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A naturally elevating trip

By Chen Liang | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-11-24 07:48
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A path winds along a river and heads to a karst cave at the Niangniangshan scenic area in Panzhou, Guizhou province. CHEN LIANG/CHINA DAILY

Guizhou's stunning landscapes, and lack of crowds, make it a perfect place to lift the spirits, Chen Liang reports.

This year, domestic tourism is not just hot, it is sizzling. It seems that every popular tourist attraction is crowded and every hotel at a popular scenic area is charging top dollar.

To avoid joining the hordes of tourists — it's a challenge, believe me — you have to be patient and sometimes think creatively.

I stayed at home in Beijing in July and August, waiting for the end of the summer vacation. In September, two friends and I started thinking of finding a "cool" place to have a four- or five-day trip to get close to nature and regain our stamina, which had been consumed by the intense summer heat.

Located on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, the two southwestern provinces that grabbed our attention offered cooler climes.

We had been to Yunnan province many times, including a trip earlier this year, so Guizhou province won the toss.

But, where in Guizhou? I asked a botanist friend, who spent a month there earlier this year collecting specimens, for some recommendations. He mentioned Chishui, Xingyi and Panzhou.

Chishui is more popular than Xingyi. My friends and I never heard of Panzhou. So it was decided; we would visit Panzhou. After some further research, we found that Panzhou borders Xingyi and can be easily reached by car from the provincial capital, Guiyang.

After Panzhou, we could visit Xingyi en route for Guiyang.

So three of us flew into Guiyang from different cities, met, picked up our car at the Longdongbao airport, and drove to Panzhou.

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