The Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village is a special ancient village in the Guizhou Province of China. It is home to the Miao people, a minority group in China. Visitors here can not only learn about the Miao culture, but also enjoy the traditional wooden architecture and stunning scenic views of the ancient village.
What to Know About the Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village
- In Chinese this village is called 西江千户苗寨 (Xījiāng qiān hù miáo zhài), which means the Miao Village of a Thousand Households.
- It’s the largest gathering place of the Miao people, with more than 6,000 Miao people living here
- Visitors can explore the village and surrounding scenic areas and learn more about local Miao culture
- There are traditional Miao song and dance performances here twice a day that you can see!
Check out my video from the Xijiang Miao Village and see more of what I did here!
How To Get To The Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village
This village is located in the south eastern side of Guizhou Province. You can go to the village from Guiyang or Kaili.
If you’re coming from Kaili Train Station, take public bus number 1 right outside for 10-15 minutes to the Kaili Coach Bus Station 凯里客车站. Then transfer to a mini bus. The mini bus will say Xijiang Miao on the side so you’ll know you’re going to the right place.
The buses usually leave every 40 minutes but give yourself plenty of time in case the schedule changes. The bus took about 1 hour.
I was coming from Zhangjiajie and there was a train directly to Kaili, so it was better for me to go there and not Guiyang. However if you’re coming from a bigger city or a farther province, it may be more convenient to fly to Guiyang first and go from there. There is a bus directly to Xijiang from Guiyang, or you can take a train to Kaili first.
Arriving in Xijiang
Once you get to Xijiang the bus will drop you off at the tourist center. You’ll buy a ticket here (90RMB) and a bus ticket (5 RMB) to go to the actual scenic spot.
You’ll be greeted at the tourist center by the “Miao Welcome Ceremony”. The welcome ceremony for the Xijiang Miao people involves drinking their special wine. You’ll also see people dancing and playing traditional instruments.
Where To Stay in Xijiang
There are hotels all around the scenic area ranging from 90RMB and upwards. The area itself is pretty big, so check the location of your hotel before you book because you may have to carry your luggage a long way. I booked my hotel with Trip.com.
I booked a hotel near the entrance part of the scenic area, feeling so excited to find a good deal in a good location! I couldn’t find it at first because the hotel pin wasn’t accurate (this happens sometimes). A nice lady helped me call the owner and he met me and helped me up to his house. We climbed up and up and up and then I was met with this view from my room. It might be more of a trek than I planned but I’m so thrilled I got this place!
Walking Around the Xijiang Village
There is so much to explore in this beautiful village! There are lots of streets and alleys winding around the town, and plenty of rivers and bridges to cross over. You can try the local Guizhou snacks, browse the many shops, and stop in the restaurants for dinner and a Miao show. You’ll see many people dressing up in the traditional Miao clothing and taking photos. There is also a show twice a day here (because of the timing I was too late for it when I arrived!)
I stayed for one day and one night here and found that was enough time to see everything. You could also stay longer to have more time to relax and also visit other nearby minority villages.
Meeting Local Friends in Xijiang
One of my favorite things about traveling in China is not only enjoying the beauty and seeing new places, but also meeting the people here. While walking around the village a large group of friends called out to me from under a tent. I stopped and said hello, and they invited me to join their dinner! They couldn’t speak much English and I used the Chinese I could to communicate and it was SO fun. They share their spicy chicken and pork and watermelon with me and handed me lots of beer.
Turns out they were members of a band that played in a bar every night in the Miao Village, and they invited me to join them that evening!
I also met the cutest little girls while walking around. They saw me taking photos and wanted to join for a photo shoot! China’s next top models.
Take a Trip to Xijiang Miao Village
I’ve lived in China for 4 years and had many amazing moments here. Out of the many, there are some days that especially stand out in my memory – and this day is one of those days. This village was not only very scenic and beautiful with its traditional architecture and unique traditions, but also such an opening and welcoming place to visit. The people I met here made this trip so special and I’m glad I had the serendipitous opportunity to meet them all.
There are not many foreigners that travel here (though it is a bit touristy now for Chinese people), but I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here and highly recommend making the trip to get here. It’s not the easiest and you’ll definitely need a Chinese translation app to navigate a bit, but it’s so worth it!
If you’re looking for other scenic places to travel, check out my visits to these other stunning places in China:
- Furong Ancient Town: The Magical Waterfall Village of Hunan, China
- A Guide to Huangshan: The Yellow Mountains of China
- Hiking The Avatar Mountains in Zhangjiajie
See you on the next adventure!