A Chinese New Year with Guizhou minorities

From 8845RMB / person 6 days

Mountain land and ethnic groups

Guizhou is the only Chinese province without flat land. Its karstic mountains have kept the local population more isolated for centuries, and the various ancient settlements evolved into different minority groups, all characterized by different habits, customs, festivals, sometimes dialects, architecture or clothing. According to the PRC official registration, 18 minority groups live in Guizhou (among 56 recognized all over the country), when the whole province covers only 2% of China's surface area. Imagine the diversity of a trip to Guizhou!

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Visiting ethnic minorities

Guizhou province, still less-known and less visited than many other parts of China, will strike you with a real air of authenticity while you witness the New Year celebrations in these remote villages. You'll discover the traditional crafts and techniques that make each of them special, but also enjoy the lusheng (a traditional music instrument) playing and young people's dances.

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Itinerary

Upon your arrival in Guiyang, leave the big city to reach Qiandongnan, an area that stayed isolated for a long time and is home to many ethnic minorities. For several days you will discover local life and festivities in the villages you'll cross.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Guiyang – Gaoyao – Zenlei

Upon your arrival at Guiyang airport, your driver will greet you and take you to Qiandongnan, an area that stayed isolated for a long time and where several ethnic minorities still live today (~215km, 4hrs drive).
Crossing rice and corn fields, you’ll stop on the way in Gaoyao village for an amazing panoramic view on its terraced fields. You’ll go on towards the “Water people” (Shui ethnic group) region and stop in Zenlei village for the night.

Day 2: Zenlei – Xiaohuang – Huanggang (B)

Today, discover Zenlei and the surrounding villages. You will enjoy a beautiful walk with your guide, from Zenlei (a Shui village) to Xiaonao (a Miao village). This 3.5hrs walk will take you to the discovery of the Shui and Miao ethnic minorities, wearing their traditional clothes in a natural manner.

In the afternoon, your driver will take you to the Dong village of Xiaohuang. You’ll have the chance to witness the Dong ethnic group festivities, held in front of the Bell Tower at the centre of the village. People traditionally worship their ancestors, sing polyphonic songs and play and dance with the Lusheng, a very ancient instrument. During the Cultural Revolution, this type of celebration and Lusheng instrument were banned; in order not to destroy them, some people hid them in secret places in the mountains. Nowadays, on the contrary, they are more encouraged and shown as ethnic group particularities. Finally you’ll reach Huanggang village for the night.

Day 3: Huanggang (B)

Today you’ll discover Huanggang and its surroundings. You’ll explore Huanggang, a very authentic Dong village, and learn about Dong people activities in this period of the year: the Bell Tower at the centre of the village is always filled with people and festivities.

Day 4: Huanggang – Rongjiang – Jiaju – Jiayi (B)

This morning, you’ll continue your trip towards Rongjiang, a small town along Duliu river and a contact zone between Miao and Dong areas. You’ll witness the Dong minority Circle dances, accompanied by young people’s songs. Then you’ll drive to the Moon Hills, mostly known for the fabulous rice terraces of Jiaju and Jiabang villages (in total for the day ~120km, 2.5hrs drive). You’ll stay in Jiayi village for the night.

Day 5: Jiayi (B)

Today you’ll explore Jiayi and its surroundings. You’ll have a look at the superb panoramas over Jiaju and Jiabang rice terraces. Some people say they are the most beautiful terrace fields of China, you can judge by yourselves; at least they aren’t too well known and touristy. The region is also known for its batik fabric; you’ll discover its making process, in this area inhabited by Red Miao, Green Miao and Black Miao people.

Day 6: Jiayi – Longli – Guiyang Departure (B)

This morning, your driver will take you back to Guiyang (~210km, 5hrs drive). On the way, if you have some time, you’ll stop by a higher plateau near Guiyang. There, in Longli village you’ll witness the White Miao festivities. Then you’ll reach the airport, and it will be time to take your flight back home.

Information

Inclusions:
  • 3* hotel with breakfast (B)
  • Private driver
  • English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Meals
Exclusions:
  • Visa
  • International and domestic flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to the driver and guide
  • Insurance

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