“As a member of the Miao ethnic group, I was born and grew up in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture. As an experienced tour guide, I knew what tourists want through this ethnic village tour. Come and follow me for a thrilling journey through colorful cultures!"
- Bill Zhang, Guizhou Tour Director
❶ Guests arrive in some city of Guizhou province and then use our pick-up service to go directly to Kaili, the capital city of Southeast Guizhou Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture.
On the way to Kaili, we would make a stop at Shiqiao Village, one of the birthplaces of papermaking technology in ancient China. With a river flowing through, the mountain village Shiqiao looks traditional and ecologically beautiful. Shiqiao Village has more than three hundred households from several ethnities including Miao, Han, Shui, Dongxiang, Yao, Dong, Gelao, Buyi and She. The lush forest, plentiful water resource and mild weather made it a best place to develop manual papermaking method dated back from the middle of Tang Dynasty. The technology was well preserved and inherited. Today you can see several tens of workshops here showcasing the traditional manufacturing procedures for handmade paper. It can be an amazing experience to be able to find how a piece of state-of-the-art bark paper is made from raw materials such as tree barks, roots of Chinese firs.
☝ A Workshop for Handmade Paper in Shiqiao Village
Overnight stay in Kaili.
❷ We would visit Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village in Leishan County in the morning and visit Matang Gejia Village in the afternoon. Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village, or Xijiang Miao Stockade Village of Thousand Households, locates 40 kilometers southeast to Kaili city. As world's largest Miao nationality village, it has huge reputation among worldwide tourists. The raw culture of Miao ethnic group is well preserved in this ancient village which can be seen through the unique Miao architecture, traditional dress,singing and dancing performances, local customs and human behaviours. Once entering into the village, countless wooden stilt houses of coffee color begin to jump into your eyes. These buildings, from one floor to two floors to three floors, built on the stone foundation, are all made of maple wood without using even one metal nail or screw. Coming onto the observation deck on the mountain to look from above, the traditional wooden building cluster cascading down the hillsides provides magnificent and grand scene.
☝ The Wooden Houses Cluster in Xijiang Miao Village
When the night is falling, hosts of the Miao turn on the lights in their houses. To look from afar, it feels like the dazzling lights of ten thousand homes are shining like stars in the milky way. The night view of Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village is so amazing that many travelers would choose to spend an additional night here just to feel its glorious charm. Besides the unique ethnic architecture, the spectacular rice terrace opposite to the buildings is another tourism hotspot.
☝ Grand Night View of Xijiang Miao Village
Our tour guide who himself is from Miao ethnic group will also take you to the Miao Meseum, performance venues, pedestrian shopping street which are best places to interact with local people as well as to learn local folk cultures in architecture, dressing, etiquette and Miao craftsmanship.
☝ The Rice Terraces of Xijing Miao Village
Matang Gejia Village we will visit in the afternoon can't be defined as a popular tourist place. instead, it is a mysterious village with special characteristics as it's here that the Gejia people live and reproduce. Gejia ethnic group, out of the 55 ethnic minorities that are recognized in China, is said to be the descendant of Houyi, the mythological archer who shot down 9 surplus suns that were burning up the earth and saved mankind. Gejia people have their own spoken language even though this language has no writing form. Unlike Miao people, Gejia people live in tiled roof houses. Gejia men wear regular clothing whereas the women have extravagant headdress. Gejia people master Chinese wax printing technique, you will be alble to find some exquisite fabrics produced through this traditional method showcased in some handicraft store in the village.
Overnight stay in Kaili.
❸ In the morning, we go to Leishan County again to visit Langde Miao Village. Locating 23 kilometers west to Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village, Langde Miao Village is a beautiful small village in the green mountains with less than 100 households. Compared to Xijiang Miao Village which is a bit too commercial with restaurants, bars, hotels, shops being found everywhere, Langde Miao Village is less developed. For this reason, it still remains the original style. It is said that Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village inherits the body while Langde Miao Village inherited the soul from the ancient Miao culture. We come to Langde Miao Village to feel the authentic Miao culture with the heart.
☝ Langde Miao Village to Look from Afar
After driving less than 1 hour from Kaili city, we arrive Langde Miao Village. There is a welcome ceremony waiting us at 10:30 am. People here are very friendly and almost all of them would leave from their home to greet us at the entrance with singing and dancing. What's more, well dressed Miao girls would block the way to treat us respectfully with 12 courses of homemade rice wine, which is the top welcome ritual for the Miao ethnic group. The wine tastes sweet but it can easily get you drunk, so please don't be too greedy for it. You can politely decline their invitation if you are allergic to wine.
☝ Girls in Langde Miao Village Are Welcoming Visiting Guests with Block-the-Way Rice Wine of 12 Courses
After "Block the Way" rice wine ceremony, we are admitted to the village. A grand cultural performance is opening on the central square. The Miao people have a genius for performing art. You can't find even one professional actor in the performance team as the actors are the villagers themselves and the performance is spontaneous. Everybody of the performance team, no matter how old or young, performs his/her role with a real passion. Girls and women are dancing with warm glowing smiles while young boys and old men are playing Sheng (instrument) with all their hearts. The way to immerse yourself in local Miao culture can't be easier than such a live show!
☝ Old Men of Langde Miao Village Are Playing Sheng on a Live Show
Wudong is another Miao Village that is on our bucket list to visit in the afternoon. With an altitude of 1,300 meters, Wudong Village situates on a depression in the northwest side of Leigong Mountain. The road to Wudong Village is winding, it would take us about one hour to drive from Langde Miao Village. Wudong Village distinguishes itself by even clearer water, more fresh air, more beautiful nature scenery, more eco-friendly environment and lastly, more primitive ethnic life style. It is such a peaceful place that you will love it in the first sight.
☝ Wudong Ancient Miao Village
The night we will spend in RongJiang. You have chance to discover some soul-stirring rice terraces on the way to Rongjiang from Wudong Miao Village.
❹ Visit Basha (or Biasha) Miao Village which is less than 10 kilometers southwest to Congjiang downtown in the morning . Well known as the last gun tribe in China, Basha is listed as one of the 21 most mysterious primitive tribes on the planet. Here lives the black Miao, a branch of the Miao ethnic group. Miao People in Basha have their own style costumes and they are still living with old ancient habits. For example, the male villagers here would have their hair cut with the sickle. What's more, every adult man in the village has his own sidearms such as a musket and a knife which makes the male villager here looks very tough and strong.
☝ Basha Miao Village
The word "Basha" means a place of lush green vegetation in Miao language. Just as the name implicates, Basha Village has thick growth of trees and plants. More interestingly, people here worship trees. Whenever a baby is born, the parent would plant a tree for him/her to symbolize the beginning of a new life. Time passes, the baby grows up and die, the tree planted for him/her would be used to make his/her coffin. Since the tree has special meaning, people living here would never cut the tree in exchange for money; therefore, tourists can find many many big old trees in the village. Green rice terrace and the wooden houses hidden in the bamboo forest next to each other can offer every tourist an idyllically beautiful scenery!
☝ Villagers in Basha Tribe Are Posing to Shoot the Gun
The villagers would fire guns into the air and perform Lusheng dance in honor of your visiting. We would then walk up to the performance venue to watch an interesting live show performed by young girls and boys of the village. Programs include sing and dance shows, folk wrestling, blind date as well as the funny and humorous bride kidnapping. The whole performance is very impressive and exciting. Lastly, we would visit the cultural exhibition hall of the village to learn the history and culture of these people to be able to have an overall understanding of this mysterious ethnic group.
☝ A Villager is Cutting Hair for His Colleague Using Sickle
In the afternoon, we go to Liping county to visit Zhaoxing Dong Village. Dong is one of the 56 recognized ethnic groups in China with the population of about 3 million. Dong people in China are open-minded and optimistic and they are good at music, farming and handicraft design.
☝ The Dong Village of Zhaoxing
Here in Zhaoxing gathers nearly 7 thousand Dong people making it one of the biggest Dong villages national wide. In 2005, the village was rated as one of the Six Most Beautiful Ancient Villages in China by Chinese National Geography and it got popular afte then. Iconic tourist attractions in Zhaoxing Dong Villages are drum towers, wind and rain bridges, stilt wooden houses and Tang'an rice terrace. It is important to mention that the drum tower is an ethnic symbol to the Dong village. According to Dong tradition, each big family should build their own drum tower for the family's long lasting and prosperity. People from the same big family gather inside their own drum tower for meeting, recreation, entertainment and social activities. Inside Zhaoxing Dong Village there are five drum towers built by five branches from the same Lu family.
☝ A Grand Banquet Is Holding Near the Drum Tower in Zhaoxing Dong Ancient Village
There is a famous proverb among the Dong people saying that food can feed the body while song can nurture the soul. Dong people like music and they treat the song as their spiritual food. Grand song of the Dong ethnic group is inscribed on the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009 by UNESCO. We would specifically stay overnight in Zhaoxing Village to learn and enjoy its folk cultures through a night show.
🕔 Day 5: Return
❶ All good things must come to an end. We will drop off guests at the designated place and wish you a safe return home.
✔ Land transfers among airport, train station, hotel and the scenic spot. ✔ Private English-speaking guide ✔ Admission fees for the scenic spot, attractions and tour activities as specified in the itinerary ✔ Meals specified in the itinerary are included. ✔ Service Charge & Government Taxes.
✖ Personal expenditure for food, shopping, communications, entertainment activities and sightseeings that are not included in the tour itinerary. ✖ Our tour package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase your travel insurance in advance through some other channel. ✖ Tips to the tour guide and driver
Clients have flexibility to purchase the whole tour as specified here or purchase partial and customized Guizhou tour. Please contact us to request a quotation as it differs with season, itinerary, number of travelers and etc.
We actually offer various Guizhou tours such as Miao New Year Festival Tour, Dong New Year Festival Tour, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park to Fenghuang Ancient Town to Fanjing Mountain Tour and many more. We also offer tailor made tours according to your specifications. Please send enquiry to [email protected] or leave message in the comment box below to contact us.
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