7-Day Dong Minority Village Trek

This trekking tour takes you into the heartlands of the Dong minority people of Guangxi and Guizhou. From the much-visited villages of Chengyang and Zhaoxing, to the small, untouched villages of Qinye and Gunchong, you will experience authentic rural China, its people, their cultures and lifestyles. This trip is a great choice for those who are physically fit, prepared to rough it and keen to learn more about China’s minority peoples.

Tour starts/finishes: Guilin
Fitness level required: High
Time of year available: March-early December
Time of year recommended: April-May, October-November

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Guilin-Chengyang (L, D)
Meet up with your guide and driver in Guilin. Drive for approx. 5 hours to arrive in Chengyang Dong Village, stopping for lunch on the way. In the afternoon visit the Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge and take a short hike up a nearby pagoda for sweeping views over the lush, green countryside. Overnight at the Chengyang Dong Village Hotel.

Day 2: Chengyang-Yangxi-Qinye (B, L, D)
Drive from Chengyang to Yangxi (2 hours), then hike for approx. 4 hours to Qingye Village. Qinye is an interesting village with a mixture of Dong, Miao and Yao nationalities. Overnight in homestay accommodation in Qinye.

Day 3: Qinye-Gunchong (B, L, D)
Hike for approx. 5 hours from Qinye to Gunchong Miao Village, passing Pingcha Yao village on the way. Overnight in homestay accommodation in Gunchong.

Day 4: Gunchong-Diping-Zhaoxing (B, L, D)
Hike downhill for approx. 3 hours to arrive in Diping where you will have lunch. Diping is a small village which contains the oldest shelter bridge in Guizhou Province. Constructed in 1883, the bridge is 56 metres long and is painted with beautiful pictures of history and scenery. Have a look around Diping then drive towards Zhaoxing, a quaint Dong village tucked in a valley surrounded by vast terraced slopes. When you reach Tang’an, a small village at the top of the mountain pass, set out on foot through the terraces to Zhaoxing. Overnight in Zhaoxing.

Day 5: Zhaoxing-Yangxi
(B, L, D)
Join in the hustle and bustle of the local village market. Then spend the morning exploring more villages around Zhaoxing. In the afternoon, drive to Yangxi (2 hours) where you will stay overnight.

Day 6: Yangxi- Danzhou (B, L, D)
Take an early morning ferry from Yangxi down the Beijiang River to Danzhou, an intact ancient town dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Spend the afternoon exploring the town and its surrounds. Overnight in Danzhou.

Day 7: Danzhou-Guilin (B, L)

Travel from Danzhou back to Guilin enjoying beautiful karst peak scenery and lush countryside dotted with Miao and Dong villages on the way. Tour concludes.

Tour prices

The following table shows the price per person for groups of varying sizes. The budget option involves public transport travel while the comfortable option includes private transportation for the duration of the tour.

2 people 3 people 4-5 people 6  people Single supplement
Budget 4000 CNY 3100 CNY 2800 CNY 2500 CNY 500 CNY
Comfortable 4850 CNY 3800 CNY 3200 CNY 2900 CNY 600 CNY

Price inclusions

  1. Accommodation: All travellers spend 3 nights in simple guesthouse accommodation and 2 nights in homestay accommodation.  Budget travellers spend an extra night in simple guesthouse accommodation while comfortable travellers spend one night in a 3 star standard guesthouse.
  2. Entrance tickets:  Chengyang Dong Village (60 CNY), Zhaoxing Dong Village (15 CNY)
  3. The following activities: Chengyang song and dance performance
  4. All transportation: Budget- Transportation is by public buses, occasional hired vans and local ferry on the Bei River; Comfortable- Transportation for all transfers is in a 7 seater minivan for groups of up to 4 people, an 11  seater Jinbei vehicle for groups of 5-7 people and a 15 seater vehicle for 8-10 people. From Yangxi to Danzhou, we hire a local boat.
  5. Meals : 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners as indicated on the itinerary. Lunches and dinners will be standard Chinese food including rice and a variety of meat and vegetable dishes. Breakfasts will be a combination of Chinese breakfast foods (noodles, steamed buns, eggs) and western food (pancakes, fried eggs) where available.
  6. Guide: An experienced English speaking tour guide

Price exclusions

  1. Snacks, drinks and western food
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Personal expenses such as phone calls or laundry fees
  4. Porters’ fees

Notes

  1. Surcharges will be charged for peak travelling times such as Chinese New Year, May Day (May 1st-7th) and National Day (October 1st-7th). For tours at these times please contact us for a customized quote.
  2. The prices quoted are to be used as a guide only. A final tour quote will be provided to you at the time of enquiry which may be higher or lower than the price listed above.

Gallery

Below are some images from previous tours in this area. Click to view larger images.


Travellers’ feedback

Suzanne Voigt writes…..

This is an amazing opportunity to see rural China in an area not swarmed with tourists. Although tourism is obviously growing in both Chengyang and Zhaoxing, they are both beautiful villages and seeing them with a local guide was terrific. The homestays you arranged were great!

Claudia Wanner writes…..

‘I strongly recommend this trip! It was the perfect way to see more of China than the big cities, learn more about the culture of some minorities – and was just a great adventure. The overnight stay with a Dong family was probably most impressive because it’s so very different from the life we know. And the food was delicious….although sometimes a coffee in the morning would have been nice!’

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Day 6: Yangxi- Danzhou (B, L, D)
Take an early morning ferry from Yangxi down the Beijiang River to Danzhou, an intact ancient town dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Spend the afternoon exploring the town and its surrounds. Overnight in Danzhou.Day 7: Danzhou-Guilin (B, L)
Travel from Danzhou back to Guilin enjoying beautiful karst peak scenery and lush countryside dotted with Miao and Dong villages on the way.