Poor old Guìzhōu (贵州), always the short-end-of-the-stick southwest China province. A much-quoted proverb describes it as a place ‘without three lǐ of flat land, three days of fine weather, or three cents to rub together’. Ouch.
Certainly, pockets of Guìzhōu are desperately poor and you’ll see cloud cover more often than the sun. The upside is that there’s plenty of elbow room out in the simply stunning countryside, a sublime mix of undulating hills and carpets of forest, riven with rivers tumbling into magnificent waterfalls and down into spooky-thrilling karst cave networks.
As big a draw as the landscapes is Guìzhōu’s extraordinary human mosaic. Almost 35% of the province’s population consists of more than 18 ethnic minorities. They all contribute to Guìzhōu’s social-butterfly calendar, which enjoys more folk festivals than any other province in China, and the welcome you’ll get from the people more than makes up for the weather.