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Guiyang is indeed an unpretentious, relatively youthful provincial capital under seemingly continual construction. While it may not leap out at the traveller, there are some interesting sights and affordable fine hotels, and the city’s location makes it a perfect base for exploring the surrounding southern countryside, especially Huángguoshù Falls, the ethnic villages around Kaili, and historic Zhènyuan.
The city passed through the hands of various warring states until it became established during the Yuan dynasty in 1283. While Guìyáng has not featured prominently in the annals of Chinese history, it has since emerged from the smoke of the country’s industrial boom.
It is said that in ancient times, the city was surrounded by dense bamboo groves and was famous for producing a musical instrument known as Zhu. Hence the city is also called Zhu for short.
Surrounded by mountains and forests, the city has fairly good environment. As in other spring cities,like Kunming, Guiyang is a popular summer resort city in China. The climate is often mild and moist, neither extremely hot nor cold. Spring, summer and autumn are all wonderful seasons for sightseeing.
The city is renowned for its colourful culture, represented by various ethnic groups and its special landform – Karst. Guiyang is home to more than 30 minority ethnic groups including, Miao, Buyi, Dong and Hui.
Consequently, it abounds with unique folk culture and traditions that give rise to colorful ethnic minority activities. With many Karst caves, the city is even regarded as an ecological model on Karst Landform.
Over 60 air routes connect Guiyang with major cities home and abroad, so flight is the most direct and fastest way to get there. Trains are also convenient. Bullet trains to Guilin, Nanning, and Guangzhou, and tourism trains to Liupanshui, Yuping are in operation. Taxis and subway are helpful for traveling around the city.
The local food is spicy, somewhat like the Sichuan Cuisine, or Hunan Cuisine. The Miao people in Guizhou prefer sour flavour; their Fish in Sour Soup is a must-try. Various local snacks are inexpensive but tasty, including the Si Wa Wa (Pancake with Shredded Vegetable), Rice Tofu, and Huaxi Rice Noodles with Beef. The North Ring Road, Erqi Road and Hequn Road are the most popular night food markets.
Souvenirs with ethnic minority characteristics are popular with tourists. Items such as their festival costumes, masks and embroideries, can be purchased in the shopping streets in Guiyang City, such as Beijing Road, Zhonghua Road, and Yan’an Road. Local products such as the famous Maotai Rice Wine.
(Moutai) are widely available in large supermarkets such as Carrefour and Wal-mart.
Local people have a habit of going to bed late and getting up late, so their nightlife is rich. The night display at Jiaxiu Tower area is enchanting. Various night markets with barbecue and snacks cannot be missed. Er’qi Road and Bo’ai Road are the best. Shaanxi Road, with a number of bars, clubs and snack stalls, is also a good place for enjoying night time.
Traditional festivals from different ethnic groups with distinctive characteristics highlight the city’s appeal. Besides the traditional activities like San Yue San, Si Yue Ba, and Di Xi Festival, there are also many tourism festivals. The summer season festivals, from May to August, shows the city’s special charm as a wonderful summer escape.