Go deep into the hinterlands of Guizhou. Discover the largest Miao settlement in the world. Meet a people in a different world.
Meet the ancestral craftspeople of the tribe and learn the handicraft art of wax dying. Dine, drink and dance with the locals, immersing yourself in the local culture and seeing the performance that tells the story of their heritage. Set out on a hike into the back garden of Xijiang Miao Stockade, and Southeast Guizhou’s most popular hiking route.
Be inspired by the endless possibilities of life and lifestyle.
Guiyang meetup. City sights.
Day One is meet up day.
Make your own way to the south-central city of Guiyang. Check in at the designated hotel.
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.
Guiyang to Xijiang. Stay the night in Xijiang.
Breakfast. Arrive at Xijiang Miao Stockade. Guided tour from Yedong Village.
Eat breakfast then head out. Arrive in Xijiang Miao Stockade around noon. From here, follow your guide in the rising mountain stepways of the mountainside stockade. Discover the real scene of the Miao people’s daily life at Yedong Village. Different to the situation lower down on the mountain, crossing onto the paths Yedong hustle and bustle melt away into quiet, allowing a truly close-quarters and sober encounter with the wisdom and industriousness that weaves through this Miao ethnic village.
Wax dyeing masterclass workshop.
Arrive before the wooden doors of the Miao heritage workshop. It’s time to experience the traditional textile art of Wax Dyeing. Lay your length of white cloth flat over the wooden board, take a copper knife in hand and begin the creative process of wax-drip painting. Design painted, the cloth goes into the dyeing pot for multiple layers of color. Wash away the wax and leave it to dry and whala! Self-made Miao art for a souvenir. (For an extra fee, your creation can be posted from the workshop to any place you choose!) Start to finish, the experience will last around 1.5 hours.
Miao long table feast. ‘Beautiful Xijiang’ performance.
At 17:00, we move to feast. Saunter the sunset paths of the early evening stockade, head inside and take a seat – it’s time to experience the Miao people’s take on a long-table feast. While chowing down, it’s customary for the lovely Miao maidens offer guests a special kind of toast, called the ‘high mountain and flowing water’. Enjoy the highest etiquette of your ethnic hosts.
‘Beautiful Xijiang’ performance.
At 19:30 the performance begins. At the open-air theatre, sit to watch ‘Beautiful Xijiang’. The four acts of this dramatic performance lays out the story of the Miao people’s shared past, from the birth of their clan, to their great migration, to discovering and settling their now home. The acts are ‘the Maple Butterfly Lovers’, Passage, the Airs of Xijiang, the Brocade Beauty of Miao Village. (performance time: 1hr)
Return to hotel OR village nightscape hilltop lookout.
After the performance either return to the hotel or join the guide and company on a climb to the pagoda platform that overlooks the village. Be rewarded with a dazzling view of the mountains dressed like colossal black Christmas trees, glowing in the night.
Xijiang. Leigong Plateau hiking. Xijiang Miao Stockade. Stay the night in Xijiang.
Leigong Plateau hiking. Fangxiang Hamlet to Xijiang Stockade.
Today we kick into a challenge. The Leigong Plateau hiking trail starts a two-hour shuttle ride away from the village.
Start the day with a 6:00am wake-up, bounce along the rugged roads to Fangxiang Hamlet, then step down and set out on this super-scenic hike. The trail gets its name from the strange character of the landscape it traces across. It is a typical plateau embankment, surrounded on all sides by an arching ring of six mountains, inside of which sits a large, flat sprawl of land roughly 30km2 in area. The mountain forests are lush and verdant, Summer and Spring bring brilliant blooms of colorful wildflowers, a babbling stream cuts through the plateau, flowing off to the east. In a word, this is charming, gentle outdoor scenery extremely well-suited to hiking.
About the Leigong Plateau route: The trail is 20km in total, starting at Fangxiang Hamlet and terminating at Xijiang Stockade. Altitude varies, reaching a peak of 1870m and low of 830 at the lowest point. Dividing the trail, the first 6 kilometers is an uphill trek along rugged terrain; the middle 3 kilometers is flat ground; and the final 11 kilometers is a steady downhill slope. (Today’s lunch will be self-packed rations.)
In the evening we will eat at Miao Stockade.
Xijiang to Guiyang. Station/airport send-off.
return from Xijiang to Guiyang.
Enjoy a morning of mountain village quiet on Day 4.
Today feel free to sleep in for a satisfying rest after yesterday’s trail. Of course, those who bounce back quickly can rise early and pop out to see the village in the morning light. Whatever your choice, the morning is yours to do with as you please.
Around noon we board transport bound for Guiyang. (estimated arrival time: 16:00)
guiyang city airport Station/airport send-off.
Arrive. Exchange wishes and farewells.
The tour concludes.