Lusheng Minority Festival Tour

Highlights:

  • The heart stirring sounds of massed Lusheng instruments, the colors of Miao costume and many other festive activities such as dancing, singing, watching bull-fights, bird-fights and horse races, are features of Lusheng Festival held in Southeast Guizhou. This tour will give you an opportunity to join this large annual celebration which is one of the biggest donkey roasts of Miao ethnic minority. You can also explore many Miao and Dong minority villages to experience the different ethnic customs and enjoy the breath taking scenery of Huangguoshu Waterfalls, which is the largest in Asia
  • 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

You will fly (or take the train) 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.

The rest of the day can be spent at your own leisure.

Day 2 Guiyang-Anshun (B, L, D)

After an early morning rise we’ll drive outside the city in order to explore the waterfalls of Huangguoshu, which is one of the largest waterfall groups in China. They have been found out that the falls in this area consist of 18 falls on the ground and 4 underground falls. Among them Huangguoshu Waterfalls, which is the largest one in the groups and in Asia as well, is 68 meters high and 8l meters wide with a flow of more than 700 cubic meters of water per second, huge amounts of water seem like pouring from the sky. Turbulent waters throw into a pool at the bottom of a valley, sending foams up by 100 meters. And roars can be heard kilometers away. When the sun rises rainbows appear, adding a touch of beauty to the majesty of the cataract.

Nearby is the gorgeous scenic area of Tianxing Qiao. Featuring the perfect combination of stones, trees and water, the Tianxing Bridge Scenic Zone is a natural miniscape evolving from the growing stone forests in water. Compared with the grandness of the Huangguoshu Waterfalls, it is more bijou and beautiful. A couplet generalizing its verve goes like this: “It is compared to a gigantic miniature garden created by wind knife and water sword; also an ancient painting painted by root pen and vine ink.”

We will spend the night in Anshun.

Day 3 Anshun-Guiyang (L, D)

Following breakfast we will set off to experience the ancient village of Tianlong, which is largely inhabited by the Tunpu people. According to the historical literature and oral tradition, the ancestors of Tunbao People are the soldiers who were stationed in Guizhou Province about 600 years ago in the Ming Dynasty. Even now, Tunbao People still live in forts and keep a simple and peculiar army style. Stone foundations, stonewalls, flagstone roofs, watchtowers, wall crenels and even dogholes upstairs characterize their buildings. They (especially women) dress in the ancient Ming and Qing style, speak with the accent of their native regions on the south of Yangtze River and eat food of army flavor. Dixi, which they perform at festivals and celebrations, is the continuation of the ancient "Martial Nuoxi" and renowned as "the living fossil of the ancient shows".

We’ll then 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.

We will then drive back to Guiyang for the night.

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

After breakfast, we will drive to Kaili, a region of Guizhou where 25% of the Miao ethnic group live. Once in Kaili, we will pay a visit to the Ethnic Minorities Museum. In the museum there is a quite detailed introduction to human culture, geography, and the national minorities' customs of the southeastern areas of Guizhou Province. Some writing, pictures, and material objects are displayed here. Minority Customs hall and Dragon Boat hall are the main exhibits which are worth watching.

We will then begin to 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. The first village we go to is known as Nanhua, and the second one is called Datang.

Datang Miao Village stands out from other Miao villages in the region because of the distinctive style of dress worn by Miao females in the village. All the females in Datang Miao Village wear extremely short skirts, as short as 10 centimeters long (make that "short"!) in some instances. The most amazing thing about this is that the females of Datang Miao Village wear this extremely short skirt all year round, even in freezing winter. While the sight of "miniskirts" is not unusual for Westerners – at least not during the summer – for many Chinese people of varying ethnic origin, it takes some time getting used to, as it contrasts sharply with the more staid, mainstream Chinese practice of modesty – perhaps exaggerated modesty."

Day 5 Kaili-Huangping-Kaili (B, L)

Today we will get to witness the festivities of the Lusheng festival. The Lusheng Festival is the most influential festival of the Miao community. It is popular throughout Guizhou, Yunnan , and Sichuan Provinces, the Lusheng Festival in Kaili, Guizhou being the most famous and grand of the bunch. You will see many traditional Miao ethnic activities, such as singing, bullfighting, horseracing, and dancing to the rhythm of the Lusheng (a homemade reed mouth organ with five or six bamboo pipes, played by various ethnic groups in southwest China).

All the Miao people come together from different villages. The girls dress up in their best traditional costume and silver headdresses, while the boys carry their lusheng and head to the Lusheng Stadium to celebrate the festival. They circle in rings as the girls dance to the rhythm of the music provided by the boys. The ceremony is performed to bring hope for a favorable harvest in the coming year alongside good health. It is also a chance for the youth to express their admiration and love towards one another.

Day 6 Kaili-Rongjiang (B, L, D)

Following breakfast we’ll drive on to the Miao village of Jidao. 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.

Then we will learn more about the Dong minority ethnic group at the village of Sanbao. Located beside Duliu River, Sanbao Dong Village occupies a flat and fertile land and enjoys a pleasant climate. The passion of the local Dong People and their colorful national culture will certainly be a highlight of your trip.

The Dong ethnic minority lives primarily in the border regions between Guizhou, Hunan and Hubei Provinces, and it was during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), that this minority separated from the mixed minority 'Bai Yue', naming themselves Dong. The Dong people work on agriculture, forestry and the industrial arts. The women are adept at spinning and embroidering and on the brocade. The staple food of the Dong ethnic minority is rice, millet, corn, wheat sorghum and glutinous rice. Oil tea is their favorite drink, which can also be their breakfast, whose ingredients include peanuts, sesame, soybean, tea leaves, and so on.

Day 7 Rongjiang-Zhaoxing (B, L, D)

After breakfast we will make our way to Zhaoxing and the Basha Miao Village Zhaoxing is home to some of the largest villages in Guizhou. Basha is a very special and old Miao ethnic village. The villagers still practice their unique traditions dating back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). Basha Village is almost untouched by China’s rapid modernization. Residents there still live in their wooden houses, practice centuries-old customs and have their own unique beliefs. Basha is a relatively big village with 2,140 residents, but they rarely connect with the outside world. They live in their community and lead a self-sufficient life in their mountainous surroundings.

Nearby is the Dong village of Yintan. It is located on the top of a mountain with a brook winding through. Green trees surround the village, and lots of precious yew trees can be found here. They village is also known for its architecture, particularly their drum towers, and wind and rain bridges, which are pavilions for sheltering people during bad weather.

Day 8 Zhaoxing (B, L, D)

After breakfast in the inn we will make our way to Zhaoxing Village. It is the largest and oldest Dong village in China and the world. There are five Drum Towers, Wind & Rain Bridges and traditional stages in the village.

Your final village on the trip will be the Tangan Dong Village. Hailed by some as the "most primitive Dong village in China", Tang'an Dong village offers a harmonious scene balancing nature and humanity. The village was built on a steep mountain slope overlooking terraced paddy fields. The village contains ancient wooden buildings, a traditional drum tower, theater stage, and gravel yard adjacent to some residential houses, and a well-provided water supply.

Day 9 Zhaoxing-Guiyang-departure (B)

We will drive back to Guiyang, and you will be taken to either the airport or the train station, and you will travel on to your next destination.


        John Thorn, USA:

Best trip I have ever been on through a travel agency. Everything was anticipated and planned for. This trip was fantastic, a precious gift. I saw and interacted with China and Chinese people in a way I never expected but always wanted. I will tell all my friends and associates this is the best time I have had in 10 months in China. Guizhou was so beautiful and I had such a good time I have asked my sponsoring agency to find me a job in Guiyang. The overnight stay in the village of Langde was the highlight, but the whole trip was fantastic. Liu and Mr. Li did everything to make the trip easy, interesting, and fun. Mr. Peng and Liang, the local guides, were so friendly and polite. All of these young men treated me with the same polite respect and consideration I get from my son.