Si Yue Ba Festival


“Wo zhongwen shuode bu hao”
(pronounced “wor choong-wun shwor-dur boo how”) means “I speak Chinese very badly.” 

Despite our total lack of language skills we seem to be getting around just fine.


We take a short train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, and a 22-hour train ride to Kali, a "small town "(1.5 million) in the center of the hills of Guizhou province.

We are in one of the poorest provinces in China, but you would never guess by all the modern 20-30 story buildings, cranes and construction.

We leave Kaili the next day at the crack of 2 p.m., after an evening and morning of going through our luggage for the third time, eliminating extra weight. The temperature is 95 degrees, the humidity about the same. We ride higher into the mountains in our lowest gears. We are so ecstatic to finally be cycling in China that we don’t mind all the honking vehicles and diesel belching trucks.

Guizhou province (in south central China) is home to 18 ethnic minorities, more than any other province. We soon see a variety of people in exotic clothing along the road. The wooden houses have beautiful architecture with ornately carved designs on the eaves, windows and doors. The countryside is filled with vegetable gardens and rice terraces. What a spectacular place to begin riding!

We came here to see a large Miao festival at a Taoist temple, along with about 20,000 locals from numerous ethnic groups (and only 10 other foreigners). We wander all day long in the sweltering sun through the crowds. The walkways are lined with vendors selling everything imaginable: plastic machine guns, flashlights, sesame cakes, turtles and even roasted dog.


One of the highlights is the colorful traditional singing and dancing.

When we leave the road is so jam-packed with vehicles, no one is moving. We walk five miles to the end of the traffic jam to catch a mini-bus back to our hotel.

She is telling us she is four years old.
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