Scenic Guizhou

Date: 14-17 Dec, 2023

Exploring the neighbourhood of Anshun (安順)

After a rather action-packed six-week stay in Kaili immersing ourselves in the exotically rich culture and traditions of Miao people, it’s time to do some sightseeing. Guizhou is renowned for its waterfalls and natural scenaries. So we drove about 200 kilometres westward to Anshun (安順) to see the famous Huangguoshu Waterfall (黃果樹瀑布).

I like this time of year as the trees turned brown and yellow.
Stark contrast between the new part and the old part of the town.

We spent a few days exploring the town of Anshun and chilled out in the local cafes. Daisy, our cat is a very seasoned traveller and quite at ease with our mobile lifestyle.

Love these steamed rice rolls (裹卷) made with a mixture of tasty vegetables and fungus. There are a huge selection of fillings to choose from.

We often skip the super popular tourist destinations but we found out that many destinations in Guizhou waived entrance fees for tourists from Guangdong and Hong Kong. Also, it was the dry season and therefore wouldn’t attract too many people. We decided to take advantage of this opportune chance to see the most famous scenic spot of Guizhou.

It was already early evening by the time we arrived at the Huangguoshu Waterfall. We parked in its public carpark and spent the night in our van. The next morning, we prepared some simple packed lunch and entered the scenic site.

Saw all kinds of extraordinary looking boulders and rocks as we went through the trail to the waterfalls.
It took millions of years to form these magnificent stalactite columns – made me wonder how insignificant our presence on earth is.

We passed a number of small ponds and then walked through an awe-inspiring stalactite cave. Nature is the ultimate virtuoso sculptor and we were simply enthralled by the grandiose shapes and intricate layers of limestone and minerals.

Further passed a few  smaller waterfalls before saw the centre-piece Huangguoshu Waterfall. Even though it was the dry season, we could feel at a far distance the cool air and vapour emitting from the waterfall.

The Karst landscape gives these waterfalls a fantastical shape.

While I was marvelling at the splendid Huangguoshu waterfall, a familiar feeling seeped into the back of my mind. I kept thinking why I felt that I had seen it before. Then it dawned on me that it looks exactly like the scenic waterfall lightbox decorations I saw in Chinese restaurants when I was a small child – where lighting effect gave the illusion that the waterfall was really flowing. It’s funny how an image get embedded in one’s mind!  

We walked along a narrow trail directly facing the waterfall for about 20 minutes and then entered a narrow tunnel underneath the waterfall. We saw signposts marking the wait time to enter the tunnel – one could imagine how crowded it gets during peak season.

We could see and hear voluminous water falling from great height and pounding against the rock tunnel above us. We stayed inside the tunnel for a few minutes – it felt as if we were taking a cold shower as the ground was soaking wet and water kept spilling toward us.

Felt the powerful force of nature as I listened to the overwhelming sound of the falling water and the refreshing mist around me.
Looking at the pounding water was almost hypnotic.

We spent another evening in the carpark as we were already quite tired and didn’t feel like driving. I cooked simple dinner and slept really well in our van.

We spent two pleasant nights in this village.

The next day, we drove to a lesser-known spot called Guanling Glacial Potholes (關岭冰臼). We parked in a small village and continued to sleep in our van. We enjoyed temporary sorjourn in the van – it’s rather snuggly in our mobile home when it was not too cold.

Our third evening of van life since we left Kaili.

During the day, we leisurely strolled along the rugged glacial potholes and hopped from boulder to boulder. In the afternoon, we sat underneath the tree to drink coffee and enjoyed the quietness of the village.

These potholes are the remnants of the ancient glacier of the Quatenary Ice Age two to three million years ago.

It was getting colder as Christmas was just round the corner. We decided to give up our original plan to visit Guiyang (貴陽) the capital city of Guizhou and continued westward towards Yunnan (雲南) which would be dryer and less cold. We made a brief stop in Panzhou (盤州) and then drove along the hilly border and entered the north eastern edge of Yunnan.

I wonder what Daisy was thinking right now?
We were wrapped in layers and long down coats in early December in Panzhou.

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