~ Mt. Fanjingshan, Tongren 铜仁梵净山 ~
My parents and I visited Mt. Fanjingshan in Tongren City during the CNY in 2018. It’s a bit while ago and I really wanted to hike it this time. But because of the COVID-19 we didn’t make it after all. On our last visit, we arrived in the afternoon from Guiyang, stayed overnight and “hiked” the next morning. I like that we stayed right below the mountain and the night was very quiet. I don’t like that it’s the CNY as there were so so many people. Although we waked up early the next morning trying to make it before anyone else, there’s already a line waiting for us. Not too long, but when it’s our turn to get in, there’s already a long-stretched queue right behind us.
早在 2018 年春节，我和父母去了趟铜仁的梵净山旅游。时间一久，这一次我想真正地去爬一次了。但因为新冠我们却没能成行。上次去的时候我们从贵阳出发开车去，下午到了在山脚下住了一晚上第二天早上才“爬山” 的。住山脚下的好处是方便而且晚上很安静。但是由于是春节期间去的，人多，人，多！尽管我们第二天一早就起来准备赶在人多前上山，大门口已然有一条长队排在我们之前。虽然不算太长，但排到我们的时候，我往后一看，很是庆幸自己早到了。
Mom’s knees weren’t doing well, so we went for the cable car option from the bottom to the mid-top of the mountain. Then from there we “hiked” the stairs to the top. The view is definitely worth it and the feeling of being on top of the world is even more rewarding, if you really hike on foot from the bottom. When you plan foryour visit, here are my advices. The first one is quite obvious, avoid public holidays especially the long ones like CNY. And my second advice is to stay right below the mountain, as you can easily access the hike and get some hot shower and well needed rest afterwards. Well for now, let’s enjoy some 2-years-old photos. I really do hope to make it there again very soon. This time I’d like to hike for real from the bottom all the way to the top!
母亲的膝盖不好，所以我们是搭索道上山到山腰的中高处，然后又从那“登” 山梯到山顶的。山顶的景色自然美，如果从山底一路爬山去，一览众山小的征服感不是开玩笑的。如果要去的话，我的建议如下：第一条很明显，避免在国定节假日旅游，特别是像春节这样的长假。第二，最好在山脚下选择住宿，上山离景区大门又近，下山又可以马上洗个热水澡休息休息。且来看看 2 年前的风景吧，我真心希望很快又可以再到梵净山，这一次嘛，我要从山脚爬到山顶！
~ Xiaoqikong, Libo 荔波小七孔 ~
Before the CNY 2020, we did some short trips in Guizhou. The first one was Xiaoqikong in Libo County, South of Guizhou. It’s wintertime so it’s not crowded at all and many national parks offered 50% off discounts, which is always always welcome! Xiaoqikong is located in Libo County, close to the border of Guangxi Province, where my Guiyang dialect wasn’t that useful. The easiest way to get there is to fly directly. 70RMB only and 55mins on a plane are money and time well spent. I highly recommended! But we made a mistake of not staying around the park. Instead, we stayed in the “ancient town” side of the Libo. We didn’t know better and what a tourist trap! If you plan to visit Libo, stay nearby the park instead. Really! It’ll save you 30 mins bus ride and the long bus waiting time to get you there. Besides, the park is pretty big and one day is just not enough to cover it all on foot. Yes, there’s the option of riding the shuttle bus inside the park from stop to stop, if you like “quickie”. Personally, Ilike to indulge and take it all in, if you know what I mean! On foot and walk it through is what I mean, you dirty minds! :p
在今年春节假期前，我们在贵州省内小小的旅游了几回。第一站便是黔南荔波镇的小七孔。因为冬季是淡季，人一点都不多，而且大多的国家公园的门票都是半价优惠，实在实在是给力！小七孔位于荔波镇，与广西省相邻。所以我的贵阳话在那里其实没有想象中那么好用。到小七孔最方便的交通方式就是直飞了。才 70 块单程还不到 1 个小时的飞行时间真是省钱又省时，我极力推荐！但是我们犯了个错，那就是没有住在景区附近，而是选择住在“荔波古镇” 旁。又一旅游陷阱啊！你要去的话千万千万不要因为有 “古镇” 两个字就心动了，还是景区附近住比较靠谱。免去了 30 分钟的巴士搭乘还有等待巴士的时间呢。另外，小七孔景区比较大，想要一天之内完全走完不太现实。当然，你要速战速决坐园区内的点到点的穿梭巴士也不是不行。我个人比较喜欢慢慢来，尽情享受过程，你懂的啦！我说的当然是全程靠双脚走啦，你是不是又想歪啦！:p
~ Xijiang Qianhu Miaozai, Leishan County 雷山西江千户苗寨 ~
Guizhou is famous for its ethnic diversity. According to the official census for the year of 2010, there are 17 indigenous ethic groups (total at 36% of provincial population) living in the province and Miao (or Hmong) ethnic group accounts for at least 11% of the whole provincial population (34 million). Miao being one of the most prominent ethnic groups in Guizhou, you definitely don’t want to miss the chance to visit their villages. As you can already imagine, many of their villages have turned into tourist hotspots. Some have kept their authenticity; some unfortunately have lost their identity. However, I do think aharmonious balance can be reached through the efforts of the local communities and the visitors.
贵州以多民族多文化而闻名。根据 2010 年的官方人口普查数据，贵州共有 17 个世居少数民族（占全省总人口的 36%），其中苗族就占了总人口的 11%（总人口为 3400 万）。苗族人口既然这么多，你当然不应该错过任何探访他们寨子的机会喽。我们不难想象，有许多的寨子已然成为热门旅游胜地。有些尽量保持了原有的风貌，还有的已经失去了原有的身份。但我相信在当地社区和游客的共同努力下，是可以达一种新的和谐与平衡的。
Xijiang is not a perfect example, but it’s a good example of what can be done. For instance, as the village is mostly pedestrian friendly, special shuttle buses are arranged to pick up and drop off the villagers from and to different stops for free. In comparison, visitors need to pay for their own shuttle service, a completely different one from the villager’s. As economy switches gears, I do believe tourism doesn’t have to be damaging to a local community.
~ Qingyan Old Town, South Guiyang 贵阳南郊青岩古镇 ~
In the Ming Dynasty, in order to control the Southwestern part of China, the government issued three hundred thousand expedition troops to Guizhou and Yunnan. Because of its geological location, Qingyan gradually becomes a garrison controlling traffic from and to the surrounding provinces, including Sichuan,Yunnan, Guangxi and Hunan. Nowadays, it’s famous for its deep lanes, rose flavored candies and pig’s feet.
早在明代，为了更好的控制西南边疆，中央政府派遣了 30 万大军前往贵州和云南。由于其地理位置比较特殊，青岩堡逐渐成为了一个控制包括云南，广西以及湖南交通的要塞。现在的青岩嘛以其深巷、玫瑰糖还有卤猪脚闻名四方。
~ Tianlong Tunbao Garrison, Anshun 安顺天龙屯堡 ~
Located nearby Anshun City, here we have another example of what the Ming troops builtaround 600 years ago. Tianlong Tunbao has been the home for many military men and their families. It has retained much of its original flavor including the architecture style, accent and clothing. You can see clearly the dress is not exactly ethnic minority but rather Han Chinese and old Han Chinese in myopinion. It’s said that these residents were coming from Jiangsu and Zhejiang originally in the Ming Dynasty. Oh wow! What a surprise!
在离安顺市不远的地方，那里还有一个在 600 多年前由明朝军队建设的屯堡，天龙屯堡，也是许多军人及家属的栖息之地。但天龙屯堡所保留的不仅仅是原有的建筑风格，还有语音以及服饰。照片中我们可以明显的看得出当地居民的服饰并不属于少数民族的风格，而是汉族服饰，而且是古代明朝的那种汉族服饰。据说这些居民的先民是早在明朝从江浙一带移居过来的，这真是让人难以想象！
~ Getuhe River, Anshun 安顺格凸河 ~
Dad has been talking about this place many times and here we are on a father & son road trip. Located in Ziyun Miao and Buyi Ethnic Autonomous County, it took us two hours and half to drive there from Guiyang. I was amazed by how remote the village is and how gorgeous mother nature has presented us. If you pay close attention, there are some cliff coffins in the caves alongside the river to puzzle you. Exactly why people did that back in the day is still a mystery today. My assumption is that it’s the easiest way of “burying” the deceased, because the caves are already there. On top of that, when there wasn’t any road access to the village back in the day, the coffins are safe from being raided. What do you think?
~ Bizarre Stones, Qingzhen 清镇奇石 ~
Qingzhen is my father’s base for his business. One of his friends is a collector of bizarre stones. I mean really bizarre! Some of the stones are naturally the way they are, some others are carved out by skilled craftsmen, and the rest are fossils, including the Kueichousaurus! Unfortunately, this private collector’s museum is not open to public at the moment. But it’s his vision to open one to public in the future. So let’s wish him the very best!
~ Zhijindong Cave, Anshun 安顺织金洞 ~
Not knowing what to expect is probably the best expectation one can have, especially when you’re traveling. You need some room for surprises, no? Talking about caves and stones, one hour and half driving from Anshun City we have a majestic work of mother nature for the whole wild world to marvel. If you come to Guizhou, the Zhijindong Cave is a must see. Looking at the photos are a nice way to present what you can see inside the cave, but to be there and see it with your own eyes is a completely different experience. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!
So, what do you think? When we all don’t need no more green codes to travel around, will you come and visit Guizhou? :p
End of CNY Guizhou Travel series. Thank you for reading!