This tour of China's Guizhou province leads you through its incredibly-preserved ethnic villages, where you'll learn about these distinct cultures and traditions, viewing untouched architecture and enjoying pristine nature. You'll start in the city of Guiyang with a night tour, followed by the exploration of traditional Kaili Miao villages with their distinct clothing and architecture. Enjoy the beauty of Gaoyao's terraced rice fields before ending the trip with visits to the ethnic villages of Basha Miao and Zhaoxing Dong, where you'll discover unique traditions.

Highlights

  • Explore Guiyang City on a night tour with panoramic views from Jiaxiu Tower
  • Discover the wooden architecture of the down-to-earth Kaili Miao villages
  • Enjoy the beauty of Gaoyao's terraced rice fields
  • Learn about the unique traditions of the men in Basha Miao Village
  • Explore the untouched architecture and culture of Zhaoxing Dong

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guiyang - Optional night tour of the city Guiyang
Day 2 Discover the Kaili Miao villages Kaili
Day 3 Transfer to Rongjiang - Explore the terraced rice fields of Gaoyao Rongjiang
Day 4 Visit the traditional ethnic villages of Basha Miao and Zhaoxing Dong Zhaoxing
Day 5 Depart Guiyang  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guiyang - Optional night tour of the city

Guiyang Skyline at Night
Guiyang Skyline at Night

Welcome to the province of Guizhou in southwest China! Upon arrival at the airport in Guiyang, you'll meet your host and transfer to your hotel. After settling in, you can opt for a night tour of Guiyang City, including the famous nighttime view from the Wenchang Pavilion and Jiaxiu Tower. If you arrive early enough, you can also visit Guiyang Qianlingshan Park for views over the city's skyline and to watch the boats on Qianling Lake.

In the evening, your host will give you plenty of recommendations to find a delicious dinner in the city center.

Day 2: Discover the Kaili Miao villages

Traditional Wooden House in Langde Miao Village
Traditional Wooden House in Langde Miao Village

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll begin your 3-hour drive to the city of Kaili. Your first stop will be in Ma Tang Ge Jia Zhai, a traditional Miao village famous for its unique clothes and historic painting skills known as BATIK.

You'll continue to Langde Miao Village where female villagers traditionally wear long skirts, which is different from the short skirts in many other Miao settlements. As you enter the village, you'll certainly notice the incredible, traditional architecture. Residents live in wooden stilt houses, which are beautifully complemented by the natural scenery of the region. You may very well feel at home in Langde Miao, as the people are known throughout China for their hospitality, kind demeanor, and down-to-earth mentality. 

In the late afternoon, you'll arrive in Kaili City. After settling into your accommodation, explore your neighborhood and find a traditional restaurant to enjoy dinner.

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Day 3: Transfer to Rongjiang - Explore the terraced rice fields of Gaoyao

Rice Fields in Guizhou
Rice Fields in Guizhou

Today you'll drive to the rural region of Rongjiang, well-known for its terraced rice fields. Along the way, you'll stop in Shiqiao Miao Village to learn about their traditional paper-making techniques. The region surrounding Kaili is the largest paper-making site in China, with the most complete traditional paper-making steps and best-preserved paper-making tools.

Afterward, you'll continue to the Gaoyao Terrace Rice Fields. Located in Gaoyao Miao Village in Danzhai County, the picturesque terraced rice fields attract numerous tourists and photographers each year. August is an excellent time to visit because the fields are turning golden and locals celebrate the New Rice Eating Festival; but any season offers excellent opportunities for stunning photography.

By late afternoon, you'll arrive in Rongjiang where you'll settle into your accommodation and enjoy a free evening at your leisure.

Day 4: Visit the traditional ethnic villages of Basha Miao and Zhaoxing Dong

Basha Miao Village
Basha Miao Village

In the morning, you'll drive to visit the traditional ethnic village of Basha Miao. Here, there are many traditions involving the men of the village. There's a traditional ceremony for boys when they turn 16 years old, welcoming them into adulthood. From this age on, they are considered men and must wear their hair in a bun and take on the look of an ancient warrior. They do this by carrying a hunting gun on their shoulder and a knife around their waist.

After lunch, you'll drive to the village of Zhaoxing Dong, which is one of the largest Dong villages in the Qiandongnan area in Guizhou. Zhaoxing Dong is very traditional, with historic architecture and a culture that has essentially been untouched. All the buildings in the village are wooden-stilt houses, surrounded by verdant mountains with a crystal-clear stream running through the hills. The village is divided into five natural sections, with each section identifying as a specific clan owning a drum-tower, a wind-rain bridge, and a stage.

In the late afternoon, you'll settle into your accommodation and enjoy a free night exploring Zhaoxing Dong on your own.

Day 5: Depart Guiyang

Zhaoxing Dong Village
Zhaoxing Dong Village

Enjoy your final morning in China with a leisurely breakfast and one final stroll through Zhaoxing Dong. When you're ready, you'll transfer to the airport in Guiyang to catch your flight.

Alice
Written by Alice Fu, updated Feb 15, 2020