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Asia > East Asia > China > Southwest China

Southwest China

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Southwest China is the most exotic area of China, home to many minority ethnic groups. It has much in common with Northwest China; both areas are far less prosperous than the eastern and southern coastal regions.

Much of the terrain is quite mountainous. Tibet and Northwestern Yunnan are located on the Tibetan Plateau and have many very high mountains; including the world's highest (Mount Everest) which is located in on the Tibet/Nepalese border. Guizhou and Guangxi have smaller mountains, including the karst limestone terrain, with fantastically gum drop shaped hills, terraced rice fields, and many caves.


Regions of Southwest China
  Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
  Guizhou Province
  Tibet Autonomous Region
  Yunnan Province (Kunming Prefecture, Central Yunnan, Eastern Yunnan, Southeastern Yunnan, Southern Yunnan, Western Yunnan, Northwestern Yunnan)


Map of Southwest China

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Lugu Lake — a lake between Sichuan and Yunnan
  • 2 Mount Kailash , known as Gang Rinpoche in Tibetan, Tibet (5,656 meters), sacred to Hindus, Jains and some Buddhists
  • Two fantastic hiking areas hiking areas in Yunnan, both featuring large gorges winding between large mountains:
  • 5 Guilin and Yangshuo, the major tourist draw in Guangxi, mainly for the karst (interesting limestone mountains) scenery



This part of China is culturally very rich, with many ethnic minorities like the Zhuang, Miao, Naxi, Bai and Tibetans who speak their own languages. Nevertheless, as Mandarin is the medium of instruction in all Chinese schools, nearly all younger locals are bilingual in their ethnic language and Mandarin.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

The Wikivoyage itinerary Hong Kong to Kunming overland covers travel through this region.






Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Southwest China is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!