9-Day Minority Explorer Tour of Guangxi and Guizhou

This tour gives you a vibrant introduction to China’s minority peoples. As you journey through the attractive mountain terrain of Northern Guangxi and South-Eastern Guizhou, you will visit the people and villages of 4 different minority groups- the Yao, Zhuang, Miao and Dong. You will learn about their traditional lifestyles, see their architecture, enjoy demonstrations of their handicrafts and visit their local markets.

Tour starts/finishes: Guilin/Guiyang
Fitness level required: Average-Moderate
Time of year available: Anytime
Time of year recommended: April-May, August to November

Detailed itinerary

Day 1:  Guilin-Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces (L, D)
Drive for 3.5 hours from Guilin to Dazhai Yao village in the Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces. Hike for approx 1 hour up to the Beautiful Views Guesthouse where you will stay the night.

Day 2: Hiking through the Rice Terraces- Chengyang (B, L, D)
Optional 3-4 hour hike from Dazhai Yao Village to Ping’an Zhuang village. Drive to Chengyang (3.5 hour drive). In the afternoon watch the song/dance performance and walk around the nearby villages. Overnight in Chengyang at the Chengyang Dong Village Hotel.

Day 3: Dong villages (B, L, D)
Drive for half an hour from Chengyang to Buyang,  home to a Dong minority group that have very similar customs to the Miao minority. From here hike to Meidi (1.5 hours). Then hike on for 2 hours to arrive in Budai. Budai is home to the Cao Miao people who speak the Dong language but whose manners and customs maintain Mongolian characteristics. Back to Chengyang.

Day 4: Chengyang-Zhaoxing (B, L, D)
Drive for approx. 4 hours from Chengyang to Zhaoxing, Dong Village, a beautiful village at the bottom of a valley surrounded by rice terraced mountains. We will get out of the car at Tang’an village at the top of the mountain pass and have  lunch, then hike down through the ricefields to Zhaoxing. Settle into your accommodation then explore the drumtowers and wind and rain bridges around the village. Overnight in Zhaoxing.

Day 5: Zhaoxing-Basha-Congjiang (B, L, D)
Join in the hustle and bustle of the local village market. Then drive from Zhaoxing to Basha Miao village, a very old Miao village, where the men-folk still wear their hair long and maintain their unique code of dress dating back to the Qin Dynasty. We will be greeted outside the village in the traditional manner by a group of the Basha men carrying long rifles then enjoy a song and dance performance by the local villagers. Overnight in Congjiang or Gaozeng village.

Day 6: Yingtan-Zengchong-Rongjiang (B, L, D)
Drive then hike to upper Yingtan Dong village, located in a quiet valley overlooking the rolling hills. Then, continue onto Zengchong to see the oldest drumtower in Guizhou Province. Arrive in Rongjiang in the late afternoon and settle in to the Xilaideng Hotel (2 star).

Day 7: Rongjiang-Datang-Xijiang (B, L, D)
Drive north to Xijiang bypassing spectacular high mountain and river views, and a variety of local costumes including the interesting miniskirts of Datang’s Miao minority. Arrive in Xijiang Thousand family village, famous for being the largest Miao village in this province. Take a short walk in the countryside around Xijiang village. Overnight in Xijiang.

Day 8: Xijiang-Kongbai-Kaili (B, L, D)
Set out in the morning for a 5 hour hike from Xijiang to Kongbai crossing two mountains and passing through several small Miao villages on the way. Be met by your driver in Kongbai and transferred back to Kaili. Overnight at the Guotai Hotel (3 star).

Day 9: Kaili-Guiyang (B, L)
Visit the Kaili Minority Museum and the local textiles market. Drive on to Guiyang (3 hours) and transfer to the airport for your ongoing flight.

Tour prices

The following table shows the price per person for groups of varying sizes. The budget and comfortable options differ in terms of transportation and accommodation. Please see price inclusions below for details.

2 people 3 people 4-5 people 6-7 people 8 + people
Single supplement
Budget 6050 CNY 4550 CNY 3850 CNY 3550 CNY 3250 CNY 1200 CNY
Comfortable 6850 CNY 5250 CNY 4450 CNY 4050 CNY 3650 CNY 1600 C

Price inclusions

  1. Accommodation: Budget: 7 nights simple guesthouse accommodation, 1 night in 3 star hotel; Comfortable: 5 nights in simple guesthouse accommodation, 3 nights in 3 star standard hotels/guesthouses.
  2. Entrance tickets: Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces (50 CNY), Chengyang Dong Village (60 CNY), Zhaoxing Dong Village (15 CNY), Basha Miao Village (15 CNY), Zengchong Drumtower (30 CNY), Chejiang Dong Village (10 CNY), Xijiang Miao Village (100 CNY), Kaili Minority Museum (10 CNY)
  3. Activity fees: Chengyang song and dance performance, large-scale song and dance performance at Basha Miao village (comfortable option only)
  4. Transportation: Budget- Transportation is by public buses for Days 1-4 and by hired vans for Days 5-9; 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.
  5. Meals : 8 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 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


  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.


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

Travellers’ feedback

Ester Wouthuysen writes…..

I want to thank you for the marvelous trip you organised for us! We had a great time and enjoyed every bit of it.
You had such a good taste also in selecting our two guides Wu Qu and Wang Ming Zhong, who were both very nice and helpful people! And they at their turn had a good choice in drivers (and later also in porters); we felt very safe with them in the Chinese traffic so alien to ours.
We saw and met a lot of people from the Dong and Miao minorities, visited lovely villages and drove and walked through beautiful countrysides! It was all a fantastic experience. Thank you again for your clever planning. I’ll recommend Backroads of China to friends, that’s for sure.

Jennie Foley writes….

Thank you for organising us a wonderful trip in China; as Ester said , it was hugely varied and full of experiences – from the simplest village homestay (a  little too basic on the earth closet front in the first one, but brilliant and clean and sweet in the second home), to the glamour and clamour of Guilin. The guest houses were perfect- clean and simple and a great relief regarding sanitation.

The guides were great – really sweet and efficient and flexible- ordered lovely meals for us and never hurried or pushed us. And the drivers  were good and considerate at their job , especially in the face of manic truck drivers.

The walks went well and the porters positively shimmied up the hills.  We will certainly recommend you to any people wishing to discover (a bit of) the  real China.

Carol Spilman writes….

We had a great trip. Michael our guide was outstanding. He spoke English very well and was very considerate of our needs and wants and very informative. He took us into village homes and we sat and ate with families, and were introduced to rice wine. He was very keen for us to experience different minority groups and to compare their lifestyles. We felt that we got to experience parts of village life and were welcomed wherever we went. Michael even ordered all our food for us, and it was very good. Our driver Mr Li was very skilful and negotiated the crazy traffic of the towns and windy bumpy roads leading up to the villages very well. He was also very cheerful, helpful with our bags and we had a few laughs despite the language barrier.

The pace of the itinerary was fine for me. I particularly enjoyed the choral singing concert by the children, sitting with the old men smoking their pipes in the drum tower, the Chengyang Rice Terrace area, the bike riding and bamboo rafting. Unfortunately we did not get to see the performance in the Basha Village as they had changed their performance times and we had just missed it. All in all a great experience and we learned so much about China.’


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