The capital of the Qian Dongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Region, Kaili serves as the starting point for a journey to the Miao and Dong villages that dominate eastern Guizhou. More than two-thirds of the population is Miao, and their villages are along the eastern and northeastern outskirts of Kaili. The Dong communities are to the southeast.

Outside town the local villages are of great interest. To the north is the Wuyang River, which passes by many mountains, caves, and Miao villages. At Shibing you can take boat rides through spectacular limestone gorges and arrange stops at these towns. South of Kaili are the Dong villages of Leishan, Rongjiang, and Zhaoxing. The latter village, set in a beautiful landscape, is known for its five drum towers.

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