Guizhou is a landlocked province located in Southwest China. Despite being a popular destination for domestic Chinese tourists, the province is relatively unvisited by international travellers – a fact which really needs to change!
Other than the exciting and modern capital city of Guiyang, the province is full of beautiful natural phenomena including enchanting mountain ranges, huge waterfalls and expansive cave systems. Guizhou is also home to the second-highest population of ethnic minority groups of any province in China, some of which you can visit in their traditional villages.
The majority of the best things to see and do in Guizhou are accessible from Guiyang city, making it a great place to base yourself – you can always take overnight trips to other towns and villages.
Guizhou Travel Guide – Things to do in Guizhou Province
If you’re planning to visit Guizhou Province, here are a few of my suggestions for the best places to visit…
Guiyang city is an absolute must-not-miss on any Guizhou itinerary.
As the capital of the province, and with a population of almost 4.5million people, Guiyang is a huge city full of exciting attractions, from Giant Pandas and wild monkeys in inner-city Qianling Park to shopping malls filled with international brands and an electrifying nightlife.
The city is an interesting mix of old and new, best seen when admiring traditional Jiaxiu Tower from the Ming Dynasty sitting atop the Nanming River surrounded by towering modern skyscrapers which at night are consumed by bright neon nights. Guiyang may not be quite the same level of impressive the likes of Bejing and Shanghai quite yet, however, it is a city which the country are putting a large amount of money into regenerating and is certainly one to watch out for.
Did you know that Guizhou province is home to the largest waterfall in China and the largest waterfall cluster in the world?
The spectacular falls are located on the Baishui River in Anshun.
Huangguoshu Waterfall, which translates to Yellow Fruit Tree Waterfall, is 83m wide and 67m high, making it the largest waterfall fall in China and one of the largest in Asia, whilst the overall cluster of 18 falls measures a whopping 77.8m high and 101m wide, the largest in the world.
Visitors can admire the amazing falls from several different angles around the park, including a couple of close-up viewing areas which you’ll definitely need a rain mac in order to tackle (actually, you’ll probably still get wet with one!).
You can also wander through Water-Curtain Cave, a 134-meter cave which cuts through the back of the falls and provides some amazing viewpoints to see the heavy water flow from behind.
Surrounding Huangguoshu National Park is also home to a number of other beautiful waterfalls and natural scenic areas which you can visit with your entry ticket.
Entry to the park costs 180¥ (around £20), whilst an all-day bus ticket around the different areas of the park costs 50¥.
Tip: Despite being rarely visited by international travellers, Huangguoshu is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Chinese nationals, meaning the park and falls can get extremely busy. Make sure to arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds.
From Guiyang to Huangguoshu:
Huangguoshu is located in Anshun, around a 1.5-2hr drive away from Guiyang city.
Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village
The Miao people are an ethnic group belonging to Southern China and are one of the 55 official minority groups in the country. Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village is the largest gathering place of Miao people in China and is one of the areas where you’ll find the groups traditional culture best preserved.
Although the village has become a popular destination for tourists, with an entrance fee to enter and a number of hotels, museums and shops catering for guests in the area, visiting the village is still a fascinating experience for those with an interest in traditional Chinese cultures.
Around 6,000 Miao people still live in Xijiang Qianhu, and wandering around you can spot locals going around their everyday lives in the village or on the surrounding farmland. There are also regular singing and dance shows, as well as the opportunity to try the extravagant traditional dress of the Miao people.
Xijiang Qianhu is particularly beautiful at night when all of the traditional wooden houses and structures are lit up with sparkling lights and the evening dancing commences, and therefore staying overnight is definitely worth the small amount you’ll pay for a hotel room in the village.
Visiting Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village:
Entry to the village is 90¥ while the local bus costs 20¥.
From Guiyang to Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village:
The village is located 260km from Guiyang and takes around 3 hours to get to by car or bus.
Full disclosure: the below are attractions I haven’t yet made it to, but hopefully will be visiting on my next trip to the province this November so will be sure to update…
A karst cave located in Minzhai Village, Zhijin Cave is the largest karst cave in China.
Dragon Palace Cave Scenic Spot
An enchanting underground cave system filled with lakes, waterfalls and stalactites.
The Fanjingshan or Mount Fanjing
The highest peak of the Wuling Mountains and one of the newest natural wonders to have been added to Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites.