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Xingyi Travel Guide: See the Most Beautiful Karst Landscapes in China

Located in the southwest of Guizhou, Xingyi City is the capital of the Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture. Top many people’s bucket list for a trip to Guizhou, Xingyi is a mountainous area of natural beauty, with dramatic karst landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and impressive canyons. It is also a place of cultural diversity, being home to several ethnic groups, such as Miao and Buyi.

From exploring the thousands of karst hills in Wangfenglin, the cascading waterfalls and calcite formations in Maling River Canyon to browsing the rich ethnic customs and folklore, Xingyi offers endless options for memorable experiences.

Wondering what to do on your Xingyi trip? This Xingyi Travel Guide will unveil its top highlights and must-visit attractions. Best times to visit and essential travel tips are also included. Read on to explore this charming destination and discover more allures of Guizhou travel.

Colorful Fields of Wanfenglin
  • Chinese: 兴义 xīng yì
  • Location: Southwest Guizhou, at the junction of the Guizhou, Yunnan, and Guangxi provinces
  • Population (urban area): About 01 million
  • Area: About 2,915 square kilometers

Top Xingyi Tourist Attractions

Wanfenglin Scenic Area
Wanfenglin is where you can marvel at countless mountains of different shapes stretching over 2,000 square kilometers. The grand scale and diverse mountain formation make it one of the most typical karst landscapes in China. Also inhabited in this area are Buyi people who still preserve their authentic rural life, and over 100 rare animal and plant species.
Maling River Canyon
This 2.5-kilometers long canyon boasts a depth of 120-280 meters, thus is known as the “most beautiful scar on Earth”. This remarkable natural wonder is a blend of gorge adventures, over one hundred waterfalls, and calcite deposits and caves. Visitors can appreciate its beauty by either boat or hiking.
Wanfeng Lake
Near Wanfenglin and Maling River Canyon, you’ll find Wanfeng Lake, a man-made marvel covering a vast water surface of 816 square kilometers. Boasting the fifth-largest freshwater lake in China, the lake is surrounded by countless peaks, hence its name. Enjoy various natural wonders on a visit there, including peak forests, majestic stone formations, caves, etc.

Top Things to Do in Xingyi

Explore Wanfenglin by Scenic Train, Bike, or Cable Car

Explore Wanfenglin by Scenic Train, Bike, or Cable Car The mini scenic train is an effortless way to explore Wanfenglin, with the guide introducing you to the local history and culture. The mini train will pass by the major viewpoints and sites in the scenic area. It is especially recommended for people who travel to Guizhou with kids.

For a panoramic view of the towering peaks, cable car is the ideal choice for you. The ride will swiftly transport you to the viewpoint at the mountaintop, then the magnificent vistas will unfold before your eyes.

Also, you can rent a bike to explore the mountains, rice fields, and canola flower fields. Or just hike around for a more flexible and immersive experience.

Enjoy Fun Activities in Wanfenglin Scenic Area

Besides exploring natural beauties, Wanfenglin Scenic Area also offers many interesting activities to enrich your experience. Fishing in the rice fields is a particularly popular one. In the rice paddies of the scenic area hides the local delicacy – rice paddy fish. You can roll up your pants, wade in barefoot in the designated areas, and try to catch the fish with your hands. Nearby restaurants can help you cook the catched fish to perfection.

Experience Buyi Batik

Batik Buyi batik is famous for its distinctive craftsmanship and exquisite pattern. Learning to make Buyi batik is a unique and culturally rich experience you can’t miss in Xingyi.  It is easy to find studios or stalls offering batik experiences in both the Xingyi city area and the Wanfenglin Scenic Area.

These studios will have masters to guide you on how to make it step by step, including applying wax, dyeing, wax removal, etc.

Stay a Night in a Guesthouse in Wanfenglin

If time permits, it is highly recommended to stay a night in a guesthouse in Wanfenglin Scenic Area. On one hand, it allows you a leisurely pace to explore the scenic area, and a chance to capture stunning sunrise over endless peaks and rice fields. On the other hand, it offers a great chance to deeply experience local slow rural life and authentic culture.

Most guesthouses in the scenic area are rich in local ethnic designs and elements. Moreover, some guesthouses offer great viewpoints of the peaks and fields.

Adventure to the Maling River Canyon

One of the best hiking destinations in Guizhou, Maling River Canyon offers exciting hiking, with awesome sceneries of rushing rivers, awe-inspiring waterfalls, and fascinating limestone.  

If you visit during the wet season, you will get a chance to encounter the grand view of over 100 waterfalls cascading down from cliffs of the canyon.

Besides the splashing waterfalls, don’t forget to spot the diverse plants and rare animal species while hiking.

If hiking can’t exhilarate you, the thrilling rafting experience will surely captivate you since it is hailed as the “Number One Rafting” in China.

Wanfenglin in Guizhou
Wanfenglin

Xingyi Weather and Best Time to Visit

Xingyi offers comfortable weather in all four seasons thanks to its subtropical monsoon humid climate. The annual average temperatures usually range from 13.6°C to 19.1°C. Visitors can expect more comfortable days from mid-March to early November. And its winters are not severely cold, with the average temperatures hovering around 7.1°C to 8.9°C.

Its rainy season is usually accompanied by the hot summer days, seeing most rainfalls from May to August. Thus, this period marks the best time to marvel at the waterfalls in Maling River Canyon and the vibrant scenery in Wanfenglin.

February to April is the best time for flower appreciation when vast fields are blanketed with blooming canola flowers.

Best Areas to Stay in Xingyi

Wanfenglin Scenic Area

Staying a night in the Wanfenglin Scenic Area allows you a chance to experience local rural life. Also, staying in this area makes it easy to catch the stunning sunrise over the fields and peaks, which is a lifetime experience.

It is easy to find guesthouses in Wanfenglin Scenic Area and its surroundings. Guesthouses of different design aesthetics and facilities are available, catering to different preferences. These guesthouses not only provide accommodation options but also offer a unique travel experience in the scenic area.

Xingyi City Center

The city center area offers more accommodation options, and it boasts convenient transportation connections. Xingyi people really know how to enjoy life, with many food streets and markets bustling with culinary delights and local delicacies. Living in the city center area will grant you access to a plethora of dining and entertainment options.

Xingyi Transportation: How to Get to and Travel around

How to Get to Xingyi

By air: You can fly to Xingyi through Xingyi Wanfenglin Airport which offers direct flights to/from Guiyang, Shanghai, Guangzhou, etc.

By train: Currently, there is no high-speed railway station in Xingyi. Xingyi Railway Station offers normal trains to/from Kunming, Nanning, Guangzhou, Guilin, etc. But, there are no direct trains from Guiyang to Xingyi currently. The high-speed train from Guiyang to Xingyi is expected to open around the year 2026.

By long-distance bus: Each day, frequent long-distance buses depart from Guiyang to Xingyi are operated. Direct buses to Xingyi city center, Wanfenglin, and Maling River Canyon are all available. The bus ride will take about 3-4 hours and cost about CNY 205 per person.

How to Travel Around Xingyi

Xingyi has multiple tourism bus routes, allowing convenient transfers from the airport or the city center to its popular attractions.

Taxi is also a convenient option to travel around Xingyi, and allows more flexibility. The starting fare of the taxi is CNY 6 for the first 3 kilometers, after exceeding 3 kilometers, the fare is CNY 2 per kilometer.

Xingyi Wanfenglin Airport
Xingyi Wanfenglin Airport

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