The stronghold of China’s minority communities

Mild weathered, mountainous and sometimes overlooked, China’s Guizhou province is a patchwork of waterfalls and karst cave networks, forested ravines and rolling hills. From the the bird laden Caohai Lake to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Wuling Mountains (alsocalled Fanjingshan Mountain), natural sights abound -- but the province is also a mosaic of human culture. About 37 percent of Guizhou’s population consists of more than 18 ethnic minorities most of whom live in its southeast in villages such as Xijiang -- China’s largest Miao community. The capital, Guiyang, is the perfect base for exploring the region with a long distance bus station and bullet trains departing the city while the town of Kaili is the gateway to the Miao and Dong villages.