Home : City Guide: Guizhou

Guiyang Introduction

Guiyang scenery, Guizhou ProvinceLocated in the southwest of China, Guiyang City is the capital of Guizhou Province and a marvelous tourist site with pleasant weather conditions, charming scenery, abounding cultural relics, and exotic minority flavors. Surrounded by green mountains and crystal-clear shining rivers, the city covers an area of 8,034 sq km (about 1,985,243 acres) and has a population of over three million. Because of the mountainous geography and the special karst physiognomy, Guiyang gained the name 'City of Miniascape'.

Guiyang boasts a long history. Since the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC), the area belonged to the mysterious Yelang Kingdom. The Yelang Kingdom is believed to have been a prosperous kingdom founded by local ethnic groups which lasted for about 300 years, and disappeared without a trace in about 26 BC. People still longs to know the truth. In the year 313, Yelang County was established. 20 years later, Jinle County, which was situated on the site of the current Guiyang City, was founded. The current Guizhou Province was named Juzhou during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and changed to Guizhou at 1119 during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Guizhou Province was officially established in 1413 and Guiyang became the capital city. Thus, Guiyang has become the political, military, commercial and cultural center of the whole province.

Things to Do
Many cultural relics were left in Guiyang, which attest to its rich history. Jiaxiu Tower (First Scholar's Tower), originally built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is a symbol of Guiyang. Hongfu Temple on Qianling Mountain is the most famous as well as the largest Buddhist site in Guizhou Province. The wooden tower, Wenchang Tower, is the only remaining structure of this kind of architecture in China. For relaxation, beautiful Qianling Park, Huaxi Park, Baihua Lake, and Hongfeng (Red Maple) Lake, in and around the city are popular spots. Huangguoshu Waterfall and Dragon Palace Scenic Spot not far away from Guiyang also thrill thousands of visitors every year.

Minority Nationalities
Altogether 38 nationalities reside in Guiyang, of which the Han, the Buyi, and the Miao are the majority. They make the traditional festivals and meetings a must-see for visitors. On January 1st of the lunar calendar, the Buyi people will get together at Huaxi Dazhai, Guiyang City. People wearing masks perform the local Dixi Opera that includes dancing, singing, story telling and martial arts. Ancient myths, old stories and legends are the most welcomed programs. March 3rd of the lunar calendar is another date for a traditional festival of the Buyi people. In the past, people threw corn and sang songs to pray for a great harvest. Now it has become a festival and singing contest. Miao, Buyi, Dong, Zhuang, Shui, Han, Gelao and many other nationalities will gather at the city center of Guiyang on April 8th of the lunar calendar. It is said that a brave young man of Miao nationality died valiantly during battle when the Miao people fought against invaders. Because of him, people come to play Lusheng and Xiaodi (two local musical instruments), sing songs and dance in the Miao style to commemorate his memory every year. June 6th of the lunar calendar is an important day for the Buyi people to praise the God of the Kitchen and the God of the Hill. During this festival the Buyi people, wearing their finery, assemble at the bank of the Huaxi River and perform dances and songs to celebrate this traditional festival. And the horse racing, dragon boat racing, bullfighting, and many other activities and traditional holidays in Guiyang City will surely impress every visitor.

Four railway lines converge in Guiyang City making it easy to access by rail, and the long-distance coaches inside Guizhou Province can transfer passengers smoothly. People can also take flights that connect Guiyang with other major Chinese cities. The most popular public transportation in Guiyang is the bus, as they are cheap, safe and convenient.

Influenced by the humid subtropical climate, Guiyang is neither too hot nor too cold. With abundant sunshine and rainfall, the annual average temperature of the city is 15.3°C (59.5°F). The hottest days in July are only 24°C (75.2°F) on average and the coldest days in January 4.6°C (40.3°F). Hence, Guiyang is suitable for visiting all year round. But the best time to the city is March and April, when many traditional festivals of the minority peoples are held. Due to the sharp temperature changes between day and night and the strong ultraviolet radiation, it is best to bring a coat and wear a good sun block while visiting.

Dining in Guiyang will never be a problem. No matter when one needs to eat, anyone can find tasty food in every corner of the city. The night market is open 24 hours offering hundreds of kinds of snacks. Only one thing people have to notice is that Guiyang people prefer their food hot and peppery. Asking the waiter for ingredients before ordering is a wise choice. Bars, nightclubs, and discos can be found in Shaanxi Lu. Tourists may also enjoy local teahouses, bowling, and traditional performances in Guiyang City. Batik, embroidery, Miao silver, oxhorn and wooden products, herbal medicine and masks are local traditional crafts sold as souvenirs.