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Getting There

Traveling by train to Guiyang (3 1/2 hr.) has become less popular now that buses can whisk travelers there in 2 hours. The faster trains leave Kaili in the middle of the night, though there's a 10am train (K192) that gets in at 1:51pm and a 4:10pm train (K79) that gets in at 7:47pm. Tickets (hard seats only) can be bought at a counter inside the Bank of China at Beijing Dong Lu 9-11 (tel. 0855/822-1065; open 8:30am-noon and 2-5:30pm). A taxi ride to town from the railway station (tel. 0855/381-2222) costs ¥10 ($1.30/65p). For destinations farther afield like Kunming (the T61 departs at 11:59pm and arrives in Kunming at 3:17pm), purchase your tickets in Guiyang if you want anything more than a hard seat. Inside the train station, the left luggage area is not signposted but is actually a small room hidden away behind the shop, opposite the main ticket counter. Opening times are 8am until 8pm and the cost is ¥3 (40¢/20p) per item.

From the bus station at Wenhua Bei Lu (tel. 0855/823-8035), buses run to Guiyang (2 hr.; ¥35/$4.55/£2.30) every half-hour from 6am to 7:15pm; to Rong Jiang (6 hr.; ¥35/$4.55/£2.30) from 6:40am to 3pm; to Cong Jiang (9 hr.; ¥68/$8.45/£4.25) at 6:50am, 8am, and 9am; to Leishan (1 hr.; ¥20/$2.60/£1.30) every half-hour from 7am to 5:30pm; to Tai Jiang (1 hr.; ¥20/$2.60/£1.30) every 40 minutes from 8:30am to 6pm; and to Shidong (2 1/2 hr.; ¥15/$1.95/£1) from 8am to 2:50pm. Left luggage opens at 6am and closes at 8pm.

Getting Around

Taxis charge ¥4 (50¢/25p) for in-town destinations, but ¥5 (65¢/35p) if you catch one inside the bus station. Add an additional ¥1 (15¢/10p) to all fares from midnight to 7am. Bus no. 2 makes a loop from the railway station in the north down past the main traffic circle on Beijing Lu and then down Zhaoshan Nan Lu, before it returns to the railway station via Ningbo Lu. The bus fare is ¥.70 ($9 /£4.50). Unfortunately there do seem to be any bikes for rent at the moment. If you bring your own, make sure that you pack a spare pair of legs because if Guizhou does in fact have any flat roads they keep them very well hidden. There are a number of motorbike shops at the east end of Ningbo Lu that might be persuaded to hire out a motocross bike, but do not expect any bargain prices.

Tours & Guides

CITS, at Yingpan Dong Lu 53 (tel. 0855-8222099; www.toguizhou.com; open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm) can customize private trips to the Miao and Dong regions, especially if you're looking to explore remote villages, but none of it comes cheap. Rates start at around ¥800 ($104/£52) a day for a guide and driver. Bargain hard. The office's top English-speaking guide, the friendly Mr. Li Maoqing, can answer questions regarding nearby sights.

Fast Facts

Banks, Foreign Exchange and ATMs -- The main branch of the Bank of China is at Zhaoshan Nan Lu 6 (open Mon-Fri, 8am-noon and 2:30-6:30pm/2-6pm in winter).

Internet Access -- The Tengxun Wangba at the intersection of Beijing Dong Lu and Wenhua Lu (look for the green sign) charges ¥2 (25¢/15p) an hour. Dial-up is tel. 163.

Post Office -- The post office (open 8am-6:30pm, until 6pm Oct-Apr) is at Beijing Dong Lu 1.

Visa Extension -- The PSB is at Yongle Lu 26 (tel. 0855/853-6113; open Mon-Fri 8:30-11:30am and 2-5:30pm). Allow 5 working days.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.