Guiyang Travel Guide
Off the beaten track in China’s southwest, Guiyang is a great place for the traveller to explore the culture of this part of the country without being overwhelmed by throngs of tourists.
With an old town dating to the Ming Dynasty, limestone karsts, and hill tribe villages in this city’s vicinity, it will make a great base for several days for intrepid backpackers.
Come check out our Guiyang travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Guiyang, China.
Start your visit to Guiyang by spending time learning about the history of the area at the Guizhou Provincial Museum. Within its walls, there are 200,000 different pieces which will fill you in on the past of this corner of China.
In its exhibits, check out handicrafts, weapons, fossils, clothing worn in prior centuries by locals and indigenous tribes, and other artifacts which will help illustrate what life what like over countless generations dating to the start of civilization in this part of the world.
Be sure to check out their marine dinosaur fossils, bronze chariots dating from the Han Dynasty, and the dresses and jewellery of the Miao (a hill tribe common to the Guiyang area), as these exhibits are the highlights of this institution.
Take a step into past dynasties by spending a part of your day exploring Qingyan Ancient Town. Built during the Ming Dynasty as a strategic military post, it serves today as a window into what life was like in this part of China many centuries ago.
With temples, palaces, shophouses, and street food stalls, a visit here could easily turn into a full-day affair. With many purveyors of authentic local goods being found here, those looking to shop for souvenirs would do well to get it done here.
Want to get out and see amazing natural wonders within an easy drive from Guiyang? Include Tianhe Lake in your travel itinerary. Situated amidst the karst landscape found throughout this part of China, you’ll find a cool day use area which makes it easy and comfortable to see the crystal clear lake and water-filled caves found here.
After taking a boat ride through the aforementioned caves, be sure to witness a traditional Miao wedding – put on for visitors, it is a spectacle not to be missed.
While in Guiyang, make time to tour some of the Miao Hill Tribe Villages found in the mountainous parts of the surrounding region. This is the heartland of this ancient culture, making the settlements in this part of China the best place to watch them go about their daily lives.
Stop by the Miao Nationality Museum to get some background on their past, then walk amidst their humble but beautiful wooden houses. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chance to see a performance where they sing and dance for visitors.
There are many attractive green spaces one can find within the confines of the city of Guiyang, but Qianling Hill Park is easily the most attractive of the lot. Founded around a small mount/big hill, it is an immensely popular domestic attraction for those within China.
Covered in lush trees, gardens, lakes, and temples, it is easily one of the most relaxing places in Guiyang. Start by walking alongside the peaceful shores of Qianling Lake, which contains a war memorial commemorating the sacrifice of martyrs in past wars.
Next, check out the Macaque Garden, as it is filled with our simian cousins, who swing from tree to tree in this part of the park. After that, the Kylin Cave is a great place to wander, as its many stalactites and stalagmites will impress those who are into geology.
Finally, make the Hongfu Temple your last stop in the park. Built in the 17th century, it is the largest Buddhist temple in Guizhou Province. Possessing a spectacular bronze bell, drum tower, and a variety of statues depicting the Buddha in various poses, those who are taken by Buddhist temples will enjoy what they find here, especially given its setting amidst the lush greenery of Qianling Hill Park.
Back in Guiyang, take a swing past Jiaxiu Tower if you have time during your visit to this city. Erected during the Ming Dynasty, this grand old wooden structure was built by local authorities to serve as a source of inspiration for local intellectuals studying for government exams and scholarly rank.
Photographers are advised to come by at night, as this building is lit up brilliantly after darkness falls.
Need a break from the stress of wandering the busy streets of Guiyang? Spend an hour or two relaxing within the bounds of Huaxi Park. Filled with pavilions, lakes, and flower beds, it is a world away from the downtown core.
Be sure to come by in spring, as there are many cherry trees which burst into blossom during this time of year, drawing scores of locals to relax beneath them.