Guangxi with a baby wasn’t super easy, but we managed using both the stroller and the carrier. Agnes was careful to recommend hotels that catered to kids – and that helped a lot.

November 19, 2018