Guiyang’s tourist appeal grows

Guiyang’s tourist appeal grows

BEIJING, March 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from

Guizhou provincial capital becomes a major attraction to visitors who are relishing the variety of sights and entertainment on offer, Yang Jun and Peng Chao report.

Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, is not just a key transit hub for tourists traveling to Southwest China, but it is also transforming itself into a popular tourist destination in its own right. With an attractive blend of distinctive ethnic culture, breathtaking landscapes and a trendy, modern urban lifestyle, the city offers visitors a unique travel experience.

Statistics from Guiyang’s culture and tourism bureau show that in 2023 the city received 147 million visits, of which 31.2 million were overnight visitors, a year-on-year increase of 64.7 percent.

According to the 2024 Year of the Dragon Spring Festival travel report, released by Chinese online travel giant Ctrip, tourism orders in Guiyang saw a 105 percent increase compared to last year, with ticket sales increasing nearly sixfold.

The report also named Guiyang as one of the top 10 “dark horse” tourism destinations for domestic self-driving tours during the recent Spring Festival holiday.

Museum in the village

For those who want to enjoy a cultural experience, but escape the hustle and bustle of the city, they may be pleasantly surprised to find that there is a museum in a small village on the outskirts of Guiyang.

The Museum of Memory on Hands is located 20 kilometers west of the downtown area, in a village called Wenggong (from the language of the Miao ethnic group meaning “golden spring”).

The museum collects a wide range of intangible cultural heritage artifacts from various ethnic groups in Guizhou, including, the Miao, Bouyei, Dong, Yao, Gelao, and Sui. It currently houses a total of 4,819 items.

Wang Xiaomei, a former journalist, is the founder of this museum. It was in 2002, when Wang had just joined the workforce, that she collected her first piece of Miao wax-dyeing work.

Fascinated by the ancient craft, she has been collecting items related to wax dyeing, printing and dyeing, tie-dyeing, maple-fragrance dyeing, paste dyeing, as well as embroidery, ever since.

In 2018, Wang returned to her home in Wenggong village and dedicated herself to a project focusing on the collection, study, exhibition and revitalization of traditional handicrafts, which later evolved into the Museum of Memory on Hands.

The new, phoenix-shaped building opened to the public in May last year. It is a harmonious blend of modern brick and concrete architecture and utilizes traditional mortise and tenon wooden frames. It has a permanent exhibition area of 1,500 square meters and a temporary exhibition area of 300 sq m, displaying exquisite embroidery and dyeing artworks from the various ethnic groups in Guizhou.

“Unlike traditional museums, with their large glass display cases, we adopt an open storage approach, which is popular in Europe and the United States. It allows visitors to get a closer look at the exhibits and participate in their interpretation,” she says.

Visitors can also learn about ancient book restoration techniques in the studio, or experience traditional printing and dyeing handicraft using natural plant dyes in the intangible cultural heritage handicraft experience area.

“The village has preserved many folk activities, and the museum is working with the villagers to revive some of the traditional customs. Any visitor to the museum can participate in these activities,” Wang says.

The museum welcomed more than 17,000 visitors last year. However, Wang is not particularly concerned about the number of visitors, but more about whether they truly appreciate and cherish these artifacts.

“I don’t want these beautiful artifacts to be merely display items. I hope more people who really have a passion for these crafts come to interact with us,” she says.

She says that the museum has built “a craft-and-bed hotel” with 22 rooms where visitors who really love traditional handicrafts can stay. Prices range from 200 yuan ($27.8) to 1,000 yuan per night.

The hotel offers dozens of experiential courses, and, while staying there and indulging in traditional handicrafts, visitors are also provided with food sourced from local organic produce, Wang says.

The museum is only 5 kilometers from the nearest subway station. However, it is fairly secluded, due to the only access being along a rugged, 3-km country road. Wang thinks the location is appropriate.

“In this bustling era, there is a need for a piece of land that can bring tranquility and offer healing to people,” she says.

Natural wonders

For those who like to be close to nature, a visit to the Baihua Lake near Wenggong village is highly recommended.

The lake itself is about 11 square kilometers, dotted with 108 islands of different sizes and shapes. The lake was named Baihua, which literally means “hundred kinds of flowers” in Chinese, and every spring it is engulfed in a blaze of color.

“Due to long-term strict ecological protection measures, no large-scale tourism development has been carried out here, allowing us to preserve an ecological wonder in the midst of the urban sprawl,” says Zhao Ling, director of the general department of the Baihua Lake Scenic Area’s management office.

The site covers 122 sq km, accounting for some 40 percent of the total area of Guanshanhu district in which it is located.

“The period from April to October is peak tourist season, and it’s just a short Metro ride from downtown,” he says.

Zhao says that the scenic area offers boat tours, allowing visitors to enjoy the full spectacle of the lake in about 40 to 50 minutes. Visitors can also enjoy barbecues, mahjong and sunbathing at farmhouses equipped to cater to visitors.

Tourists fascinated by Guizhou’s karst landscapes can also visit Panlong Cave within the scenic area. Inside the cave are well-preserved, densely covered stalactites and stalagmites.

One of the stalactite columns has a diameter of around 4 meters at its base and is about 15 meters in length. Based on the average growth rate of stalactites, which is one centimeter per 100 years, this stalactite has been formed over a span of at least 150,000 years.

To better serve residents and tourists, the Guanshanhu district abolished the entrance fee to the scenic area in August last year.

Zhao says that villagers on the islands are renovating their houses into homestays to meet visitor accommodation needs.

“A 46.6-km-long slow travel system is currently under construction around the Baihua Lake. Once completed, it will offer visitors a different immersive experience,” he adds.

Visitors interested in exploring the mysteries of the area’s natural wonders should not miss the Geological Museum of Guizhou. With more than 100,000 exhibits, including ancient biological fossils, crystals, rock and mineral samples, the museum showcases Guizhou’s geological history of the past 900 million years and a paleontological history spanning 600 million years.

Visitors can see rare fossils, including that of a 106-square-meter sea lily, as well as that of one of the most primitive reptiles on Earth, the Keichousaurus hui (an aquatic creature), and the extremely valuable remains of a Guanlingsaurus liangae (also a large marine creature) that was possibly pregnant at the time of its demise.

Modern experiences

As a modern metropolis, Guiyang offers a plethora of stylish and trendy experiences. A Yun Duo Cang, meaning “my ideal place” in the Yi language, is one of the latest hot spots where young people in Guiyang gather. With the architectural and interior design reflecting Guizhou’s natural landscapes, cultural heritage and urban art, it offers a diverse range of consumer experiences, such as motorcycle shops, camping-style bars converted from underground garages, illustration art stores, skateboard clubs, and niche coffee shops.

For car enthusiasts seeking an exhilarating experience, a visit to the Guanshanhu Automobile Park would be difficult to pass up.

With free entry, it stands out as one of the few in the country where visitors can get up close to a wide range of luxury, superluxury and limited-edition supercars from around the world.

Here, visitors can also use simulators for free to experience the exhilaration of motor racing. Additionally, petrolheads can not only experience the ultimate thrill of accelerating from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in under three seconds in a real supercar, but also learn skills, for a fixed fee, under the guidance of a professional instructor.

During the Guanshanhu Lantern Festival event, Guanshanhu Park attracted a total of 660,000 visitors during its celebrations from Jan 30 to Feb 25. The event covered a total area of more than 250,000 sq m, the largest such event in Guiyang to date, according to Zhou Hang, chief designer of the lantern festival.

“Inspired by Shanhaijing (The Classic of Mountains and Seas), an ancient work of Chinese literature, as well as the splendid mountainous landscape of Guizhou, the lantern festival consisted of six themed lantern areas with nearly 100 sets of lanterns,” he says, adding that 12 stages were set up at the lantern areas, offering a total of 500 performances, such as singing, dancing, acrobatics and cross-talk, in collaboration with various arts groups.

Outside of such festivals, there is a vibrant urban nightlife to enjoy and, after a day of exploring, getting immersed in the city’s music scene at either the Gui Live House or Mengtian Live House is a perfect way to spend an evening.

Guiyang used to be more of a tourist transit city, but its appeal to tourists has been consistently growing in recent years,” says He Hanxiao, marketing communications manager of the Renaissance Guiyang Hotel, who has been working in the city for seven years.

He says that the hotel’s guests used to be mainly business people, but last year it saw a significant increase in the number of tourists on family trips. The roadside concerts and large-scale music festivals held in the city also brought a noticeable increase in customer flow to the hotel, he adds.


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