2.5 (Generally easy, some uphills and downhills)
2 (Basically easy, may use basic accommodation)
1.5 hours + 5 hours
2.83 km (1.76 miles) + 12.92 km (8.03 miles)
Xiaozhai Yao Village—Dazhai Yao Village—Tiantou Yao Village—Zhongliu Yao Village—Ping’an Zhuang Village
It takes about 3 hours driving from Guilin to Xiaozhai Village (4 hours from Yangshuo). Xiaozhai Village is nearly an untouched remote Yao village inhabited 150 households with some 1000 villagers who all belong to Yao ethnic nationality and share the common same family name of Pan. We will have a home-made lunch in a local house with a name “Fragrance Inn & Restaurant” before wandering in the village and climbing to a high location for a sweeping view of the terraced rice paddies around Xiaozhai Village.
We then leave Xiaozhai to hike to Dazhai. It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours for frequently-stopped photography hikers. We will stay in a local B&B place tonight. To wander around in the village to get to know more about Yao people’s life, to have a cup of tea to recharge your energy or to have a Yao style foot massage will be the options for you to enjoy the rest time of the day.
Stay overnight in Dazhai Village.
Meals: (No included meals)
It is a 2-hour hiking before we arrive at a Yao village named Zhongliu (Middle Six), which is almost the half way of today’s total hiking. For the first half-hour, we need walk uphill until we get to Tiantou Village. As we walk high, a stunning sweeping panoramic view can be enjoyed thoroughly. We will then understand why Dazhai Villages has another name of Jinkeng, literally means “a golden valley”, especially in the season of fall. When we get around Zhongliu Villages, the paths go up and down, which would make the hiking tiring, but always rewarding!
After Zhongliu Village, there are more terraced rice paddies, fir tree woods and elegantly standing bamboos all the way along the path. If lucky enough, you may come across Yao people working in the fields with their buffalo. Their wrinkled but friendly faces, rose-red costumes with the lush-green background will be a perfect picture to illustrate the harmony between human and nature.
When we see a jade-green colored reservoir, which guarantees the water resource of the villagers and the rice paddies, appears on our right hand side, that means there we are! The road turns from a small path to a concrete road. And then a well-paved slate stair way will lead us to the middle of Ping’an, a minority village inhabited some 800 Zhuang people. We will have a bit late lunch before taking our van back to the city of Guilin or Yangshuo.
A 2.5-hour drive will take us back to the city of Guilin (1 more hour to Yangshuo). Our two-day hiking ends when we are back to our hotel in Guilin city or Yangshuo town.