5 Day Guizhou Sister Rice Festival Tour

Highlights:

  • You will get to experience in person the Sister Rice Festival. The festival is the Miao people's busiest time of the year, and it is an opportunity for Miao youth living along the middle reaches of the Qingjiang River to choose their mates. During the festival, Miao people eat "Sister Rice, " dress up, dance, watch bullfights, compete in a canoeing contest and sing
  • Guizhou province is rich with China’s ethnic minority groups, and on this tour you’ll get to explore this exciting diversity by wandering about the villages of the Miao minority group. Straight out of National Geographic, these villages are largely untouched by the modern world
  • This tour includes pick-up and drop-off from the airport, and also an English-speaking guide for the duration of your trip.

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 Arrive in Guiyang-Kaili (D)

You will fly to Guiyang, and upon arrival you will be met by your English-speaking guide. . Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province, is located in the southwest of China, on the eastern side of the Yungui Plateau. It is said that in ancient times, Guiyang was surrounded by dense bamboo groves and was famous for producing a musical instrument known as a Zhu. Hence the city is known also as Zhu.

In the afternoon we will make the 2.5 hr drive to Kaili, the capital of Southeast Guizhou prefecture, and home to 25% of the Miao ethnic group. The Miao ethnic group is both mysterious and exciting. The Miao people are identified by their dialect, dress, location and other customs. In dress there are Long Skirt Miao, Short Skirt Miao, Black Miao, Flowery Miao and Long Horned Miao. By location there are River Miao and Mountain Miao. The villagers in Langde wear long skirts, hence they are "Long Skirt Miao". The Miao style houses "Diaojiaolou" and its featured and creative festivals will make you spellbound.

When we arrive in Kaili we will first head to the village of Shiqiao to learn about Miao paper making, an important craft for the group. On the way there we’ll hike on a country road. Shiqiao paper is smooth, white, and difficult of bursting. It is said that the paper making in Shiqiao Miao village has a history of over 1,000 years. By using the Han Chinese people's experience, the local Miao people use high-quality spring water, tree roots and bark to make papers. Their craft of papermaking is regarded as a “live fossil”.

We’ll then drive back to Kaili, where we will spend the night at a hotel.

Day 2 Kaili-Shidong-Zhenyuan (B, L, D)

In the morning, we’ll drive 1.5-2hrs to Shidong, a small Miao village situated on the banks of the Qingshui River. You will see craftsmen making silver ornaments, of which this village is known for. You’ll then be taken to the opening ceremony of Sisters' Meal Festival (aka Sister Rice Festival). Known as the oldest Oriental Valentine's Day, the Sister Rice Festival in Taijiang County of Guizhou Province was once a local affair which provided opportunities for Miao lads and girls to meet and begin their courtship. It attracts thousands of natives who have gathered from many miles around, and has now become one of the most important tourist attractions in China. It provides a dazzling display of local dress, and a lot of entertainment including clamor of drums, firecrackers, canoeing contest, bullfighting, horse racing, singing and dancing competitions and even beauty contests.

After lunch, we will proceed to Zhenyuan (1.5 hours’ drive), a tranquil ancient town hidden in east Guizhou, surrounded by mountains and rivers. Miao People are the main inhabitants of Zhenyuan.

Zhenyuan has long been an ancient town of the Miao people. Its long history endows the town with many rich and generous cultural relics, making it much like a historic garden. The town is small, but greets you with more than 160 scenic spots including caves, palaces, pavilions, temples and rivers with their unique architecture, exquisite engravings and marvelous natural landscape. Located at the edge of Yunnan-Guizhou plateau, Zhenyuan is sheltered by the mountains. It has been a land-and-water transportation center since early times. In 202 BC, the town became a county instituted by Han Gaozu, Emperor Liu Bang, and then in 1956 - the capital of southeast Guizhou Autonomous Prefecture. Cut through by the Wuyang River, the town is divided into two parts: south 'Wei City' and north 'Fu City', which forms a water town. Hence it is well-reputed as the 'Oriental Venice'.

We will spend the night in Zhenyuan.

Day 3 Zhenyuan-Shidong-Kaili (B, L, D)

In the morning our first point of interest will be Qinglong (Black Dragon) Cave.Black Dragon Cave is in fact an ancient temple complex located on Zhonghe Mountain to the east of Zhenyuan Ancient Town, and is the centerpiece of the all ancient monuments in Zhenyuan. Black Dragon Cave Temple as it is also known includes single and multi-storied pavilions, temples, shrines, and palaces. Surviving a couple of wars, the Black Dragon Cave was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and its current shape is the result of several renovations.

With many separate buildings, the Black Dragon Cave encompasses Zhusheng Qiao (Zhusheng Bridge), Zhongyuan Temple, Ziyang Shuyuan (academy of classical learning), Yuhuang Ge (Jade Emperor Pavilion), Longevity Palace, Xianglu Yan. Among the ancient complexes of Zhenyuan, the Black Dragon Cave though very close to the town has retained its natural flavor.

After our visit to Black Dragon Cave, we will drive back to Shidong to attend the Sister’s Meal Fstival, and then we’ll return to Kaili and stay there for the evening.

Day 4 Kaili-Leshan-Guiyang (B, L, D)

A short drive from Kaili along the Bala River brings us to Langde, a Miao village with traditional wooden houses and waterwheels. The views along the road are limestone pinnacles set against terraced rice fields and picturesque villages.

We’ll then drive on to Paika village to see how the Miao people's most important musical instrument, the Lusheng (Bamboo pipes) is made. We’ll have a lunch of local Miao cuisine in the county of Leshan before arriving back in Guiyang (4 hrs) in the late afternoon.

Day 5 Guiyang-departure (B)

After breakfast you will be taken to the airport, and you will fly on to your next destination, ending your tour with us.