Out of this world
Updated: 2012-08-09 10:49
By Liu Xiangrui and Yang Jun (China Daily)
Two dragon patterns are created in the paddy rice fields around Shuitou village to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Photos by Wang Jing / China Daily
Nanjiang Canyon, where the Qinglong River runs through, has plenty of waterfalls and is an ideal site for rafters.
Local residents perform a bamboo dance to greet guests to Shuitou village.
Kaiyang county, situated about 80 km northeast of Guizhou's provincial capital Guiyang, enjoys growing popularity with those who want to experience the peace of rural life.
With a combination of rural scenery, canyon landscape and ethnic Miao and Bouyei culture, the town has a lot to offer.
What's more, the splendid green mountains, clear rivers and agreeable climate are big attractions especially in summer.
By taking the most popular itinerary - "The 10-Mile Gallery" along the Qinglong River valley, we feast our eyes on the essence of Kaiyang's beauty during a two-day trip.
We first stop in Phoenix village, a Bouyei habitat built by the hillside and only connected by a suspension bridge over the Qinglong River. The waterway appears to separate the village from the rest of the world and provides an idyllic refuge for guests seeking tranquility.
The residences reflect the typical local style, with blue tiles and white walls half hidden in the greenery. Under the roofs are strings of golden corns and red chili - the fruits of the farmers' labor.
At the center of the village lies a lotus pond, while loquat, cherry and mountain peach plants decorate the surroundings.
As we approach neighboring Pingzhai village later in the day, singing voices greet us. They belong to farmers, who stand in threes and fives, crooning under some old trees in the village. We are told that the farmers are performing the traditional Yangxi Opera, an old art form to entertain themselves during leisure time.
Further on from Pingzhai village, about 5 km up Qinglong River, there is an old and huge stone arch bridge named Longevity Bridge. Even after more than two centuries, it still serves people on both banks as their main link.
The bridge is also an ideal starting point to raft down the river, another popular activity during summer. Or, be like the locals - plunge into the clear waters to swim with the young and old.
Not far from the bridge is Matou village, which has a 700-year-old history. It used to be the place where the rulers of the region, an influential tusi, or chieftain, family resided. The village has become a national heritage site.