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.
Eat Breakfast. Ride out.
Arrive at the heavyweight, once-in-a-lifetime landmark – Fanjing Mountain.
Fanjing Mountain is known as the “Kingdom of Life” for its diversity of flora and fauna; Buddhist circles call it the Eastern ‘Soul Mountain’ of Guizhou. A temple and cross-peak bridge crown this natural free-standing hundred-meter tall mountain pillar. The ‘Mushroom Rock’ and ‘Ten-thousand Book’ rock formations are mystifying attractions. The pink light of sunset in the clouds, transcendently beautiful.
Check in at Tongren village, Jiangkou county.
Descend the cliffside staircases. Board transport roadside. Hit the road for Xijiang Qianhu.
Along the way we will stop for the night in Tongren, a village in Jiangkou county.
Breakfast. Arrive in Xijiang. Traditional song and dance performance. Lunch. Meet guide. Explore Xijiang Qianhu . Intangible heritage art wax dying workshop. Observation deck nightscape. Miao guesthouse hotel check-in. Miao homestead feast dinner.
Breakfast. Arrive in Xijiang. Traditional song and dance performance.
Eat breakfast. Hit the road, arrive in Xijiang.
Welcome to Xijiang Qianhu – famous ‘thousand home’ stockade village of the Miao ethnicity.
At Basha it was gunshots; here, it is a fountain of alcohol that waits to greet you. Enjoy the “at-the-doorway 12-spout drink” greeting custom, then watch as the villagers perform the traditional song and dance of their tribe.
Lunch. Meet guide. Explore Xijiang Qianhu.
After lunch, meet your guide.
Follow your guide deep into the village. Explore the antique atmosphere of Ga Ge Alley, attend the private museum collection of folk artist Mr. Li Yufu, stand before the grand doors of the village chieftain’s manor atop Leigong Hill, and see the old village labor chief residence. Your guide is your key to understanding the culture beneath everything that you see and notice around you.
Intangible heritage art wax dying workshop. Observation deck nightscape. Miao guesthouse hotel check-in. Miao homestead feast dinner.
Along the way, stop to meet a master of the traditional Miao art of wax dying. Learn some basics of an intangible cultural artform.
In the evening, step up onto the observation deck above the city. See the amphitheatre of the mountain-nested village light up with the flames of a thousand homes. A beautiful nightscape.
Check in at a Miao guesthouse, then head out for dinner.
Dinner is a Miao Homestead Feast. Try the local ‘Biang Dang’ rice wine, enjoy one final evening of Miao ethnic hospitality.
Sleep in. Return to Guiyang. Tour concludes.
Sleep in. Return to Guiyang. Tour end.
Sleep in. Make the most of the mountain stockade’s crisp air and tranquil atmosphere.
Return to Guiyang. Bid your companions farewell. This concludes the tour.
See you next time!