Our epic adventure tour is designed to help you discover and connect with fascinating cultures that are vastly different from your own. The accommodation available to you in this region may be basic but the unique architecture and stunning scenery is so awe-inspiring, so unforgettably beautiful, that it will more than make up for any inconvenience you face there.
The majority of the tour will be focused on visiting villages inhabited by two of China’s ethnic minorities: the Dong people; and the Miao people. Both are renowned throughout the country as talented singers and performers.
The Dong ethnic group
The Dong ethnic group are renowned for their musical ability and their skill as carpenters. From the Kam Grand Choirs to the looming Drum Towers, Dong villages are a place of harmony and wonder. The Dong people boast a population of nearly 3 million in China and the vast majority of them are concentrated in eastern Guizhou, western Hunan and northern Guangxi.
The Dong people’s talent and penchant for music evolved from their habit of singing folk songs while they were working or farming. Many of these songs are based on enchanting folk tales that were based around topics related to daily life, mainly about the pursuit of true love. The beauty of their music is matched only by the intricacy of their architecture, manifested in their characteristic Drum Towers and Wind-Rain Bridges.
Nowadays most Dong people still follow a traditional way of life in their hometowns. To this day you can still see their magnificent architecture, their traditional style of dress, and their vibrant local festivals But unfortunately more and more young people from the Dong community are being drawn to cities in the hopes of achieving a better, more modern quality of life The art of batik, embroidery, silverwork, and even singing is gradually being lost. Nowadays, in some Dong villages, you can still enjoy some authentic “performances” that are not staged for tourists. But who knows how long this opportunity will last? Read more about the Dong Ethnic Group.
The Miao ethnic group
The history of the Miao people is shrouded in mystery, but modern research suggests that they may have been among the earliest settlers in China. Researchers have found that many Chinese words related to rice farming were borrowed from the Miao language, which indicates that the Miao were some of the first rice cultivators in the country and may have done so over 5,000 years ago!. This, along with DNA evidences, connects the Miao to the ancient Daxi people, whose history dates back approximately 5,300 to 6,000 years. The Daxi have long been credited as the first cultivators of rice in the Far East, and it appears that the Miao may have been among them.
The Miao prefer to live in mountainous areas and have developed a special type of dwelling to this end. This dwelling, known as a diaojiaolou. The front of the house is supported by pillars, whilst the rear is suspended on wooden stilts to keep it level with the mountainside. This makes it look as though the building is hanging off of the mountain!.
The Miao are adept at carpentry and wickerwork, but are best known for their mastery of silversmithing, embroidery, and batik. The Miao women hand weave and dye cloth, then sew and embroider it by hand to make all of their clothes. The patterns incorporate themes based partly on the natural world and partly on the artists’ imagination, which is why dragons and phoenixes often feature in Miao craftwork and why certain animals and plants look different to how they appear in real life. Their creativity is legendary and their traditional dress, resplendent with colour, is the highlight of any traditional Miao festival. Read more about the Miao Ethnic Group.
During the tour, we will:
1. Discover the culture and lifestyle of the Dong and Miao ethnic minorities.
2. Study the traditional architecture of Dong and Miao villages;
3. Witness first-hand the delicate traditional dress and adornments of the Dong and Miao people;
4. Listen to the beautiful songs and watch the graceful performances that are associated with the traditional culture and customs of the Dong and Miao minorities;
5. Enjoy the stunning mountainous landscape of Guizhou province;
6. Sample the delicious local cuisine.
What information will we provide you with in advance?
- Useful information about the Dong and Miao ethnic minorities, including their culture and customs, their way of life, their architecture, their traditional dress and adornments, the geography of their hometowns and their current situation;
- Specific information about each village on your trip.
More information of the tour:
Dates of the tour: 7th of Sep – 18th of Sep 2018
Final Deadline for Subscription: 15th of July 2018
Please Note: You can choose to stick to this tour entirely, or you can just incorporate it as part of your wider plans to travel across China. We can provide you with information and help you with any other travel plans you may have if you need us to. We also provide a hotel booking service and a flight or train booking service for all of our members’ traveling in China outside of the 5 designated days of the tour. We will also provide a consultancy service for you, which will help you to plan your journey across China and give you useful tips on traveling in China.
We hope that you will have a wonderful time traveling with us!
For more information, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.