Kaili Overview

Located in the southeast of Guizhou province, China, Kaili is one of the major central cities in Guizhou province, and is one of the important tourist cities as well. Kaili overview is a relatively comprehensive introduction to Kaili City. In this part, you will have a general understanding of Kaili.

Basic Information

  • Chinese Name: 凯里市
  • Location: Southeast of Guizhou Province, Northwest of Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture.
  • Government Seat: Dashizi Subdistrict(大十字街道)
  • Area: About 1556 square kilometers
  • Population: An approximate population of 543,100
  • Minorities: Miao, Han, Dong, Mulao, She, Buyi, Shui, Yi, Zhuang, Yao, Man, Hui, Mongol, Jingpo, Wa, Li, Dongxiang, Naxi, Gelao, Jing(京族), Chaoxian(Korean), Tujia, Bai, Dai, Zang, Lahu, Uygur, etc. 
  • Language: Southwest Mandarin, Kaili Local Language, Miao Language
  • Airport: Kaili Huanping Airport
  • Railway Stations: Kaili Railway Station and Kaili South Railway Station
  • Famous Attractions: Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village, Miao and Dong Folklore Garden, Zhouxi Town, Xiasi Scenic Area, Langde Miao Village, Nanhua Miao Village, etc. 


Kaili City, located in southeast of Guizhou Province, northwest of Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, is the capital of the Autonomous Prefecture. It connects Taijiang County and Leishan County in the east, Majiang County and Danzhai County in the south, Fuquan City in the west and Huangping County in the north. The geographical coordinates are 107°40'58"—108°12'9" east longitude and 26°24'13"—26°48'11" north latitude. Longest east-west span is 51.76 kilometers, and longest north-south length of 44.3 kilometers, covering a total area of about 1556 square kilometers. Kaili geomorphic type is erosion structure type and dissolution structure type, with typical karst landform and denudation erosion landform. Mountain plateau, mountain land, middle mountains and low mountains account for 41.76% of the city's coverage. The topography is high in the southwest and low in the northeast. It belongs to the subtropical temperate and humid climate region and is the typical monsoon climate.

Climate & Best Time to Visit

Kaili enjoys a subtropical temperate and humid monsoon climate, with the features of chilly and humid in winter, as well as cool in summer. Kaili has mild climate, pleasant seasons, with an annual temperature of around 16°C on average. The average temperature in summer is about 26℃, making it an ideal summer resort. The average winter temperature is 2℃ to 5℃, which can feel cold in the humid climate, especially in rural areas. So thick clothes and sweater are needed in winter. 

In Kaili, the rainy season lasts about half a year, especially in the late spring and early summer, when it rains almost every day. Therefore, umbrellas and other rain gear are needed during the journey. 

Best Time to Visit

The best travel time is from June to September. As this time is summer, it is a good time to escape the heat, and the scenery is also very beautiful. But, if you want to experience ethnic culture more, ethnic festivals in Kaili mainly focus on Spring and Autumn. Therefore, in spring and autumn, you can enjoy a lot of grand celebrations. 

Read More: Kaili Climate

Administrative Divisions

Kaili city has jurisdiction over 7 subdistricts and 11 towns. The city government is located in Dashizi Subdistrict(大十字街道). 

  • 7 Subdistricts: Dashizi Subdistrict(大十字街道), Chengxi Subdistrict(城西街道), Ximen Subdistrict(西门街道), Wanxi Subdistrict(湾溪街道), Kaihuai Subdistrict(开怀街道), Ximahe Subdistrict(洗马河街道) and Yatang Subdistrict(鸭塘街道).
  • 11 Towns: Sankeshu Town(三棵树镇), Zhouxi Town(舟溪镇), Panghai Town(旁海镇), Wanshui Town(湾水镇), Wanchao Town(万潮镇), Longchang Town(龙场镇), Kaitang Town(凯棠镇), Dafengdong Town(大风洞镇), Xiasi Town(下司镇), Lushan Town(炉山镇), and Bibo Town(碧波镇).

Ethnic Culture

Kaili is inhabited by Miao, Han, Dong, Mulao, She, Buyi, Shui, Yi, Zhuang, Yao, Man, Hui, Mongol, Jingpo, Wa, Li, Dongxiang, Naxi, Gelao, Jing(京族), Chaoxian(Korean), Tujia, Bai, Dai, Zang, Lahu, Uygur and other ethnic groups, as well as Gejia(革家), Xijia(西家) and other pending minorities(待定民族). It is known as the "Pearl of Miaoling(苗岭明珠)", "the Hometown of Lusheng", "the Hometown of Oriental Bullfighting", and "the City of Festivals". There are more than 135 ethnic traditional festivals in Kaili, among so many festivals, the Lusheng FestivalSisters' Meals Festival and the New Year of Miao Minority are celebrated grandly.  Read More: Kaili Ethnic Culture


At present, there are airport and railway station for tourists to visit the core area of Guizhou minority villages gathering. However, due to limited transportation between Kaili and other cities in China, tourists often get to Guiyang first and then take train or bus to Kaili. It takes only 35 minutes by high-speed train, and about 2.5 hours by car or long-distance bus from Guiyang to Kaili. 

Kaili has an airport named Kaili Huangping Airport. There are flights between Guiyang, HangzhouChengdu and Guilin, etc. But the most recommended way by taking flights is arriving at Guiyang Longdongbao Airport first, since there are more flights available in Guiyang Airport. 

Departing from Kaili, it takes only 1-2 hours to drive around the surrounding attractions. You can rent a vehicle to travel around Kaili City. But it could be hard because of the language.

Read More: 
Guizhou Transportation
Kaili Transportation


Some hotels in Kaili offer comfortable accommodations. However, because the city is not well-developed enough, the facilities and services of hotels cannot be compared with similar hotels in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Surely, the facilities and services of hotels is developing with the development of tourism in Kaili. You can stay at the hotels in minority villages, there are usually some boutique hostels and guesthouses. You can experience the ethnic customs closely. You can also stay in the downtown of Kaili City, where the accommodation condition could be better. Read More: Kaili Accommodation

Things to Do in Kaili

1. Visit Ethnic Minority Villages

Kaili, the capital city of Qiandongnan, is a place where many ethnic minority villages gather, in particularly, the Miao villages. Kaili has some of the largest, most famous and well-constructed minority villages, such as Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village and Langde Miao Village. Today, with the development of tourism, more and more villages are being rebuilt and commercialized. Their villages culture and handicrafts are disappearing as well. Here are several ethnic villages where you can still contact the authentic and traditional ethnic culture, including Matang Gejia Village(learn Gejia batik), Kongbai Miao Village(admire exquisite silver objects) and Shiqiao Miao Village(make paper). 

2. Celebrate Local Ethnic Festivals

Kaili is the city of festivals, more than a hundred festivals are celebrated in Kaili during the whole year, with song, dance and food as major parts of a festival. The most well-known festivals are Lusheng festival(around March/November) and Sister's Meal Festival(April 19-21, 2019). Read More: Kaili Festivals and Activities

Natural Resources

1. Plant Resources

Forest coverage in Kaili is 56%. There are more than 200 species of wild tree species and hundreds of medicinal plants, as well as 13 rare species of national key protection in Kaili City. Among them, gingko, beak walnut(喙核桃), Tulip poplar(鹅掌楸), Tu-chung(杜仲), Rehderodendron macrocarpum(木瓜红) and Fukien cypress(福建柏) are the grade two of national protected plant. Nanmu(楠木), Echium(青檀), Incense Cedar(翠柏), Pinus fenzeliana(华南五针松), keteleeria(毛油杉), Magnolia officinalis(厚朴) and stewartia(紫茎) are the grade three of national protected plant.

2. Animal Resources

There are 15 species of wild animals and 20 species of birds in Kaili City. Among them, the first class national protected animal is Elliot's Pheasant(白颈长尾雉), and second class protected animals include macaque(猕猴), pangolin, mandarin duck, silver pheasant(白鹇), pukras, giant salamander(大鲵), glede(鸢), Besra(松雀鹰), Chinese Sparrowhawk(赤腹鹰), bald eagle, woodpeckers, short-eared owls, etc.

3. Water Resources

There are 56 rivers in Kaili City (including 35 streams), belonging to the Yuanjiang river system(沅江水系) of the Yangtze river basin. Among them, 21 tributaries have a drainage area of more than 20 square kilometers, belonging to the Qingshui River(清水江), the Chongan River(重安江) and the Bala River(巴拉河) respectively.