Visiting Guiyang- the Summer Capital of China

As the capital of Guizhou province of Southwest China, Guiyang is located in the centre of the province, situated on the east of the Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, and on the north bank of the Nan Ming River, a branch of the Wu River. Guiyang has a population of 4,324,561 at the 2010 census whom 3,037,159 live in the built up area made of 7 urban districts. The city has an elevation of about 1,100 meters. It has an area of 8,034 square kilometres (3,102 sq mi). It enjoys a moderate and cool weather in summer time and is named as Summer Capital of China.

During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), Guiyang was originally under the jurisdiction of Zangke county. In the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC), it was subordinate to Yelang state and then to Zangke prefecture in the period of the Western Han (206 BC – AD 24) and Eastern Han (AD 25 – 220) dynasties. In the fourth year of the reign of Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty (1371), Xuanweisi department was set up to administer Guizhou (presently Guiyang). In the sixth year of the reign of Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty (1373), Weizhihui office (meaning “guards commanding office”) was set up. In the 26th year, Guizhou Forward Guard Station was set up. In the 11th year of the reign of Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1413), a protocol department of political deputy was set up. Guizhou was set up as a province and Guiyang became the center of policy, military, economy and culture.
After the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949, Guiyang has become the provincial capital of Guizhou.
The main tourist attractions in Guiyang are Jiaxiu Tower and Huaxi Wetland Park.

The Jiaxiu Tower, is a traditional Chinese-style structure firtly built in 1597, during the Ming Dynasty, and is connected to the banks on both sides of Nanming river by the Fuyu Bridge. It was built by Jiang Dongzhi, the governor of Guizhou province and had been enlarged six times by 1981, when the Guiyang Government set aside funds to repair it.
Jiaxiu Tower has three stories, three eaves, four corners and a dome, with a structure that is unique in early architecture of China. The tower is around 20 meters high and has upturned eaves supported by 12 stone columns, protected by white carved stone rails. People can enjoy the scenery around the tower, with the 90-m Fuyu Bridge looking like a dragon lying on the water. It passes through the Tower and and has the Hanbi Pavilion on it, with Hanbi Pond and the Shuiyue Platform. To the south of the bridge is the Cuiwei Tower.
Many writers wrote poems on the Jiaxiu Tower, one of the most popular of which is the 206-character couplet by Liu Yushan of the Qing Dynasty. It is 26 characters longer than the “longest couplet” in the world, on the Daguan Tower, in Kunming Yunnan province. Liu’s couplet describes the geography and other features of Guiyang, a mountain city. The tower unites picturesque mountains and brilliant water with its exclusive beauty and, when evening falls and the bright lights come on, you’ll be amazed if you visit it. The long couplet gives the history of the tower and its location then details the scenery around it, with the author expressing his love ascending the Tower and appreciating the scenery.

The Huaxi National Wetland Park is described as a magnificent “diamond” inlaid in Huaxi, the “brilliant pearl plateau”.
In December 2009, Huaxi Wetland Park was formally approved as the first National Wetland Park in southwest China. Located in Huaxi proper, in Guiyang, the Park mainly boasts such scenic spots as Huaxi Park, Huaxi Shilihe Beach, and Dajiangshan Park, and so on.
The wetland park, featuring rivers, farmlands and ponds, provides a safe place for animals to eat, live and breed. It also creates favorable conditions for carrying out scientific research activities in the wetland park. According to statistics, there are 495 kinds of vascular plants, two of which are the second-class national protection category (cultivated species are excluded), and three kinds of precious animals protected by the state.

In recent years, the local government has carried out a variety of large tree-planting activities, and attracted more than 20,000 Green Ribbon volunteers to take part in the construction and management of the wetland park. Since its establishment, it has functioned as a new place of leisure for citizens.

The Huaxi National Wetland Park is described as a magnificent “diamond” inlaid in Huaxi, the “brilliant pearl plateau”. In December 2009, Huaxi Wetland Park was formally approved as the first National Wetland Park in southwest China. Located in Huaxi proper, in Guiyang, the Park mainly boasts such scenic spots as Huaxi Park, Huaxi Shilihe Beach, and Dajiangshan Park, and so on. The wetland park, featuring rivers, farmlands and ponds, provides a safe place for animals to eat, live and breed. It also creates favorable conditions for carrying out scientific research activities in the wetland park. According to statistics, there are 495 kinds of vascular plants, two of which are the second-class national protection category (cultivated species are excluded), and three kinds of precious animals protected by the state. In recent years, the local government has carried out a variety of large tree-planting activities, and attracted more than 20,000 Green Ribbon volunteers to take part in the construction and management of the wetland park. Since its establishment, it has functioned as a new place of leisure for citizens.