Guizhou Province

 

Guizhou Province

Diverse Cultures 

Located in the rugged southwestern corner of China, Guizhou is considered a relatively poor, but culturally vibrant province. The mountains in this regionhttp://www.chinaodysseytours.com/guizhou/photo/guizhou-minority-25.jpg have offered protection to the many different cultures and allowed them to maintain their traditional lifestyles with little to no interference from the developing world. There are countless of small villages tucked away in scenic valleys and many are populated by diverse ethnic groups living in their unique ways. In fact, over 37% of Guizhou’s population derives from one of China’s minority groups, with the Miao and Buyi making up the highest percentage. These groups also contribute a large portion of students who attend GFC.

Economy

Unfortunately, the mountains that have allowed these amazing people to carry on their culture and traditions mostly undisturbed, have also hindered the economic development of the region. Because of the isolation which the mountains provided, Guizhou is noted to hold the lowest GDP per-capita of all the provinces in China. The average family earns about 3,100USD per year and, as a result, higher education for their children often becomes too expensive for many of these families to afford. Thus, one of GFC’s mission is to help such families overcome this obstacle by providing the region with an opportunity to further the locals’ education which will expand their economic options, while also allowing them to maintain their distinctive cultural identities.

Weather

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/travel/img/attachement/jpg/site1/20120723/00221917e9c41176ee4009.jpgGuizhou enjoys a subtropical humid climate where the weather maintains a humid region with mild temperature changes throughout much of the year. The average high temperature in August is 83˚F, while the average high in January is 47˚F. This moderate climate has given the nearby Provincial Capital of Guiyang the nickname of ‘Another Spring City’, which is a reference to ‘The Spring City’ of Kunming. The region also gets moderate to high levels of rainfall throughout the year, keeping the hillsides green and beautiful. It could be said that the weather in Guizhou is conducive to outdoor activities, but don’t forget your raincoat!

Guiyang City

http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=JN.8jK3MpC1EUHgnmtV9qfIJw&pid=15.1Guiyang is the provincial capital of Guizhou and lies north of GFC. It is about 1.5 hours away from GFC by bus. The city has a population of over 4 million people and has all of the dining and shopping conveniences that one would expect to find in any major city. There is a free bus that operates from GFC to Guiyang on the weekends. Many visitors often go for groceries, shopping, or to see the city’s tourist attractions.  

Qianling Park

http://www.sinowaytravel.com/admin/Images/guizhoupicture/Qianling%20Park.jpgQianling Park is one of Guiyang’s more peaceful spots and is located about a mile from the city center. There are about one-thousand acres to explore within the park and its scenery is very captivating. Within the park, you can visit the http://www.sino-us.com/UploadFiles/2013/6/6/201306061503582702.jpgbeautiful Hongfu Temple which was built in 1667. It contains a bronze bell that weighs 3,300 pounds and a jade Buddha statue that weighs nearly 2,000 pounds. Today, this historic temple is rated as one of China’s 142 National Key Temple Scenic Areas and it is certainly worth taking time to explore the beauty of the park properly. Another attraction within Qianling Park is the macaque monkeys that roam freely throughout the park. The heavy forest cover in the park creates a perfect habitat for these monkeys and many people enjoy spending some time watching these playful creatures.  

Food Options

For many international volunteers and students at GFC, the western food options in Guiyang provide a welcome taste of home.  If you desire some western food during your stay, then Guiyang has several options available. Some of these international markets include Grandma’s Kitchen restaurant, some 'western style' coffee shops, and a Carrefour supermarket offering many familiar grocery products and branded goods.

Night-Life

Guiyang also offers many entertainment options for night owls. These activities include bowling alleys, cinemas, bars, clubs, tea houses, and cafes. There are also many chances to see traditional folk plays and theatre productions which demonstrate the region’s culture and history.