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China Travel Guide

Explore Guangxi and Guizhou

Explore Guangxi Guangxi and Guizhou are located in China's subtropical central southwest. This is a region intensely visited but there is several places that are unknown for tourists still because of the countryside's picturesque limestone hills which, though a tourist phenomenon today, have in the past made communications almost impossible and have created some of provincial China's worst agricultural land.

So poor that they were not invaded for any empire; local clans were left to their own devices, and the region evolved into a reserve for ethnic groups. Some kept their nominal identity but more or less integrated with the Chinese, while others thoroughly resisted assimilation by occupying isolated highlands, and even today retain many of their cultural traditions.

The Communist takeover the minority groups by the formation of several autonomous prefectures, but industry and infrastructure still remain underdeveloped and few of the cities - including Guiyang and Nanning, the provincial capitals - have not a good transport system to the interesting locations, but they have transport gateway for travellers to and from Vietnam.

Most visitors are drawn to the landscape, epitomized by the high karst (weathered limestone) towers rising out of the plains around the city of Guilin in northeastern Guangxi. So famous has this become, that it absolutely overshadows the rest of the region, so that in remote zones you might feel like a pioneer, seeing parts of the country little known in the outside world. Most gratifying is the opportunity of close contact with ethnic groups, mainly the Miao, Dong and Zhuang, whose culture is apparent not only in their daily lives but also in traces of their prehistoric past.

Explore Guizhou There is also further terrain to explore, encompassing beaches, moist mountain forests and some of the country's largest waterfalls and limestone caverns.

A reasonable number of buses and trains travel to this region, which means that remoteness is not the wall it once was. Language can be a problem, as many rural people understand neither Mandarin nor Cantonese. Local people not often can communicate easily with foreigners.

With a geography that includes the South China Sea and some respectable mountains, weather is warm and wet in summer and cold in winter, especially up in the hills. The region also sporadically suffers severe spring inundations.

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