Guizhou, China Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Guizhou, China

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Guizhou is well off the beaten track, and has few visitors from the outside world. There is an old saying in Chinese about Guizhou, stating that there are three things you will never see there - three ounces of gold, three sunny days, or three acres of flat land.

This saying is not far from the truth as it's the poorest province in China. However, the people there are very friendly and very hospitable, often treating guests to several meals in a row and not letting them pay for anything. These meals are largely made up of chilli peppers and rice, the two ingredients which abound in the area.

The weather in Guizhou can be very gloomy a lot of the time. Often the place is shrouded in a kind of misty drizzle which causes all the paths to become muddy. It's also a fairly cold place in winter, hovering around zero degrees Celsius. Eighty-seven per cent of the land is mountainous, so it's essential to maintain the picturesque step-like fields of rice paddies that work their way up the sides of mountains. These paddies are common in this part of China and are crucial in providing food for all the inhabitants of Guizhou.

Guizhou is only one province away from Tibet, which explains its mountainous terrain, and is right next door to Sichuan, from which it gets the spicy food. A large proportion of the population belongs to several of China's 55 minority groups, specifically the Miao and Gejia, Buyi, Dong, Tujia, Yi, Gelao, Shui, Hui, and Bai

Local Recipe

  • One third cup of lard
  • Cup and a half of hot peppers
  • One half to one whole chicken (or the same amount of pork)
  • One tablespoon of salt


Put the lard and peppers in a wok over a coal stove. Stir until the lard melts. Add the meat, chopped into bite-sized pieces. Let cook until done. Sprinkle salt on top. Stir in. Eat straight from the wok. Serves 4 - 6.

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