In the southwest of China lies Guizhou. This rather small province is twice as big as Belgium, and has the same population as Canada.
Guizhou is a magical land where there is always something new to discover, no matter how many times you go there. There are beautiful karts landscapes, rices terraces, many waterfalls, peaceful old towns and lots of different ethnic groups.
But before going exploring yourself, here are twelve facts about Guizhou most people don't know about:
1. In Guizhou there is a dish called chili fried chili.
Guizhou people love chili peppers and cannot go a meal without them. They eat chili in all forms: fresh, dried, grilled in oil, burnt in the oven, ground into powder, in sauce...and fried with other chili's.
2. Guizhou has the world's largest telescope.
Called the Heavenly Eye in Chinese, this telescope is five-hundred-meter across and is the biggest radio telescope ever built, sadly they have no one qualified to run it. Within a five kilometer radius wireless networks and cell phones are prohibited.
3. Guizhou is the third largest tobacco producer of China.
Tobacco leaves were first brought to Guizhou in 1622. Now Guizhou has become the third largest tobacco producer and exporter in China.
4. People from Guizhou love sour dishes.
There is a saying: Three days without sour makes Guizhou people wobbly. They like sour cabbage, sour radishes, sour fish soup, sour rice soup, sour meat soup...
5. Guizhou is home to the Chinese wax printing town.
The city of Anshun produces 90% of China's wax printed batik. It also has a wax printing festival attracting visitors from all over the world. Anshun's artisans still use traditional methods, but also innovate the printing art with new patterns and designs.
6. 36% of the province's population is from ethnic minorities.
Most of them are Miao, Dong, Buyi, Tujia, Yi, Gelao, Shui, Hui... The rest 64% are Han Chinese.
7. Guizhou produces the most famous and expensive brand of Chinese liquor, Moutai.
Moutai is made out of sorghum in the Moutai town. In 2012 they even opened a Moutai University to teach the future generation how to make good liquor.
8. 97% of Guizhou is covered with mountains and hills, crisscrossed by rivers.
9. The Miao minority makes Sister rice.
When Miao people celebrate the Sister festival, they eat Sister Rice. It's sticky rice colored with natural pigments from wild flowers. It even tastes a bit like wild flowers.
10. The longhorn Miao pass their hair down from generation to generation.
Longhorn Miao not only wear their own hair on their head, they also add strands of hair from their mother, grandmothers and great-grandmothers, interwoven with black tread. This is meant to bring them good fortune and destiny.
11. A very popular chilli sauce called Old Dry Mother sauce (Laoganma 老干妈) comes from Guizhou.
Laoganma has become a very famous brand in China and is even sold abroad.
12. Guizhou is home to China's largest waterfall, softest waterfall and biggest waterfall group.
The largest is Huangguoshu waterfall, it's 80 meters high and 100 meters wide. The softest is called Yinlianzhui, which means silver pendant drop. The biggest waterfall group is Malinghe. Here lots of waterfalls fall over a cliff into narrow gorge. You can take a narrow pathway down the canyon or a glass elevator.