Sister's Rice Festival of Kaili, Guizhou

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

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.

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

Day 2 Guiyang (B, L)

After an early morning rise we’ll drive an hour outside the city 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, stone walls, 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".

In the afternoon we’ll 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.

We will then drive back to Guiyang, with you being dropped off back at your hotel. The rest of the evening can be spent at your discretion.

Day 3 Guiyang-Kaili (B, L, D)

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! One of the biggest draws here is that you will get to witness the entire process of traditional Miao clothes-making. The main traditional clothing material is the homemade cloth span, woven, and dyed all by the Miaos. The widespread local song "Cotton Song" states the entire process of looking for the cotton seed, seed selection, land reclamation, sowing, harvesting cotton, getting rid of seed, bowing cotton, spinning, reeling thread, dyeing, and sewing. In each household you can see dye vats used for dying cotton material. This kind of dye vat is made of the cedar plank, approximately 2 and half feet high, one meter in diameter. The dye vat must be raised because it takes about one month to finish dying a bolt of cloth by indigo dying water and this process is called "aising vat".

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.

We will stay at an inn in Kaili for the night.

Day 4 Kaili (B, L, D)

Our first activity today will be heading to the nearby village of 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.

We will then go back to Kaili in the evening, staying at the same inn as the night before.

Day 5 Kaili-Guiyang (B, L)

In the morning, we will drive 1.5-2 hours to the Datang short-skirt Miao village. 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."

Before returning to Guiyang, we’ll make a last stop at he 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.

Day 6 Guiyang-departure (B)

Following breakfast you will be taken to the Guiyang airport, where you will fly to your next destination, ending your tour with us.