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Outdoor sports and leisure steal my heart in Guizhou

Updated: Sep 16, 2023 By Haydn Fogel Print
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In the heart of Guizhou province lies a hidden gem, Xingyi, a city that has etched itself among the surrounding mountains to create a blend of modern living and natural beauty. Here, traditions and customs run deep, and the sheer volume of captivating and exhilarating outdoor activities available should cement the city on anyone's travel list.

The author takes photos of traditional Bouyei ethnic weaving in Wanfenglin Scenic Area. [Photo provided to]

Xingyi is a city that breathes outdoor tourism, and my adventure began with a deep dive into the rich tapestry of local customs and traditions. The vibrant culture of the Miao and Bouyei ethnic minorities is interwoven into the very fabric of this place, pun very much intended. I was fortunate to witness the colorful attire being made, a process that requires precise handwork, traditional wooden weaving tools, and dyes extracted from local flora.

I visited the Wanfenglin Scenic Area, where my phone's battery was wiped out by my need to capture photo after photo of the latest most beautiful landscape I've ever seen. The name translates to "Ten Thousand Peaks", and refers to countless the karst mountain formations that reach toward the sky like ten thousand grasping fingers. With deep, green, and expansive valleys between, I was made to wish I had a better camera. After a serene day exploring and pondering the beauty of nature, I was ready for something more upbeat.

Heart-pounding adventures awaited, and Xingyi did not disappoint. For those seeking an even more adrenaline-fueled experience, Xingyi boasts white water rafting that one minute soaks you in white water rapids and makes you feel like you're in The Lord of the Rings the next. If you're lucky, your playful guide will pilot the raft under one of the many waterfalls.

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