Guizhou is a land-locked province in China’s southwest, mountainous with a humid, subtropical climate. There is a saying about Guizhou that “there are never three clear days in a row; nobody has got three cents in his pocket; and there are never three feet of level ground". Treacherous terrain, difficult farming conditions and isolation from China’s industrial heartland all contribute to making Guizhou one of China’s poorest provinces.

Like many areas in China’s southwest, Guizhou is home to many of China’s ethnic ‘nationalities’ (minzu). Apart from Han Chinese, the most populous are the Miao (sometimes called Hmong in Southeast Asia), the Buyi, Dong, Tujia, Yi, Gelao and Shui. The province has a total population of 39 million.

Guizhou’s rugged and mountainous terrain contains areas of outstanding natural beauty, which together with the variety of cultures attracts tourists from other parts of China and beyond. Its most famous tourist site are the Huangguoshu Waterfalls near the city of Anshun. They are said to be the largest waterfalls in the whole of Asia and can now be reached with the aid of a moving walkway built into the hillside. Another tourist attraction is Guizhou’s maotai, a powerful alcoholic spirit made from fermented sorghum and often used for toasts at formal banquets or enjoyed during other major celebrations and festivals throughout China.


Countryside in Guizhou
Guizhou features rugged and mountainous terrain
Chinese ethnic Christians
Minority ethnic Christians
Famous Maotai liquor
© Churches Together in Britain and Ireland 2010