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Shidong Miao Village

38km from Taijiang County (台江县) is Shingdong Miao Village(施洞苗寨), a once seething trade center along Qingshui River which flows through Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture before instilling into Dongting Lake. Amid the 77 Miao and Dong villages prospering along this river, Shidong stands out for its multitude of festivals. Among them, Sisters’ Meal Festival and Dragon Boat Festival are most famous.
shidong town guizhou
Honored as “the land of singing and dancing”, “the capital of silver ornaments” and “the cradle of folk art”, Shidong town derives its charm not from its faded past, but from the splendid folklore art and captivating festivals thriving till today.

A moderate amount of historical relics also grace the idyllic surroundings. Half a day’s exploration of its weathered wharfs, decaying mansions and deserted cemeteries of Ming and Qing dynasties will be awarded with an insight into this dim past, while a plunge into its turmoil festivities will lead you into a world of fun and happiness.
Timetable of Miao Nationality 's main festivals:
The first day of the first lunar monthLaoyu Festival(Fishing Catching Festival,捞鱼节)
The second day of the second lunar monthJingqiao Festival(Bridge Worship Festival敬桥节)
The 15th day of the third lunar monthSisters’ Meal Festival(姐妹节)
The 8th day of the fourth lunar monthBuffolla Worship Festival(敬牛节)
The 25th day of the fifth lunar monthMiao Dragon Boat Festival (龙船节)
The seventh lunar monthEat New Harvest Festival(吃新节)

Sisters’ Meal Festival, the Valentines’ Day of Miao people in southeast Guizhou, will be held on the 15th day of the third lunar month. Festivities include Eat Sister’s Meal, Youfang(a courtesy sing contest joined by Miao boys and girls), drum-beating, bullfighting and Lusheng dance will be staged. To win girls’ heart, Miao young men will dress up decently and sing enthusiastically. For girls, it is a golden opportunity to display their charm and outstanding emboidery skills. For travelers, it is the best place to sample Miao attires and silver ornaments in China.
 If you love paper cutting, embroidery, silver jewelry and ornaments and festivals, this is a place you should visit. Shidong Miao people are obsessed with parties. They not only celebrate festivals of their own, but also that of Han Chinese and foreigners, such as Christmas.

Miao Dragon Boat Festival in Shidong

Shidong is the best place to enjoy Miao Dragon Boat Festival, which is celebrated to pray for good harvest. It will occur on the 24th day of the fifth lunar month and last from 3 to 4 days. Giant fir trucks are carved into canoes before being bundled in triples later. The middle one, known as the mother boat, will be furnished with auspicious patterns, skewers of ducks and banners. Mysterious rituals are performed before it kicks off. Each boat will be occupied by 36 strong men in their queer uniforms and hats. The dragon boat racing can be very thrilling, with the Qingshui riverbank crammed with thousands of people. The roaring songs of the contesters coupled with the cheers from the surging crowd will resonate amid the valley.
shidong town dragon boat festival

Insiders’ Tips

Location: Shidong Town, Taijiang County, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture. Neighboring Huangping County(黄平县), Zhenyuan County(镇远县), Shibing County(施秉县) and Jianhe County(剑河县), Shidong is 38km from Taijiang County(三江县), 48km from Kaili(凯里) .

Dwellers: Miao make for 98% of the whole population
History: 120 years
Status: well-preserved, a hot destination
Climate: subtropical climate. winter is warm and summer is cool. The highest temperature in summer is 29 °C and the lowest temperature in winter is 1°C . March to May: average temperature: 22 °C (in summer, there is plenty of mosquitoes, hence, ladies should bring some spray and sunscreen. )
shidong town

Get in: Guiyang to Kaili: Bus K946 (3 hours Hardseat:24¥ sleeper:55¥) Rent a car: 200¥ per day(include the accommodation and dining fees of the driver)

Kaili to Shidong: By bus.( Ticket :18 ¥ Operation Time: 8:30am to 13:30pm Frequency: each 30 minutes)
(the bus heading from Kaili to Zhenyuan also asses Shidong on the way, but it is only available before 12:00am)
shidong town

Taijiang County to Shidong: Bus: 6¥

Accommodation: hotels are short of supply in the town, hence you had better book in advance, especially during Sisters’ Meal Festival and Dragon Boat Festival. Price: it will rise from 10¥ to 50¥. You can use our travel service (we can arrange everything for you with the fairest prices). If you insist on travel independently, you can prepare sleep bag and tents as an alternative.

Eat: Sour Fish Soup, Sour Fish Hotpot, Sour Chicken and watermelon are must-see
Photo Tips: if you want to take amazing photos during Dragon Boat Festival, you can hike along the river, starting from Tangba Village(塘坝村), the main venue for Dragon Boat Festival, all the way to Tiantang Village(天堂村) ,Tanglong Village(塘龙村) and Pingzhai(平寨).
shidong town sisters meal sestivalshidong town sisters meal sestival

Get back: you can return to Kaili by bus, or go to Taijiang County(台江县城) to visit the embroidery museum within the Wenchang Pavilion(文昌宫) and Fanpai Miao Village(反排苗寨) to see the primitive and solemn ancestor worship ritual, or take a bus to Zhenyuan Ancient Town, one of the top four ancient towns of Guizhou with equal charm of Fenghuang Ancient City. Resembling a Yin and Yang symbol, it is famous for the especially exquisite Ming and Qing architecture complexes.

What to buy: Miao silver jewelry Shidong Miao silver jewelry is the most delicate and diversified in China. There are two types: one is made of pure silver and the other is an alloy of silver, copper and nickel.

Best time to go: Sisters’ Meal Festival(15th , March, lunar calendar. ) and Dragon Boat Festival
 Author: Sophia    Posted on March 22, 2013
Yuanyang Travel Tips
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