China has 55 minority ethnic groups except the Han people such as Mongol, Hui, Tibetan, Uygur, Kazak, Miao, Yi, Zhuang, Buyi, Korean and Manchupeople. Each minority has its unique culture and life style. Yunnan Province in the Southwestern China has 25 minorities-a province with the largest number of minority ethnic groups in China.
So it is the best place to experience minorities'culture and local folks such as Bai people's culture in Dali and Mosuo People's walking marriage in Lijiang. If travelers want to experience a special minority cultural journey in China, China Travel has selected the best destinations for you and also can tailor-make a minority tour.
Importantly, it is good to come for the famous and unique ethnic festivals. During the festivals, you’ll experience more than featured activities offered by the ethnic people, but the soul of a minority! So, why not travel to China and indulge yourself in the colorful and charming ethnic land?
1.Tibetan Culture in Tibet
Marvelous snow plateau, Mount Everest (the roof of the world) and Tibetan culture makes Tibet become one of the most popular destinations in the world. Tibetan Buddhism culture attracts numerous devotional Buddhists and Buddhism lovers. Every year there are a large number of pilgrims coming to Lhasa (the provincial capital of Tibet) which is the holy land for Buddhists. The pilgrimage has become one of Tibetan unique cultural scenery. To some pilgrims, coming to Lhasa to worship the Buddha for one time in their life has been their only dream in all their life.
The Shoton Festival-the grandest and the most important festival in Tibet is annually celebrated around the end of June or the beginning of July in Tibetan calendar. Travelers can enjoy a series of celebrations such as "Buddha Displaying", Tibetan Opera and dances during the festivals. Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple are must-visit attractions in Tibet to experience its culture. Besides, foreign travelers need a tibet travel Permit and have to be companied by a legal Chinese tour guide in Tibet.
2.Naxi and Mosuo Culture in Lijiang
Located in the northwest of Yunnan Province, Lijiang is not only famous its ancient town and natural scenery, but also is an excellent place to experience a minority journey in China. There are several ethnic groups such as Bai people and Tibetan people living in Lijiang. However, travelers can experience unique Naxi people and Mosuo people's culture and customers.
Dongba culture is an important part of Naxi people's culture. It is famous because of the Dongba religion. Dongba characters and music are worthy seeing and experiencing in Lijiang. Unique Mosuo people 'walking marriage attracts numerous travelers from the world. Now Mosuo people are the only ethnic group who still live in a matrilineal society in China. If travelers are interested in minorities' culture, you really should not to miss the Mosuo.
3.Bai People's Culture in Dali
Dali in the middle of Yunnan Province is famous of Bai people's culture. Bai People is a minority ethnic group who are good at singing and dancing. Bai Girls are usually called Jinhua (Gold Flower) and boys are known as Apeng after a film-Five Gold Flowers came to people's sights. Tea is an important element in Bai People's daily life. The Three-Course Tea is Bai People' special traditional way to welcome distinguished guests. Dali is one of places to produce Pu'er Tea-a famous dark tea made in China.
Bai people still believe in their own gods of the Bai ethnic minority. Each village believes in different gods such as totems, old trees and heroes. In order to get on well with Bai People, travelers can call them with "A" such as Amei to younger girls and Adi to younger boys. Xizhou Bai People Village is a great place to see original Bai people's culture and life. Besides, travelers can visit Dali Ancient City and ride a bike along Er'hai Lake to enjoy Dali's natural scenery.
4.Dai Culture in Xishuangbanna
Xishuangbanna in the south of Yunnan Province is the best place to explore Dai people's culture. Dai style pagoda is a symbol of Dai people's life. They have their own language and especial love poetries. The Water-Sprinkling Festival is the grandest and the most important festival for Dai People. It is Dai People's New Year usually held in the middle of April with a 3 to 7 days celebration.
The first day of the festival is Mairi in Dai language, a similar festival like Chinese New Year's Eve. The second day is Laori and the third day is the Dai's New Year which is the most glorious and the luckiest day for Dai People. Travelers will be splashed water with best wishes by hospitable Dai people during the festival. It is the best time to experience Dai's culture and local folks.
5.Xijiang Thousand Miao Houses in Guizhou
Located 35 km away from Kaili in southeast of Guizhou Province, Xijiang Thousand Miao Houses is an oriental place to explore Miao people's culture and life. It has a large number of Miao Houses built on the hillside. With more than 1000 Miao houses, it is the largest Miao Village in China. Silver craftsmen in Xijiang are famous with a high quality and silver plays an important role in Miao people' life. For example, every mother need to prepare a proper series of silver ornaments and an overall dress before her daughter marry.
Travelers can experience a quiet countryside journey in Xijiang. And there is a small Miao cultural museum which is the best place to know their culture and life. There is a folk show held between 11:30 to 12:00 and 17:00 to 17:40 every day. It is a good choice to know their dress and folk customers. The night scenery of the Miao houses is magnificent and beautiful.
6.Dong Villages in Sanjiang
Drum Tower, Wind and Rain Bridge and Kam Grand Choirs are 3 symbols of Dong People's life. Drum Tower is the most important symbol of Dong Villages. If there is a Dong Village, there is a Drum Tower. With a Fir tree shape, it is the rendezvous when some events happen and also an entertainment place for a festival. So the Drum Tower plays an important role in Dong people's culture. Wind and Rain Bridge, also known as the Flower Bridge, is a place to escape from a rain and to enjoy beautiful scenery of the river.
Mainly live in Southern China, Dong people are good at singing and dancing. Kam Grand Choirs is the best choice to experience their music. In Sanjiang County in Liuzhou City, travelers can visit Chengyang Eight Dong Villages which is one of the best places to experience original and unique Dong culture. A night show named Zuomei in Dong Bird Nest in Sanjiang County center shows the unique marriage culture of Dong people. Besides, travelers can try some unique sour meat such as pork and fish in Sanjiang.
7.Zhuang Villages and Yao Villages in Longji Rice Terraced Fields
Located in Longsheng County in Guilin City, Longji Rice Terraced Fields is not only a great place to take some excellent photos, but also a great place to enjoy unique Zhuang people and Yao people's culture. Ping'an Village and Guzhuangzhai are good to enjoy Zhuang people's life, but Dazhai Village is the place to experience Yao people's culture.
Zhuang people is the most among 55 minority ethnic groups. March 3th in Chinese lunar calendar is a grand festival to Zhuang people. Young Zhuang people dressed up festively to get together to celebrate it by singing songs. It is the festivals that girls select a boyfriend by sing songs. Nowadays, the festival is celebrated 3 days after Chinese National Day. Travelers can also visit Dazhai to experience Yao People's unique life after a 6 to 7 hours hiking from Ping'an Village. At the same time, Dazhai is the best place to see a sunrise in Longji Rice Terraced Fields.
8.The Uygur in Xinjiang
Xinjiang in the northwest of China is the Uygur's paradise. The Uygurmeans union in their language. They are mainly living in Urumqi, Kashgar, Turpan, Hotan, Aksu and Yili in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The Uygur is another ethnic group who are good at dancing and singing. The Corban Festival is the most important and the grandest festival for the Uygur. And Uygur people believe in Islamism.
Turpan is a popular place to experience Uygur people's kindness and hospitality. Grapes in Turpan have attracted a large number of travelers from the world. The best time to visit Turpan is from the end of July to September. As a part of the Ancient Silk Road, Urumqi, Kashgar and Turpan are great and popular places to experience local culture.
9.Mongol in Inner Mongolia
Mongol is an ethnic group living in the north of China. To feed a flock of sheep on the vast grassland and live in a ger are the Mongol's daily life. The Nadam Fair is the most important and the best known by travelers in the world. The Nadam Fair has a series of 5-day physical exercises celebrations which are held on July 4th in Chinese lunar calendar to celebrate the happiness of a harvest.
Summer (June to August) is the best time to visit Inner Mongolia. Travelers can choose to stay in a ger and ride a horse on the endless grassland to experience local culture and life. Hulun Buir Prairie is a hot destination to enjoy Inner Mongolia's unique scenery and a popular place to escape from a hot summer in China. Huhehot and Ordos are popular cities to travel in the Inner Mongolia.
10.Fenghuang Ancient Town in Hunan
In the southwest of Xiangxizhou in Hunan Province, Fenghuang Ancient Town is a place where Miao people and Tujia people live in. The ancient town has Miao and Tujia people's houses built in the Qing Dynasty. Here travelers can experience Miao people's folk culture and customs. The New Year in Miao people's calendar, similar as the Chinese New Year, is the most important festival held after the autumn.
Tujia people mainly live in Hunan, Hubei and Sichuan provinces and Chongqing. When travelers come to Fenghuang Ancient Town, you can also experience Tujia's culture and life. Gannian (One day before Chinese New Year) and the Ox King Festival (April 18th in Chinese lunar calendar) are Tujia people's traditional festivals. Besides, local houses are usually an element loved by photographers.