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Deep Southeast Guizhou ethnic tribes

Chinese Minority Nations Culture & Landscapes

Ethnic intrigue. Cultural discovery. Natural and Intangible Heritage.

Visit four remote mountain stockade villages and a breathtaking Natural World Heritage landmark – Fanjing Mountain.

Meet China’s Miao and Dong minority tribes - discover culture you never knew existed. Get a haircut from the pipe-toting, long rifle gunslingers of the Basha tribe. Hear music from instruments you never heard, drink, eat, sing - feast medieval-style with your Dong and Miao hosts. Customs, performances, feast culture and folk-art workshops – experience it all.

Guiyang Meet up. City sights.


Meet up in Guiyang. 

Meet up day.

Make your own way to the south-central city of Guiyang. Check in at the designated hotel.

Guiyang City sights.


Arrive early and you will have time to see some city landmarks. Arrive extra early and you will have time to explore Mount Qiling Park. Stay safe. Wander to your heart’s content.

City landmarks: The Jiaxiu Lou pavilion is an iconic local landmark – a pocket of calming, elegant old-time scenery that is nestled inside of but feels oddly separate from the city.

The mountain park on Qiling is all shades of green. Lively vegetation climbs off the paths and up the mountain walls. Wild rhesus monkeys sit watching from the stone eaves of Hong Fu temple.

Breakfast. Basha Stockade. Zhaoxing Stockade. Hotel check-in. Dong ethnic feast. Dong ancestral singing.


Breakfast. Head out.


Eat breakfast. Today your tour of the anthropology and landscape of Guizhou begins.

Basha Stockade rifleman tribe.

Arrive. Welcome to the rifle clan village of Basha.

Be greeted at the gate by gunshots. (A rifle sound-off for guests is tradition)

Spend a morning getting to know the Miao minority. Men here shoulder old-style long rifles. Hunting knives, pouch of iron pellets and long tobacco pipes hang on their hips. They cut their hair with harvest sickles – and they can do yours too!

Get a knife-blade haircut. Hear music you have never heard from instruments you have never seen – plus they jig while they play. Get loose, move with their groove! Get married in a mock Miao marriage ceremony (a male participant will be selected from among the people present). Watch what they call the “wooden bull fight” – you’ve played tug of war? Well this is “push of war”.

Stay until noon, then leave lively Basha behind. Depart for Zhaoxing.

Zhaoxing Stockade. Hotel check-in.


Of China’s ancient towns and villages there’s 6 that stand above the rest – the Zhaoxing Dong minority Stockade is one of these.

Arrive. Check in, find your room. Rest a moment.

Dong ethnic feast. Dong ancestral singing.

An evening treat: a long table feast, Chinese ethnic style.

Take a seat at the long table for a traditional Dong ethnic feast. Feel the atmosphere rise as your Dong companions sing their ancestral songs. Learn an easy but lively song. Sing along. Sing yourself happy. Make it a night to remember. (someone good at teaching will join the group to help)

Rice Hamburger breakfast. Tang An Old Road trail scenic walk. Lunch. Arrive in Zhenyuan Old Town. Hotel check in. Zhenyuan Old Town nightscape.


Rice Hamburger breakfast.

Day three - the sun rises on the Zhaoxing Dong Stockade.

Eat Dong traditional recipe Rice Hamburgers for breakfast, then head out to see the lay of the land.

Tang An Old Road trail scenic walk. Lunch.


The ancient stockade village stretches long and thin, puzzled together in-between mountains over a sprawling landscape of rice paddy field terraces. The village, the mountain, wooden ethnic carpentry and architecture along the way, the paddy terraces - the Tang An Old Road trail is the best way to see it all in one clean walk. This is our route.

Finish up the hike. Eat lunch, then depart for our next destination – the Zhenyuan Old Town.

Arrive in Zhenyuan Old Town. Hotel check in. Zhenyuan Old Town nightscape.

Arrive early in the evening. Check in, get settled.

Experience the other-worldly night atmosphere of the Zhenyuan Old Town. Step out into the evening air, under a starry sky, with the shadows of mountains crouching around the village. The illumination here creates a dream-like atmosphere.

Breakfast. Fanjing Mountain. Check in at Tongren village, Jiangkou county.