As many as 30 different ethnic minorities live peacefully alongside one another in the areas we visit in Guizhou and northeast Guangxi, with a huge variety of cultures. Generally, Dong villages are located along river valleys whilst Miao villages are scattered amongst the hills. The minority communities have maintained their cultural traditions over centuries, living simple remote lives, away from modernity and full of character. We discover their world as we cycle through a landscape of rice terraces etched into the mountain, rising up in layers towards the skyline.
The Dong are known for their architecture, particularly the octagonal pagoda-type drum towers (Gulou), and wind and rain bridges that provide shelter for people during bad weather. Built without a single nail, they are the symbol of the Dong people and served as a gathering place for the villagers to discuss and settle important matters and to stage festivals or entertainments The Miao were among the first people to settle in present day China, and among the first rice farmers in China.
Having visited the remotest of settlements up in the hills, and experienced inspirational, breath-taking mountain scenery we cycle down out of the rice terraces towards Guilin. From here we journey alongside the tranquil waters of the Li River and into the hilly landscape of Karst limestone peaks to Yangshuo where our cycling tour ends.
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Asia China Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring
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