Village-Hopping Near Kaili
If you are village-hopping into Guǎngxī, plan on spending about a week on the Guìzhōu side. Note that some of these villages charge entrance fees. An extraordinary number of markets are held in the villages surrounding Kǎilǐ. Check with the CITS in Kǎilǐ for the latest information.
Here are some lesser-known villages worth a visit:
Jītáng (基塘) Hike west out of Zhàoxīng from the bus station for an hour, up a steep hill and past some splendid rice terraces, and you’re in friendly Jītáng, which has its own drum tower.
Lángdé (郎德) Superb extant Miao architecture and cobbled pathways naturally draw loads of tour buses here, but there’s a terrific 15km trail along the Bālā River that will take you through several tourist-free Miao villages. About 20km outside Kǎilǐ.
Mátáng (麻塘) 18km northwest of Kǎilǐ is the home of the Gejia, renowned batik artisans. Mátáng has been dolled up a little for tourism – the inevitable performance square has materialised – but a worthwhile 30-minute walk from here brings you to the village of Shílóngzhài (石龙寨), populated by another sub-branch of the Miao called the Xijia.
Shíqiáo (石桥) Shíqiáo means 'stone bridge' and you'll know why when you spy the lovely ones in this beautiful Miao town southwest of Kǎilǐ. Shíqiáo was famed for its handmade paper, which can still be seen.
Táng’ān (堂安) Head the other way out of Zhàoxīng through the fields and two hours later you reach Táng’ān, a village so essentially Dong it’s been named a living museum.