Welcome to Guiyang!
Guiyang, China, the capital of Guizhou Province, is located in the southwest part of the country. As it’s in the subtropical zone, Guiyang enjoys a warm and moist climate, which endows the city with abundant natural resources. Guiyang is home to some of China’s most panoramic views, with lush mountains, limestone peaks, and the Huangguoshu Waterfalls. You may not stay for very long in the city, but if you decide to make the trip from Beijing to Guiyang, you’ll be sure to leave with an excellent impression.
Many travelers seem to think of Guiyang as any other small Chinese city, but a worldwide local knows all the charms that make the city truly special. This is a guide to help you not only add Guiyang to your travel plans but to make the most out of your visit.
Worldwide Local Tip: The best time to visit Guiyang is in the spring, summer, and autumn--in particular, late August. In March and April, you can experience many of the traditional festivals of the Miao minority. From April 30 to May 7, you’ll find the Baiyun National Kites Festival. From June to August, the Hongfeng (red maple) lake tourism festival takes place and lasts for almost 2 months. It’s easy to enjoy the city at any time of year, due to the various cultural events and lovely Guiyang weather.
Navigating the City
Getting around in Guiyang is very easy, with taxis being the most convenient means of transportation. It is also common to use personal cars here, there are just people that will drive around (like taxi drivers do) to find people waiting for a taxi and will drive you somewhere for a negotiated fee. Taxis will usually pick up several passengers that may be going in the same direction. So don’t be surprised if you get a taxi and they start picking up other passengers along the way--they’ll get you back to your Guiyang hotel eventually!
Worldwide Local Tip: Make sure the taxi driver turns on the meter. Most will, but occasionally you will catch one that will not turn on the meter and will try to charge you a higher price. You can negotiate a fixed amount to go somewhere with the taxi drivers, but unless you know the going rates, it is better to just make sure they turn on the meter.
Amazing Guiyang Attractions
The most significant appeal to Guiyang is its breathtaking natural beauty, and you can enjoy it only 1.5 km (less than a mile) away from Guiyang downtown at Qianling Park. Named after the Qianling Mountain, the first Mountain in Guizhou province, this park is known for the wild monkeys and birds. With beautiful mountains and clean water, you can discover many vivid natural pictures along the riverside.
What’s more, you’ll find the Hongfu Temple, one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Guizhou, here. Built in 1672, this temple preserves many Buddhist heritages and is a peaceful place to purify your soul and make wishes. From the train station area, you can take bus 2 to the park. Otherwise, pick up the tourist bus every 30 minutes, from 7am to 10 pm, at 279 Beijing Lu.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you want to escape the heat and busyness of the city, take a day trip south of Guiyang to Huaxi Par. You can enjoy this beautiful scenery by rafting a boat or by taking a short excursion, in the Flowers Stream Park. If you have enough time, walk further to the Tianlong Pool as it has a more natural waters landscape to view.
Shopping in Guiyang
If you love shopping, then you will love Guiyang City. Its markets are a treasure filled with little shops selling the most exquisite souvenirs. Some of the most unique gifts you can get include Maotai Liquor, Anshun batik prints (fabric, stoles, bags, purses, accessories), Guiding Yunwu tea, flutes, ethnic silver jewelry, showpieces, embroidered handicrafts, textiles, exotic fossil stones, and much more.
Eat Like a Local in Guiyang
Guiyang residents, like those throughout Southwest China, love their food very spicy. The use of red chilies of several heats and salty dried chili powder dips for hot pots is ubiquitous. You can, however, have the food be prepared according to your taste, but the best way is to adapt and eat the way the locals do. With a strong stomach, you could eat something new every day just by strolling along the streets of Guiyang and sampling the street foods of Guizhou around the night markets.
Worldwide Local Tip: Be sure to try Bean Hotpot which you’ll be sure to find all around the city. Just as with other hotpot styles, you get to choose whichever ingredients you want and cook them at your own pace. The difference comes in its soup of pinto beans, bacon, and onions. You should get a bowl of spices that you can mix with the soup base for dipping.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Guiyang may not be the most obvious city for your travel plans while in China. This off-the-beaten-track city is one that will leave the worldwide local with a lifetime of memories.