Must see attractions in Guizhou

  • Sights in Anshun

    Huangguoshu Falls

    Hugely popular among domestic travellers for good reason, the 77.8m-tall, 81m-wide dàpùbù (大瀑布, great waterfall) is China's largest waterfall and understandably Guizhou’s number-one natural attraction. From June to October in particular, these falls really rock the local landscape with their cacophony, while rainbows from the mist dance about Rhinoceros Pool below. Don’t miss groping your way through the dripping natural corridor in the rock face of the 134m-long Water Curtain Cave (水帘洞, Shuǐlián Dòng), behind Huangguoshu itself.

  • Sights in Anshun

    Zhijin Cave

    This monstrously long (10km) cave is the biggest in the country – a visit will satisfy everyone from hardcore spelunkers to wide-eyed tourists with a penchant for subterranean beauty. Pockets open up to 150m high to reveal Zhijin's organic splendour twisting upward like a stone forest.

  • Sights in Zhenyuan

    Qīnglóng Dòng

    Across the river from the old town, the epic vertical warren of temples, grottoes, corridors and caves of Qīnglóng Dòng rises up against Zhonghe Mountain (中和山, Zhōnghé Shān). Flooded with lights at night, it forms a sublime backdrop to the town. Put aside a good hour for exploration: it’s a labyrinth and there’s a lot to see, including some choice panoramas.

  • Sights in Zhenyuan

    Sifangjing Xiang

    Four old and well-preserved alleys lead north away from the river: Sifangjing Xiang, Fuxing Xiang, Renshou Xiang and Chongzikou Xiang. Wander along Sifangjing Xiang and peek at its namesake Sìfāngjǐng (Four Directions Well), with its three deities overlooking the water, capped with red cloths. Note the magnificently made stone steps of this alley and the gorgeous old residences – a picture at night, when they're dressed with red lanterns.

  • Sights in Anshun

    Yunshan

    One of eight Ming-era fortified villages in the area, Yunshan is a gem. Protected by a wall and a main gate, and overlooked by the Yunjiu Mountain (云鹫山, Yúnjiù Shān), the settlement is a charming portrait of rural Guizhou and a window into the area's military history. After beating the last of the Yuan dynasty leaders in 1368 in Yunnan province, Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Ming emperor, stationed a huge force in Anshun – a strategic military position – to ensure regional peace. Yunshan and other villages sprung up to house the troops and their families, who built them in the architectural styles of their home provinces in eastern China.

  • Sights in Chishui

    Chishui Great Waterfall

    The under-visited understudy to the famous Huangguoshu Falls in the south is a 76m-high beauty pummelling into the pools below. Even standing 100m away, you will get drenched if the wind is right.

  • Sights in Xingyi

    Wanfenglin Scenic Area

    The karst hills of the Wanfenglin Scenic Area raise up like the knobbly back of a sleeping dragon, surrounded by charming villages, carefully tended rice paddies and winding rivers lined with banana trees. In February and March, golden rape flowers carpet the floor between the peaks, while in summer purple azalea flowers punctuate the endless green. Highlights include the riverside Upper and Lower Nahui villages, inhabited by people of the Buyi ethnic minority, and the spectacular Wanfo Temple built into a karst hillside.

  • Sights in Tianlong

    Tiantai Mountain

    This forested mountain (1138m) has the astonishing Wulong Temple at its summit. A refreshing hike through the trees takes you to the summit, where you can explore the various rooms of the temple.

  • Sights in Leishan

    Wudong

    Sleepy Wudong doesn't get many visitors, due mostly to its remote location in a valley in Leigong Mountain rather than any lack of appeal – it's actually an extraordinarily pretty place. Founded 400 years ago by families fleeing nearby war, the village retains its traditional wooden buildings as well as a 200-year-old water mill, the oldest in the county. The village is at an elevation of 1300m above sea level so you might feel the effects of the altitude here.

  • Sights in Anshun

    Longgong Cave

    Even though the feeling is overwhelmingly tacky – think coloured lights, awkward commentary and boats full of tourists – there is something sublime about the water-borne cave expedition winding through 20 hills. Longgong is 23km south of Anshun and a fairly easy day trip from there.

  • Sights in Xingyi

    Maling River Canyon

    The Maling River Canyon is a geological wonder, a 74km rift in the earth's surface caused by the surging Maling River and its groundwater. Paths down each side of the canyon and two suspension bridges allow you to do a loop of the valley, taking you past just some of the 100 waterfalls that crash down into the river below.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Zhenyuan

    Shiping Mountain Scenic Area

    A strenuous 30-minute climb up this mountain above town takes you through quiet forest to the remains of the Miaojiang Great Wall and the Four Officials Temple. En route, a pretty pavilion perched on the cliff-edge offers a welcome rest point, as well as gorgeous panoramic views of the town and surrounding valleys.

  • Sights in Guiyang

    Hongfu Temple

    Guiyang's best attraction is a temple complex hidden inside Qianling Mountain Park to the north of the city. Near the top of 1300m Qianling Mountain (黔灵山, Qiánlíng Shān), Hongfu Temple dates back to the 17th century and is reached via an easy 40-minute walk (or a cable car if you don't feel up to it). The on-site monastery has a decent vegetarian restaurant in the rear courtyard.

  • Sights in Xingyi

    Wanfo Temple

    Built in a natural cave on the face of a karst hill at the very southern tip of the Wanfenglin Scenic Area, the Wanfo Temple is spectacular. Originally built during the Ming dynasty, the current temple opened in 2007. The cave that houses the Buddha Sakyamuni and his two disciples is said to be able to hold 10,000 people. There are wonderful views of the karst landscape from the cave.

  • Sights in Zhaoxing

    Dazhai Gate

    The colossal Dazhai Gate is Zhaoxing's most spectacular example of a wind and rain bridge, an architectural feature unique to Dong villages. These entirely wooden structures, built with long covered corridors, usually served as a village's main entrance, as well as a fine shelter from bad weather. Dazhai Gate is particularly beautiful at night when golden lighting gives it an almost fantastical quality.

  • Sights in Zhenyuan

    Miaojiang Great Wall

    Accessed with your ticket to the Shiping Mountain Scenic Area, the remains of this 16th-century wall, built to protect Zhenyuan, are quite remarkable. You can walk on top of the wall for a fair distance as it undulates across the peaks – the views of the surrounding mountains are glorious. Be careful in wet weather when the stone is slippery.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Zhenyuan

    Zhusheng Bridge

    The most photographed sight in town, Zhenyuan’s old bridge is a gorgeous and robust span of arches topped with a three-storey pavilion, leading visitors across the water to Qīnglóng Dòng. It's an impressive sight. Views along the river from the bridge at night are serene, with Qīnglóng Dòng splendidly lit up.

  • Sights in Zhenyuan

    Tiexi Gorge

    A trip to the pleasant Tiexi Gorge offers the chance to plunge along rocky trails shaded by overhanging trees. Don't miss the Dragon Pool (龙潭, Lóngtán) and Jiguan Mountain (鸡冠岭, Jīguān Lǐng). Food vendors are scattered along the 2½-hour walk to the mountain, ensuring you won't go hungry.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Qingyan

    Qingyan City Walls

    Built right on the cliffs that surround the town, the city walls were a key part of ancient Qingyan's defences. Nowadays a walk on the, at times, dizzyingly steep walls is a great way to see the town from above.

  • Sights in Zhaoxing

    Zhaoxing Viewing Platform

    The views of Zhaoxing stretching up the valley are wonderful, particularly at sunset when the lights on Dazhai Gate begin to come on.