Kaili Travel Guide

Last updated by fabiowzgogo at 2015/5/13

Kaili Overview

The city of Kaili, about 195 kilometers from Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province, is the cultural hub of China's Miao ethnic minority. Kaili is located at the foot of Mt. Miao, on the bank of the Qingshui River, and spans an area of roughly 1300 square kilometers. There are other ethnic groups represented in the Kaili area, but the Miao are by far the largest group (43%). The Miao have lived here for generation upon generation. As the hub of China's Miao ethnic culture, Kaili is also the gateway to the surrounding area's many Miao villages that are scattered about the nearby mountains.

Kaili Music

Kaili is a city of music, as its well-deserved nicknames bear witness; Kaili is alternately referred to as "The Homeland of Music", "An Ocean of Song and Dance", and "The City of Festivals", all of which reflects the city's role as the center of Miao culture. Moreover, the Miao are blessed by nature with good singing voices. Song is an integral, communal part of Miao society; it is a way of life that goes far beyond mere entertainment performed by a select few.

The Miao's melodious, unsophisticated  music, which they play on special instruments that the they themselves fashion – their primary musical instrument being a reed instrument made of bamboo, called the lusheng – is traditionally accompanied by dance.

Miao People's Festivals

The Miao celebrate a seemingly endless number of festivals during the course of a year – itself a tribute to this optimistic, positive-oriented folk – where song and dance are the major components. These festivals all take place on important dates in the age-old Miao culture calendar, and thus they are reckoned according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

If your itinerary takes you through Kaili, and if you are fond of colorful local pageantry, then you should definitely check to see whether there are any festivals scheduled during your stay in Kaili (alternatively, you might wish to deliberately plan your visit to coincide with a Miao festival.

Kaili Quick Facts

District number: 0855

Zip code: 556000

Geographic location: The southeastern part of Guizhou Province.

Ethnic Groups: 38 ethnic groups are represented here, including the Buyi, Dong, Han, Miao, and Tujia, to name a few of the larger groups. The combined population of the various minority groups (seen in the nationwide perspective) in the Kaili region accounts for about 71% of the total population, the remainder being Han Chinese. Of the various ethnic minorities, the Miao comprise about 61%, giving them a 43% share of the total population in the Kaili region.

Administrative divisions: 5 streets, 8 towns, and 2 villages

Towns: Zhouxi Town, Yatang Town, Three Tree Town, Wanchao Town, Longchang Town, Lushan Town, Panghai Town and Wanshuo Town.