Xijiang (西江) Miao Village is the largest Miao village in China and even in the world. It bears the title “thousand-household village” and now has 1432 household, which amounts to a population of over 5000, of which 99.5% are Miao ethnic group.
Xijiang Miao Village is a superbly picturesque place, set in a natural basin and bordered paddy fields drenched in green, with wooden houses rising up in the hillside. It should be the fantastic “Miao Capital” and the “Open Air Museum” to experience Miao’s primitive culture, including Miao’s festivals, singing and dancing, art, architecture, language, costumes, silverwork, and food.
|The village enjoys a beautiful natural environment with green mountains and crystal water.||A spectacular view of Xijiang lit up in the evening.|
The village is located by the valley and surrounded by overlapping mountains, with terraced fields rising along the slopes to the clouds and the Baishui (White Water) River flowing through and cutting the village into two. Miao hillside pile-dwellings stand tier upon tier along the two banks to the mountain. Thick bamboo groves are dotting before and behind the houses. Beautiful maple leaves cover the villages on the top and at the bottom of the mountain.
Located on the north side of Leigong Hill, Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village is about 35 km (22 miles) away from Kaili city; the capital of Qiandongnan, and about 260 km (162 miles) from Guiyang City; the capital city of Guizhou Province.
The Panorama of the Village: The best place to see the panorama of Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village is the Sightseeing Platform. Many visitors like to take photos from here. One can even rent a traditional costume of the Miao people if you are interested. Viewing the night scene on the platform is the most wonderful thing. The lamps of different houses twinkling in the dark make the night bewitching. It is really worth seeing.
Being the largest gathering place of the Miao in China and even the world, about ten natural Miao ethnic villages exist in Xijiang Town and the Miao culture is best preserved in this area. According to the latest statistics, there are about 1,288 families with a total population of around 6,000 people living there. 99.5% of the local people are Miao nationality.
In Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village, layer upon layer of closely connected wooden-stilted houses are built along the contour of the hill with the Baishui River passing through the bottom of the mountain. Wind-rain bridges connect the banks of the river. During the day the sunlight makes the red wood board shine brightly, and in the evening, smoke from the chimneys spirals, forming a white belt around the mountain’s waist.
Xijiang Miao people are brave and hard-working, good at singing and dancing. The village is called “a sea of songs and dances”, and the villagers sing songs to express their feelings and perform dances to celebrate their bumper harvests and to greet good luck. High-pitched beautiful flying songs, tactful and touching love songs or wine songs, Gabaifu songs, farewell songs sung at home all have their own tunes with emotion and scene mixed together. Xijiang Miao festivals are rich and colorful, such as the Tasting-Ripening-Grain Festival, the Miaoniao festival, the Guzang Festival, etc. Once you come to Xijiang, you will enjoy the Miao songs, dances, customs, rites, costumes and silver ornaments.
|Miao’s folk residence–stilt house (Diaojiao House), built on the stilts of different heights.||Peaceful and primitive lifestyle in Xijiang.|
What to See in Xijiang Miao Village
Wooden Stilted Building
The main architecture of Xijiang Miao Village is the wooden stilted buildings, called in Diao Jiao Lou in Chinese. In this area, the wooden stilted houses are usually built one next to another on a 30-70 degree mountain slope, which forms a magnificent view. All these wooden architectures are without any nails and rivets. The buildings usually have three storeys, with different use. The first floor is used for storing tools and manure, raising poultry and livestock, etc. The second floor is used for living room, central room, bedroom and kitchen and out of the central room is the special place for resting and embroidery. The third floor is mainly used for storing grain, fodder and other living goods. A visit to Xijiang Miao Village, travelers should spend one night here and have a stay in the special wooden stilted house.
Wind and Rain Bridges
There are several Wind and Rain Bridges in Xijiang Miao Village. They are built in order to improve “Feng Shui” and bring convenience to the villagers. In the past time, the Wind and Rain Bridges were wooden structure without any nails and now they are rebuilt in the structure of concrete and wooden. Every visitor entering to Xijiang Miao Village should pass through one of the Wind and Rain Bridge and you can take a rest under the bridge and appreciate some elegant design…
You should never miss the panoramic view of Xijiang Miao Village and you can enjoy it either in the daytime or at night. There are viewing decks on the opposite hill of Xijiang Miao Village and electric car can take you there. Standing on the viewing deck, you’ll enjoy picturesque and peaceful panoramic view of the whole village in the daytime. And when night falls and every household turns lights on, you’ll find the village is brilliantly illuminated like the stars hanging in the sky. And the Wind and Rain Bridges across the Bai River is dazzling and shining. You can never imagine that in this remote ethnic village the nightlife just begins.
Idyllic Farmland Scenery
Xijiang Miao Village is leaning against Leigong Mountain and surrounded by paddy fields which makes this village more attractive and picturesque. The quiet of the farmland and the busy of the village is a contrast and you can have different feeling towards Xijiang Miao Village when tour both.
What to Experience in Xijiang Miao Village
Colorful Miao’s Performance
Once you enter into the village, you’ll begin to experience every aspect of Miao people. A valued old man standing in the north entrance gate welcomes you with rice wine. Miao’s singing is performed at No.2 Wind and Rain Bridge in the morning around 11:30, Lusheng performance at Old Lusheng Square, Miao’s Batik performance, traditional singing performance by the old at Tonggu Lusheng Square, cock fighting and bird flight in the market day.
Long Table Banquet
With thousand years’ history, long table banquet is the highest form of etiquette which is used for wedding, new born baby celebration and village gathering. At the table, the hosts sit at the left side of the table and the guests sit at the right side of the table. The hosts toast the guests with rice wine and welcome with beautiful songs. Taking a visit to Xijiang Miao Village, travelers should catch the rare chance to enjoy the long table banquet with hundreds of people in the large square. If your group is not large enough, no worry, you can experience the dining etiquette in the local restaurants. There are many local delicious food served on the table, such as the Ancient Zang Meat, Cured Meat, Sliced Chicken, Fish in Sour Soup, Qingyan Tofu, etc.
Miao Ethnic Festivals
Guzang festival is the grandest ancestral worship ritual of Miao ethnic minority. The minor Guzang Festival will be held annually in the early spring and late autumn and the villagers prepare delicious meals for the gathering and other activities include bull fighting, Lusheng playing and more. The Grand Guzang Festival is celebrated every thirteen years with mysterious and solemn ancestor worship ceremony, Lusheng dance, bull fighting. Guzang Festival usually lasts about 5 to 9 days.
Some other festivals including Miao’s New Year (held in September, October and November by lunar calendar), New Rice Festival (held in June and July by lunar calendar), Lusheng Festival (held in January, February, Mach by lunar calendar). If you are interested in Miao’s festivals and want to know the detailed festival time and activities, please feel free to contact our professional travel consultants.