Kaili (凱里; Kǎilǐ) is an industrial city in Guizhou province. At the edge of the city, there is a huge power station burning coal. This makes the whole city dusty and polluted. The rundown buildings, new constructions in progress and other heavy industries (cement factories) don't make Kaili a terrific touristic place. On the other hand, it is the center of a scenic region with many colorful ethnic minorities in villages nearby, so it does get quite a bit of tourism.
From Guiyang airport, you'll need to take a taxi to the Guiyang Eastern Bus Station. It's about a 15 minute journey and will cost about 15 RMB. Buses run every 30 minutes and cost 70 RMB. The first bus is around 7 am, and the last bus is around 6:30 pm. The trip to Kaili takes around 2.5 hours.
You can also take a taxi into Guiyang and then take a train to Kaili. However, not knowing the train schedule and if there will be tickets, makes train travel risky.
From other places in China, Kaili is rather easy to reach. There is a train line running through Kaili, making it reachable from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Kunming - all by overnight or long distance train. A high speed rail line will be completed during the summer of 2015, linking Kaili to both Shanghai to the East and Kunming to the West. The high speed rail line from Guiyang to Guangzhou is already open, but does not run through Kaili. If visitors want to use that line, they must exit the train in Duyun. From there they can take a bus to Kaili or travel by taxi, which is more expensive.
- Traditional markets are held in nearby villages, half an hour to two hours away by local bus. In these markets women in traditional clothes are seen, the things they bring from the villages are exchanged in the market, these are indigo they need to dye their cloth, chicken they take home to offer for worship, handwoven textile they sew for their family, silk floss for embroidery,etc.
- There are also various festivals. The rain-worship ritual is held on August 5th of this year in the south of Kaili. There you will see traditional rain-worship, Dong people's music, singing and dancing under their Drum towers, indigo-dyed pleated skirts and festival jackets with silver ornaments. During this summer time, it is a short free time for the work in the fields, locals of Miao and Dong will arrange bullfights and some more festivals, such as Eating-new-rice festival. This is held almost everywhere in the south of Kaili.
- Travel agencies or hotels can arrange trips to touristic village such as Nanhua, Langde, Xijiang and Zhaoxing, or if you're feeling adventurous and speak some Chinese, you can get there more cheaply by local bus.
- Sunday market in Kaili - do not miss to visit the many small side streets.
- Leishan. A charming and quiet Miao ethnic town 1 hour south by bus from Kaili. A beautiful contrast to the rough industrial make-up of Kaili, and a good place to stay overnight.
- Lang De Miao village. A bit touristic, but very nice location and higher part of the village is quiet. Go there via Leishan and visit the market there.
- Also Xijiang, the largest Miao village, is not far away, or go to Datang, with its store houses on pillars in water basins.
- Chong An Jiang village with its picturesque waterfront. Pay 1Y for the ferry to the other bank for a great view.
- Zheng Man Dong Miao village, famous for its Batik works.
- The two old towns close to Geyi (~3km); take the bus to Geyi and than a taxi from Geyi or walk.
Sour fish soup, sour beef soup, wild boar.
The surrounding area has many villages, mostly of various minority ethnic groups, accessible by bus. Go south rather than north (cement factories and few coal mines for the next 100km).
Leishan, 40km south, a small city with few minority ethnic groups and nice buildings. Better place than Kaili to stay overnight.