A Travellerspoint blog

The Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Hidden in the folds of the Leigong Hills, Xijiang Village is thought to be largest Miao Village and is well known for its embroidery and silver ornaments (the Miao believe that silver can dispel evil spirits). It is set in a natural basin and is bordered by paddy fields with wooden houses rising up the steep hillsides.

Don’t you just love it when you wake feeling totally awesome! Especially after several days with Kaili Belly!

After waking full of energy I eagerly packed my bags and raced downstairs to check out and say good bye to the delicious girls at the reception desk who were overwhelmed at my state of health after the last two days of almost complete isolation in my room which of course was attached to my toilet (being the more important of the two!).

Since the release of my LP the bus times have changed to Xijiang Village. The first now leaves at 10:30 and the second at 12:00.

Even though I arrived at the bus station early I missed a ticket for the 10:30am and after grabbing a ticket for the midday bus I headed back out and joined the throngs of people that can always be found around a Chinese bus station. I sat for a delicious brunch of dumplings followed by two boiled tea eggs which I washed down with the usual warm clear soup after which I decided not to waste time and good health and set about checking out some of the small back alleys in the area.

The journey took around an hour during which we passed through some amazing scenery that was littered with beautiful small Miao Villages.

I spent my time listening to music and as we neared I was offered several mandarins from the two girls who were sitting behind me. As we approached the village we stopped at a small ticket booth where not surprisingly I found that the village has caught the government 'Tourist Eye’ and all tourists now must pay a 60 Yuan entrance fee that as far as I know has no expiry date as long as you don’t leave and try to re-enter.

Once again this will have the budget backpackers throwing their arms in the air cursing the government for being greedy BUT as usual after entering I saw several backpackers at some of the small bars that offered internet for free. As I know as a long term backpacker this doesn’t come for free nor can it be supplied by a rice farmer’s meager wage.

Xijiang Village now has so much accommodation that it could never be filled. Small hotels cost 120 Yuan, no matter how much I tried they wouldn’t budge. Guesthouses that offer a fan, kettle and free Wi-Fi cost 80 Yuan. Shared rooms with shared bathrooms can cost a low 20 Yuan.

After checking out several of both I decided on ‘Wang Wongs Guesthouse (not its real name as it’s all in Chinese) and it comes complete not only with a kettle and a fan but also a huge glass wall between the room and the bathroom so if I was twins I could go about watching myself shower and go to the toilet! I’ve come across this many times but usually there is a shower curtain that can cover the glass wall so as I write this I sit and wonder what couples do when it comes to toilet time.

In fact I think I’ll stop thinking about that as its making me feel icky! Let’s just make believe that there is an actual shower curtain there! That’s better my beer once again has bubbles in it!

After checking in I headed out into the villages vibrant alleyways and thanks to the LP I was aware that it was one of the more touristy villages in the area but after travelling for so long you do actually come to a realisation that some places are actually filled with people for a reason, the fact that they are actually extremely beautiful and have that little something that sets them apart from the others that surround it.

Even though it is touristy for some reason it doesn’t take away its charm. I fell in love with the place within minutes.

Not long after beginning my afternoon’s walk I met up with the girls again who were heading back to their guesthouse for a rest even though we had only been in the village for an hour. I then found out that they had made the same mistake that many make in places such as here and Pingyao (Guangxi Province). They had chosen to stay in a guesthouse that sat right at the very top of a mountain side and for the life of me I can never understand why people do this. Each time it does sound inviting and yes the views are excellent but at the end of the day or whenever you really need to head back to your room you have to spend half an hour walking up rickety stone stairs. In these villages they aren’t designed to go directly up, they were extended as the village grew so they criss-cross and take you here there and everywhere but in the up direction you want to go.

Anyhow, each to their own!

I guess that any normal sane person would actually call me on this and after thinking about it they would actually be right after asking me why I get a room at the bottom of the hill to then spend the following four to six hours walking up and down other hills to then return to my room at the bottom of the village.

All right already, leave me alone! I admit my rationalisation is completely insane. But it’s just not how I look at it when I’m searching for a room with my pack on. I look at the rooms up there and the ones down here and it just seems right at the time!

Anyhow, after leaving the girls I decided to make my way up the side of the mountain through the village houses to grab some views from the top. Which were of course nothing but absolutely stunning and as the track continued way off into the far off mountains I did what would any normal person do…..head back the way they came! Have you gone mad, it’s a track and it’s there for a reason…..it needs to be followed!

I spent the next hour making my way down the other side of the mountain. Finally I descending into the next village.

As I approached the village I caught up with a bunch of beauties that had just made the same journey and I of course wanted to know if there was another track that would continue around the mountain and take me back to Xijiang Village. They began talking to me in Miao Dialect and I stood thinking ‘Do I actually look Miao to you.’ Thankfully I had my phrase book with me as their Mandarin was as useless as mine so we read from my phrase book and played charades and I found out that of course there wasn’t another track and that I would have re-climb the mountain and go back the way I came.

Why don’t I think of these things prior to climbing and descending?

We then sat chatting and I found that they and most of the village had to make this trek twice a day, once in the morning to school/work and then in the afternoon back home. Of course in the morning most of the women have to do it with full baskets of vegetables etc to sell at the markets and I can tell you I was buggered just reaching the top of the first main hill on the Xijiang Village side and not long after that the pathway stops and turns into a goat trail.

After saying my goodbyes I looked back at the mountain and once again thought; ‘Why don’t I think of these things’ and began climbing.

Silence and the colour green filled my world and as I silently ascended I once again (as always) slipped into a trance like state of europhoria. Before me frogs bounced from my path into the safety of the rice paddies beside them and the only other sounds where that of the birds chatting in the trees. Rolling green mountains etched with layer upon layer of generations of rice fields filled my distant views and it seemed that the world was my own magical place until I began passing local villagers who were shouldering bamboo poles upon which hung baskets full of food, cloth and other items required for far off village life.

Life for me really was easy. Much more than those passing me by who were still full of smiles whilst carrying so much!

Not long after arriving back to Xijiang I found what I was looking for, a cheap and greasy eatery with a huge wok out front. Here I slurped upon a hearty bowl of beef noodles and after asking for a cup of hot water I followed my noodles with an ElcheapO ‘three in one’ coffee. The day had turned into dusk and my energy levels were once again at a peak so I decided to head back down to the river where I wanted to see the village bridges by night.

Happily once again I ran into the girls who were resting upon a river side bench. We sat chatting about the different days we had experienced and decided to spend the evening together strolling along the river side taking photos of the colourful yet different bridges.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Nirvana The album was ‘Nevermind’ ___________________________________________________________

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang


Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Beautiful Miao Village of Xijiang

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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