Provinces of China: Guizhou - Manufacturing place of Maotai, the most famous Chinese liquor

Updated:Sat, Jul 21, 2012 07:03 AM    Related:Chinese provinces

Chinese provinces

Guizhou province (Chinese:贵州) is situated in southwest China. Guizhou is one of the poorest provinces of China. Guizhou is more famous for its liquor brand - Maotai. Places of interest include Huangguoshu Falls, Hongfeng Lake, etc.


General information

Area: 176,167 square km

Population: 39.75 million (2007)

Capital City: Guiyang

Coordinates: 24°37'-29°13'N 103°36'-109°35'E

Population: 39 million.

Urban population: 10.1 million.

Nationalities: Han, Miao, Bouyei, Tong, Yi, Shui, Hui, Gelo, Zhuang and Yao.

GDP : CNY 226.7 billion(2006)

Average temperture: 1C to 10C in January, 17C to 28C in July.

Annual average rainfall: 900-1,500 mm; high precipitation in the central and southwestern regions; half of the rain falls during the summer.

Mountains: Dalou, Miaoling, and Wumeng Mountains.

Neighboring areas: Yunnan, Sichuan, and Hunan Provinces: Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Guizhou (Chinese:贵州) province is situated in southwest China and covers 176,000 square kilometers. Guizhou adjoins Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality to the north, YunnanProvince to the west, Guangxi Province to the south and Hunan Province to the east. It has a population of about 39 million, of which 65% is Han and the rest a mixture of minorities such as Miao, Bouyei, Dong, Yi, Shui, Hui, Gelao, Zhuang, Yao, Bai, Tujia, etc.

Mountains and plateaus make up some 65% of Guizhou's topography. The terrain is rugged, with karst formations, underground rivers, jagged peaks, dramatic valleys, and terraced rice fields. Guizhou, with its rich historic heritage, has spectacular waterfalls, national forests, and awesome scenery. The major cities include capital city Guiyang, Zunyi, Anshun, Duyun, Kali, and Liupenshui.

Geography of Guizhou

Guizhou Province, "Qian" or "Gui" for short, is situated in the

south-western part of China. The Province covers an area of over

176,167 square kilometres and has population of more than 39.75 million, there are total of 49 nationalities live in Guizhou, including Han, Yao, Miao, Dong, Bouyei, Tujia, Li, Gelao, Sui, Hui, Bai, Zhuang, etc. Guiyang is the capital of the Province.

Guizhou occupies the eastern part of the Yungui Plateau, rising between the Sichuan Basin and Guangxi Basin. The Terrain of Guizhou gradually lowers down eastwards, its western and central part having an attitude of one to two thousand meters above sea level. The river valley area on the south-eastern fringe of the province has an altitude of around 500 meter above sea level. Guizhou has a rugged terrain, with numerous precipitous peaks and deep valleys, as well as extensive karsts formations, caves and underground rivers. Many date-shaped mini-basins scatter around the mountains.

The Dalou Mountains in the northern part of the province forms the borderline of Guizhou. The Wuling Mountains in the north-eastern part of the province abounds in biological resources and has been declared as a key natural preserves of China. The Wumeng Mountains in the west borders Yunnan Province. The Miaoling Mountains in the central part of the province is the watershed between the Changjiang River (Yangtze River) system and Pearl River system. The major rivers flowing through the province are the Wujiang River, the Chishuihe River, the Qingshui River, the Nanpan River (the boundary river between Guizhou and Guangxi), the Beipan River. These rivers have the common features of being wide and open upstream but narrow downstream. They have rich hydraulic resources with their rapid flows of water, shoals and falls.

Climate of Guizhou

Guizhou has a humid monsoon climate of the subtropical zone, with neither severe winter nor hot summer. The average annual temperature of province is between 14ºC-16ºC (57 ºF -61 ºF). The average temperature of January, the coldest month, is between 4ºC-9ºC (39 ºF - 48ºF) and that of July, the warmest month, is between 22ºC-26ºC (72 ºF and 79 ºF). The annual average precipitation of Guizhou is between 900-1500mm. Most of the area in the province have long frost-free period, where two or three cropping system is practiced.

Economy of Guizhou

Guizhou is a relatively poor and economically undeveloped province, but rich in natural, cultural and environmental resources. Its nominal GDP for 2009 was 389.35 billion yuan (57 billion USD). Its per capita GDP of 10,258 RMB (1,502 USD) ranks last in all of the PRC.

Its natural industry includes timber and forestry. Other important industries in the province include energy (electricity generation) and mining, especially in coal, limestone, arsenic, gypsum, and oil shale. Guizhou's total output of coal was 118 million tons in 2008, a 7% growth from the previous year.

History of Guizhou

Guizhou was under Chinese control during the Han Dynasty and well known by the Chinese for thousands of years but it was not until the Ming dynasty that it came under heavy Chinese settlement and domination during which it was made a province. This prompted mass migration from Sichuan, Hunan and its surrounding provinces into Guizhou.

Countless rebellions by its native Miao people occurred throughout the Qing dynasty. It was said in the Qing dynasty that every thirty years there would be minor revolts, while every sixty years there would be major rebellions. All the revolts would be violently suppressed by the government.

Administrative divisions

There are 9 prefecture-level divisions immediately below the province level:

Guiyang City 贵阳市 Guìyáng Shì

Liupanshui City 六盘水市 Liùpánshuǐ Shì

Zunyi City 遵义市 Zūnyì Shì

Anshun City 安顺市 Ānshùn Shì

Bijie Prefecture 毕节地区 Bìjié Dìqū

Tongren Prefecture 铜仁地区 Tóngrén Dìqū

Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture 黔东南苗族侗族自治州Qiándōngnán Miáozú Dòngzú Zìzhìzhōu

Qiannan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture 黔南布依族苗族自治州 Qiánnán Bùyīzú

Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu

Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture 黔西南布依族苗族自治州 Qiánxīnán Bùyīzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu

Guizhou Local Cuisine

Braised salamander and Eight Delicacies and Feast of Tianmahan Chicken are famous local dishes with high nutrition. Love Bean Curd Fruit and Bijie Stuffed Dumplings are popular refreshments with diners.

Maotai, or Moutai, the most prestigious Chinese liquor, or baijiu, is produced in the town of Maotai (茅台镇), in the city of Renhuai, Guizhou province. Maotai, which is classified as "sauce-fragranced" (酱香, jiangxiang) because it offers an exceptionally pure, mild, and mellow soy sauce-like fragrance that lingers after it is consumed, is distilled from fermented sorghum and now comes in different versions ranging in alcohol content from the standard 53% by volume down to 35%.

Maotai liquor has a history of several hundred years dating back to Qing Dynasty. Maotai has been used on official occasions in feasts with foreign heads of state and distinguished guests visiting China. It is the only alcoholic beverage presented as an official gift by Chinese embassies in foreign countries and regions.

Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions of Guizhou

Huangguoshu Falls

Guizhou's #1 attraction is Huangguoshu (Yellow Fruit Tree) Falls. The falls is the largest in China, measuring 74 meters tall and 81 meters wide. In the middle part of the falls, a cave arches into the cliffside and is fancifully curtained by a sheet of water. The thunder of the falls can be heard for some distance and the falls are at their most spectacular about five days after heavy rain between May and October. In addition, there are other falls in the area such as the Luositan Waterfall and the Yinlianzhui Waterfall.

Guizhou offers a diverse environment rich in natural resources and recreational opportunities. Within the "Park Province" are a variety of special places for you to explore, from Guiyang's Lake Qianling to the karst caves of Zhijin and the Miao villages and festivals in the southeast part of the province. The unique karst attractions include the Zhijin Daji Cave, the Rhino Cave in Zhenning, the Dragon's Palace in Anshun, and the Flying Dragon Cave in Xingyi.

Zhijin Caves

In the northwest of Zhijin County lies the Zhijin Caves with majestic stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is over 30,000 square meters in area and has an average height of 50-60 meters with the highest point measuring 185 meters and the widest measuring 175 meters. Eight large scenic areas, 19 halls, and 49 chambers are open for display to the public. The cave is spacious and has clear, blue ripples of underground lakes and waterfalls. Besides, there are lots of grotesque stone towers, pillars and stalagmites in the shapes of mountain forests.

Hongfeng Lake

Bordering Qingzhen Pingba County, Hongfeng Lake covers an area of 57.2 square kilometers. Other scenic attractions include North Lake, South Lake, Rear Lake and many other bays and gulfs surrounded by rippling mountains and gullies. Located in the middle of the lake is an island with caves and tunnels. This island contains 192 islands and peninsulas of various sizes. North Lake Island, South Lake Cavern and Rear Lake Island are known as the 11 Three Spectaculars of Hongfeng." A new Dong nationality courtyard has been developed and Dong girls, well versed in singing and dancing extend their warmth and hospitality to you.

Dragon Palace

Dragon Palace is located in the western suburbs of Anshun city. The palace is an underground cavern with lakes, waterfalls and other scenic spots. The cave resembles the crystal palace of the Dragon King and is why it is called this name.On the right of the Dragon Gate is a 45 meter high drop. Above is Tianchi (Heavenly Pool), also known as Dragon Pool measuring over ten thousand square meters with an average depth of 43 meters. It is the source of Dragon Gate Falls and the entrance of Dragon Palace. The entire Dragon Palace is a string of beads made up of narrow paths, caves, and caverns with dripping stalactites and stalagmites in fantastic shapes and sizes.


Huaxi - the "gem in Guiyang" - is a natural reserve known for its crystal-clear water, grotesque stalactites (cylindrical or conical deposits projecting downward from the roof of caverns as a result of dripping mineral-rich water), and stalagmites (deposits projecting upward). Here, one can not only enjoy the Lusheng (reed-pipe) evening parties with the ethnic folks, but can also visit ancient monasteries and towers in the village of Gaopo - the highest mountainous area in Huaxi. The rituals and costumes of this community are different from the immediate Miao communities.


Kaili is the capital of the Southeast Guizhou Miao & Dong Nationalities Autonomous Prefecture. There are many grand ethnic festivals in the region. The wooden drum dance is an important festival for the Miao of the Kaili area. In the hot summer, the Miao girls, living several miles away, will come with their parents to dance the wooden drum dance. In this wooden drum festival, while the young girls are dancing to the rhythm of the wooden drum, the young men are looking for their life partners. When the curtain of night comes down, the young women and men will express their affections for each other by antiphonal singing.

Guizhou Culture

Minorities contribute to fascinating architecture and over 100 lively festivals a year. These include bull fights, dragon boats, horse races, and Lusheng dancing. Some villages are untouched by tourists. The minorities retain most of their unique customs and are hospitable and warm, wearing brilliant and beautiful ethnic clothing. They hold elaborate welcoming ceremonies, worship their totems, and play intriguing music while dancing graceful dances.

Examples of Guizhou Festivals and Special Events

March - Miao Flower Festival

April - Dujuan Flower Festival

May - Anshun Batik Art Festival

June - Taijang Dragon Boat Festival

July - Bouyei Chabai Musical Festival

August - Tongren Miao Culture Festival

October - Zunyi Liquor Expo.

November - Kaili Lusheng Musical Festival

December - Caohai Bird-Watching Day

Other Popular Attractions

Lake Hongfeng (Qingzhen)

Huyang River (Zhenyuan)

Tianxingqiao Stone Forest (Anshun)

Tunbao Cultural Village (Anshun)

Qianling Temple (Guiyang)

Transportation in Guizhou

Guizhou is located in the undeveloped southwest and transportation throughout the region is naturally poorer than the developed coastal areas in the east. Except bigger cities such as Guiyang, Kaili which can be reached via air, train and long distance bus. Those small ethnic villages often nestle deep in mountains and either are inaccessible or accessible only via rugged mountainous road.


There are seven airports throughout Guizhou province: Longjiabao Airport in Guiyang, Huangguoshu Airport in Anshui, Tongren aiport in Tongren city, Xingyi airport, Libo airport and Liping airport. The Longjiabao, Huangguoshu and Liping airports are useful to travelers. Visitors to Huangguoshu Waterfall in Anshun may use the Huangguoshu airport. The Liping airport at the heart of the ethnic region of southeast Guizhou are of great use to travelers. Before the opening of that airport, travelers had to take the time-consuming long distance bus over mountains to reach the region.


Train is still the main means of transportation across Guizhou Province. Four tracks (Guizhou-Hunan, Guizhou-Sichuan, Guizhou-Kunming, and Guizhou-Guangxi railways) radiate from the capital city Guiyang to the neighboring provinces. By train, travelers can conveniently reach such cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Zhenzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, Beihai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Huaihua, Nanning and Liuzhou. Within the Guizhou Province, tourist trains are opened between Guiyang and Liupanshui (Yellow Fruit Tree Waterfall), Guiyang and Yupin (Fanjing Mountain). There are also regular trains between Guiyang and other cities including Zunyi, Kaili and Dujun.


The highway network throughout Guizhou Province currently consists of four national highways (Hunan-Guizhou, Guizhou-Guangxi, Yunnan-Guizhou and Sichuan-Guizhou), three expressways (Guiyang-Anshun-Huangguoshu, Guiyang-Zunyi and Guiyang-Bijie), and thirty provincial trunk lines.




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