This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Xijiang. To help you make friends with Xijiang before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Xijiang is a small, traditional Miao village in Eastern Guizhou, in southwestern China. Guizhou has long been known for its traditional Miao and Dong tribal villages; Xijiang is only one of these. The name means “thousand household village,” and has approximately 1,000 houses and a population of around 5,000. Xijiang is considered by anthropologists to be a “living fossil” of the Miao village for the study of their traditions and history.
To get here, you need to fly to the Guiyang airport and then take a bus from there to Kaili. Another bus from Kaili (one hour or so) will get you to the gates of Xijiang. You could also take a train from Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou to Kaili, bypassing Guiyang altogether. Once here, you must pay an entrance fee into the village before entering. Make sure you have money, not a card.
Because Xijiang is literally a tourist park, there is no hostel accommodation. There are, instead of hostels, homestays with local families, guesthouses, or you could splurge on the only hotel in town. The nearest hostel accommodation is in Kaili.
From the far entrance gate there is a spectacular view across the village. The main street dips down to the river, where you will find most of the street food vendors, local restaurants, and the shopping. There are traditional Maio dances twice a day in the Bronze Drum dancing ground. Your entrance fee covers any admittance to dances or museums. If you wander out of the main tourist area, you can find a little bit more of an authentic feel. Most of the main street buildings and houses are either new or renovated into a more traditional style so that the feel of the village is authentic. In February, during Chinese New Year, the village puts on a big show, and this is probably one of the best times to go. There is also decent hiking in the hills outside the town, anywhere from a short one hour hike to a full day excursion, since the entire village lies deep within the Lei Gong Shan National Park.
Written by local enthusiast for Xijiang hostelsJakob Lombardi