4 day Kaili Miao Ethnic Minority Villages Tour

Highlights:

  • Encircled by numerous villages, home to minority groups and some pretty countryside, Kaili is a real "festival land" with over 130 festivals taking place throughout the year
  • Explore the remote and charming villages of the Miao minority ethnic group, which are largely untouched by the modern world
  • While at the villages you will meet with local families, explore the charming architecture of the towns, and learn in-depth about the Miao culture and tradition
  • 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 (B)

You will fly into Guiyang, and your English-speaking guide will meet you outside he baggage claim area. You will then be taken to your hotel. 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.

After settling in to your hotel, we will pay a visit to the old town of Qingyan. Dating back to the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368--1644), Qingyan town was built for military and strategic reasons. Because of its geographical location, Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of Ming Dynasty established it as a station for transferring military messages and to house a standing army. Due to the local geology, Qingyan Ancient Town was built completely of stone. You’ll be albe to see spectacular city walls built right on the cliffs with vast rocks, which divided Qingyan into inner and outer towns. There are four gates in the wall facing north, south, east and west. Outside the four gates, there were originally eight stone tablets, which were considered the symbols of Qingyan Ancient Town. Of the eight, three remain with delicate sculptures on each surface. The most famous one is called Zhao Lunli Baisui (longevity) Fang.

Within the town, there are also over 30 types including monasteries, temples, cabinets, caves, courtyards and palaces. All of them were delicately designed by the skillful architects of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. A number of exquisite articles, such as the stone sculptures of Ciyun Temple and wooden sculptures of Shoufo Temple are all worth a look. You can visit the ancient business streets to admire the elegant classical wooden houses. If you like, stop at one of those teahouses and have a taste of the famous local snacks, such as Qingyan tofu, rice tofu and rose sugar.

Day 2 Guiyang-Kaili (B, L)

After breakfast, we will drive to Kaili, a region of Guizhou where 25% of the Miao ethnic group live. Here we will explore the Miao ethinc minority villages. 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.

We will take part in the Miao people’s daily life by visiting with a few local families, in addition to other activities. The following is a list of activities and the places we will visit today in Kaili:

Qingman Miao Village - Located about 14 miles to the southwest of Kaili, Qingman Miao Village is built along the mountain contours. Surrounded by green mountains and rivers, it is the sweet home to over 300 households and 1,600 Miao people. The unique wooden stilt houses put up range upon range are indeed a splendid scene to see!

The Wooden Stilt House - By making use of steep hillside, the local people use wood to build their houses, whose structure is jointed by tenon and mortise, without a single snail or rivet. The layers of these houses look very much like pyramid-shaped structure from afar, spectacular indeed!

Paper making in Shiqiao Miao Village - 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”. Come to Shiqiao, you'll have a chance to witness how they make papers.

Boji Miao Village - Shaped like a dustpan, Boji Miao Village is located in Danzhai County where the land is beautiful and fertile. Over 100 households live here generation after generation. The life in this old village is quite serene and bucolic.

Day 3 Kaili (B, L)

In the morning we will visit a local market, where you will see traditional Miao arts and crafts. Afterward, we will drive to the Miao village of Jidao. The drive will take us about two hours. The village of Jidao is well known in the region for the silver ornaments produced by the craftsmen here. Jidao village is set in idyllic surroundings and populated by ethnic Miao people. Village life is simple and children play as their parents tend fields of lush, organically grown vegetables surrounded by towering pine forests. Elderly women stoke fires in traditional wooden houses, some hundreds of years old. It is so poor, mountainous and remote that the tranquility here is not yet broken by a flood of rich Chinese tourists and foreign visitors.

We’ll then head to the Miao village of Langde. Langde is a beautiful place surrounded by green mountains and rivers. When you arrive, you will see the classical wooden stilt houses, winding mountain paths, the well-preserved and famed Wind and Rain Bridge, and delicate Miao clothes; you will hear the sweet songs floating in the valley and the babble of brooks meandering among mountains.

Day 4 Kaili-Guiyang-departure (B)

Following breakfast, you will be taken back to Guiyang, and from there you’ll be transferred to the airport, where you will fly on to your next destination.


        Matt Kellaher, USA:

The three of us in the family truly enjoyed Guizhou. It is a traveler's dream location, very authentic, out of the way, yet so beautiful. We feel lucky that we have excellent guides, especially Mr. Liu Yabin who speaks English to my husband EdmundWe had so much fun in our outings; we were able to relax and enjoyed the natural beauty all around us in relative isolation. We feel so special because some of the Old Han, Miao villages are so inaccessible. Our van is just perfect to accommodate our family, and, with an excellent driver (Mr. Lee), we were able to drive around to several villages, towns, and the capital Guiyang with ease and comfort. We love the water wheels, and water buffaloes that sat in the water holes next to the rice patties, the corns growing on the terraces of the hills everywhere in Guizhou.