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Home Travel Guide Guizhou Travel Guide Libo Travel Guide: A Hidden Paradise for Karst Landscapes

Libo Travel Guide

Libo County is a beloved tourist destination in southmost Guizhou, managed by Qiannan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture. It appears on many tourists’ bucket lists for a trip to Guizhou for good reasons.

Encompassing about 2431.8 square kilometers, Libo is famous for the Zhangjiang Scenic Area, rich in exquisite and dynamic karst topography. It includes the famous Daqikong Scenic Area (Big Seven Arches) and Xiaoqikong Scenic Area (Small Seven Arches), whose unique aspects lie in the stunning water landscapes, spectacular waterfalls, and peculiar mountain peaks.

More than natural beauty, Libo is also a multi-ethnic settlement. With ancient ethnic villages, unique architecture, and traditional celebrations adding cultural significance without compromising its natural marvels, Libo remains a haven for authentic ethnic culture experiences.

If you’re planning to travel to Libo but don’t know where to begin, this ultimate guide is your go-to resource. We have covered everything you need to plan a trip to Libo, including top attractions, best things to do, the best time to go, food, etc.

Related Reading: How to Plan a Trip to Guizhou

Xiaoqikong Boat Trip
  • Chinese name: 荔波 lì bō
  • Location: Southern Guizhou
  • Population (urban area): 186,039
  • Area: 2431.8 square kilometers
  • Highlights: Natural wonders, rich biodiversity, multiple ethnic groups
  • Main ethnic groups: Buyi, Shui, Han, Miao, and Yao
  • Best time to visit: April to August

Why Visit Libo?

  • Stunning Natural Scenery: Libo boasts Zhangjiang Scenic Area, highlighting charming waterscapes, waterfalls, gorges, and lush greenery. It is part of the South China Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Rich Ethnic Cultures: Libo is a multi-ethnic settlement where you can encounter Buyi, Shui, Miao, and Yao ethnic groups. You’ll walk into their primitive villages, admire their traditional architecture, and look into their exquisite clothes and handicrafts.
  • Pleasant Climate: No matter in which season you visit Libo, it will entertain you with a spring-like climate.
  • An Outdoor Paradise: Being blessed with breathtaking landscapes, Libo is an outdoor paradise. It will not disappoint you whether you like adventure activities or leisure sightseeing. Rafting, hiking, photography, sightseeing…, it has something to cater to different interests and activity levels.  

Top Tourist Attractions in Libo

Maolan National Nature Reserve
The reserve is a member of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Network thanks to its complete karst forest ecosystem. Being praised as “one of the ten most beautiful forests in China”, the primeval forests alongside stunning streams, waterfalls, unique caves and rocks in Maolan Nature Reserve are a paradise for many rare species of flora and fauna.
Yaoshan Ancient Village
A main settlement of the Bai Ku Yao ethnic group, and one of the oldest ethnic villages in Guizhou. Locals still retain their traditional lifestyle and customs, earning its nickname “living fossil of primitive society”. The nightly performed “Yao Mountain·Yao People” bonfire party is its top highlight. Here you can also explore Yao people’s distinct architecture, and experience Yao pottery, bamboo weaving, etc.

Top Things to Do in Libo

Explore Its Natural Wonders

Libo is a truly iconic karst landscape example in Guizhou. It needs almost no introduction as a destination with breathtaking natural wonders. Venture along the winding path to Xiaoqikong, Daqikong, and Shuichun River scenic areas, you’ll be attracted by the peculiar peaks, rocks of various shapes, clear rivers, spectacular waterfalls, etc.

Shuichun River Rafting

Shuichun River is one of the most picturesque sections along the Zhangjiang Scenic Belt. Rafting along the river is the top allure here, which will reward you with both stunning sceneries and thrilling experiences.

Stretching about 13 kilometers, the entire rafting contains two parts and will take about 3 hours. The upper part is more gentle and suitable for kids and families seeking leisure enjoyment and sightseeing. While the rapid currents and high drops in the lower part make it more popular among tourists who look for exciting and thrilling adventures.

Admire Traditional Performances of Buyi People

There are many Buyi villages well preserved around Libo, offering a rare chance to look into the rich culture in the Qiannan area. They are not only the homes for Buyi people, but also the venues to appreciate traditional Buyi cultural performances. You can visit any of the villages or Libo Ancient Town to watch authentic Buyi songs and dances, Dwarf Dance, wedding customs, Nuo opera, etc.

Taste Local Delicacies

Besides the impressive natural and cultural treasures, Libo is also attractive for its culinary delights. It has unique gastronomic characteristics that are deeply influenced by the flavors of the diverse ethnic groups here.

During a trip to Libo, you can treat your stomach in any food street or food market in Libo with the most popular delicacies, like Sour Soup Fish, Hot and Sour Rice Noodles, Buyi Five-Color Rice, Miao Smoked Meat, Glutinous Rice Meat, etc.

Related Reading: Top Things to Do in Guizhou

Guizhou Libo Food - Sour Fish Soup
Try local cuisine - Sour Fish Soup

Libo Weather and Best Time to Visit

Situated in a subtropical humid climate zone, Libo experiences a mild climate throughout the year, with no extreme heat in summer and severe cold in winter. If the weather is your primary concern, April to October shines the best time for a Libo tour. These months are usually blessed with delightful weather and comfortable temperatures.

Libo boasts four distinct seasons. The following rough guide to Libo’s weather conditions in different seasons will help you to decide when to visit.

  • Spring (March to May): Enjoys moderate rainfalls and average diurnal temperatures hover around 16.0℃. The countryside is embraced by vibrant floral scenery.
  • Summer (June to August): The peak travel season in Libo. Average temperatures range between 19-26℃. Thanks to abundant rainfalls, thus Xiaoqikong and Daqikong Scenic Areas see higher water levels, with waters showing a captivating blue.
  • Autumn (September to November): Lush forests in the Xiaoqikong Scenic Area are decorated with red foliage. The skies are clean, and average temperatures are around 10-15℃. The ideal time for hiking, sightseeing, and photography.
  • Winter (December to February): Average temperatures are generally above 5.5 ℃, with large temperature differences between day and night. It is the low season when Libo sees fewer crowds, and also the best time for budget travelers.

Libo Transportation: How to Get to and Travel around

How to Get to Libo

You should fly from your city to Guiyang first. From Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport, you can either fly to Libo or take a long-distance bus or high-speed train to Libo. The flight from Guiyang to Libo will take about 40 minutes to 1 hour. The high-speed train ride from Guiyang North Station to Libo Station will take about 2 hours. There are direct buses from Guiyang airport to Libo, which will take about 3-4 hours and cost CNY 25-35 per person.

How to Travel around Libo

From Libo county center area, you can take Bus No. 11, 13 to get to the east gate of Xiaoqikong Scenic Area. The ride will take about 15-20 minutes and cost CNY 5 per person.

You can also take a taxi to get to Xiaoqikong, which will cost about CNY 30 for a single trip.

To get to Libo Ancient Town, you can take Bus No. 10 or 11, the ticket price is also CNY 5 per person.

The county is small, and many areas of the county can be reached easily on foot.

Libo Airport
Libo Airport

Travel Tips for a Libo Trip

  • Most local people in Libo cannot speak English, so you’d better download a translation app in advance.
  • Don’t carry valuable items when drifting. Also, consider wrapping your camera and phone in waterproof bags.
  • Given its winding roads, preparing some motion sickness medication is recommended.
  • Rain gears are highly recommended since Guizhou sees relatively more rainfall.
  • Remember to wear comfortable shoes, since there may be a lot of walking while exploring the scenic areas.
  • Considering the many ethnic groups in Libo, please respect local customs and beliefs when visiting the villages.
  • It is essential to protect the natural environment while traveling.

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