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Minority Cultural Retreats

Get off the the beaten-track and explore some lesser known parts of China

05·10·2011

Even if it does have 5,000 years of history, China’s culture can sometimes seem kind of…monolithic. In most major cities, you’re surrounded by its most mainsteam iteration, and the only break you’re willing to get is the occasional Italian restaurant or Xinjiang barbeque restaurant.

But actually, there’s a lot more to China’s culture than the mainstream culture that dominates most urban life. Using Trekiz.com, a new travel website that allows you to book some pretty cool off-the-beaten path tours with travel agents and tour operators all over China, we’ve picked out three great places you can go to get away from Sichuan restaurants and Starbucks and really immerse yourself in another Chinese culture.

Didn’t have plans yet for summer? You’re welcome. And be sure to bring your friends along. You can be sure you’re getting the best price, because the travel vendors who list their tours with Trekiz.com are required by contract to post their lowest prices there; you won’t find these tours anywhere else for less.

Guizhou: Learn about the Hmong, Miao, Dong, and Shui ethnic groups while enjoying some of China’s most breathtaking scenery. You’ll hike mountains, explore ancient villages, chat with local families, learn to make pipes, watch performances, live in local accommodation and come away feeling like you visited a China that you never knew was there. Unless, of course, you’ve visited there before. Plus, one of the villages you’ll visit is the only community in China where people are allowed to carry guns. You know you want to find out what that’s all about!

Kashgar: Yeah, you’ve chatted with the xinjiangren who runs your local chuan’r stand, but that doesn’t mean you know Xinjiang. Dive deep into Uyghur culture with this immersion tour of Kashgar, one of China’s oldest and most ancient cities. You’ll visit mosques and the tombs of famous Uyghur scholars, haggle in the old city’s Uyghur markets, and wash it all down with authentic Xinjiang food. The architecture alone will be enough to make you feel like you’re in a whole other country.

Guilin: If you’re a tea-drinker, why not take your taste of minority cultures with sips of the freshest tea on the planet? This one-day tour of a tea plantation in Guilin will allow you to see where your tea comes from, then drink it before moving on to explore the villages of Yao and Zhuang minorities. Finally, you’ll end up at the longji rice terraces, which are about as cool-looking a place as exists anywhere on earth. Plus, bring enough friends and you can do this private tour (with an English-speaking guide) for under $100/each!

Of course, there’s plenty more where these came from on Trekiz.com, so if those aren’t getting your attention, click over and browse to see if they have your dream trip, too!

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