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Guides / Itineraries

Dehang Miao Village: a village in a valley

By Zhiyu Wang

April 14

Dehang in the west of Hunan is the best place to see how Miao people live.

Dehang in the west of Hunan is the best place to see how Miao people live.

“Dehang” means “beautiful valley” in the Xiangxi Miao language. The village sits below steep cliffs amid mountains and forests. The pleasant climate and marvelous scenery attract visitors from all over the world.

Dehang Miao Village [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn]
Dehang Miao Village (德夯苗寨) has diverse karst landscapes and dozens of streams crisscross the surrounding region. Suspended buildings, waterwheels, and a small ferryboat form a view that has graced many postcards. Jielong Bridge, a semi-circular stone arch bridge, is the traditional place to hold the lively Jielong ceremony, which celebrates the coming of the dragon, a symbol of good luck for Miao people.

Dehang Miao Village [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn]
The village has many interesting customs. Locals find lovers in the village by singing songs. Every household owns a loom to weave their own cloth, and women wear a lot of silver jewelry. They support themselves through subsistence agriculture and tourism. Many tourists come to see traditional Miao dancing and music, which some villagers can play using just one single leaf.

Dehang Miao Village [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn]

Miao people celebrate many holidays including the Miao New Year, the Bullfighting Festival and the Sisters’ Festival. However, the most popular Miao pastime is a dance party held at night regularly in summer. It used to be a local custom but has since become a show for tourists.

Best time to visit: March – September

Entry: 100 yuan/person for the village, 120 yuan/person for the night dance party.

Opening hours: 08:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

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