Este verano realizamos un viaje a China, para conocer la arquitectura y descubrir las costumbres de diferentes zonas y etnias del Sur (Zhejiang, Fujian, Guizhou).

       Uno de nuestros destinos fue la provincia de  Guizhou (específicamente el Sur Este de la provincia) para profundizar nuestro conocimiento en arquitectura y cultura de los pueblos DONG y MIAO. Habíamos contactado desde España con CHEN (especialista y conocedor en profundidad y estudioso de su cultura MIAO y de la cultura DONG), para acompañarnos durante 5 días.

       Este escrito es para agradecer a esta persona - ya amigo -  todo su entusiasmo y su alegría a transmitirnos su amor y sus conocimientos de estos pueblos. Nos hemos convertido casi en “expertos” con tanta emoción y nos ha enseñado tanto sobre las personas y las costumbres de todos los lugares que hemos visitado. Hemos aprendido a diferenciar por el peinado a una mujer de una etnia u otra (solo por ver el precioso mono que se hacen  sujetado con un alfiler o un peine). Sabemos reconocer los detalles arquitectónicos de los maravillosos puentes de nombre poético (puente de las flores, puente de la lluvia, puente del viento, puente que mira a la puesta del sol…) puentes que al construirse para el paso de un río  daban lugar al pueblo o la ciudad y no solo permitían el paso de las personas pero se convertían en  zonas de comercio y de vida. Hemos descubierto tantas torres del tambor (drum towers) siempre magnificas, siempre de pisos impares (menos cuando un carpintero se confundió y hizo una par).

  Tanto las torres como los puentes no solo son lugares prácticos y funcionales pero también son centros culturales, lugares de reunión o de juego, sitios para descanso… lugares que CHEN nos ha invitado a compartir.

       Maravillosas estructuras arquitectónicas igual son las casas, construidas siempre en madera sin clavos ni puntas, casas que CHEN nos ha enseñado a apreciar desde fuera como desde dentro.

       Hemos compartido con CHEN las risas, las complicadas explicaciones por los problemas de idioma con los habitantes de los pueblos, con los trabajadores de los campos de arroz o con las mujeres hermosas del algodón (lo recogen, lo hilan en sus ruecas artesanales, lo tintan de índigo y finalmente se confeccionan vestidos preciosos).

       Con CHEN hemos conocido tantos puentes (con sus pinturas naif que cuentan las leyendas de los pueblos), tantas torres del tambor, tantos pueblos, hemos subido y bajado montañas, caminado por sus hermosas terrazas en las laderas de los campos de arroz, y siempre alegría e interés.

Los 5 días que hemos disfrutado y compartido la vida de los habitantes se lo debemos a CHEN. Siempre contento, incansable magnifico actor si nos representaba cenas de la vida del pueblo o peleas de los búfalos (explicándonos la importancia que representan para el honor del clan). Gracias CHEN hemos pasado unos días inolvidables. Todas las ilusiones que teníamos preparando el viaje se han multiplicado gracias a tu trabajo, a las fantásticas experiencias compartidas contigo y a tus cuidados cuando nos proporcionaba café y bollitos en el medio de la montaña y gracias por conseguir que estuviéramos lo mas cómodo posible.

Tú amiga Gloria (Madrid, Spain)    20/09/2017

I like to help Tony make recommendations, I wholeheartedly endorse Tony Chen as the finest and most competent guide/translator/tour operator that we have ever used.

My wife and I took an 11 day tour of SW Guizhou with Tony in March, 2013. Our interest was in minority textiles, culture and traditional villages. He came highly recommended and he did not disappoint. Through our correspondence with Tony, he purposed an itinerary tailored to mesh our desires and time frame with festivals, market days, and museum visits. In hindsight, we wouldn't change a thing.
I knew Tony was Miao, and was raised in a traditional village. What we quickly learned was that he is very conscientious, detail oriented and a quick study to our wants and needs. We found that he is knowledgeable about anthropology, textiles, history, photographic sites, and farming. His passion for this fascinating region of China and its cultures is infectious. He quickly became our friend and teacher. Tony is constantly visiting new villages that are off the main tourist track. During our entire tour we saw but 1 other tourist group, and that was at our hotel. In every village he was well known and respected. He easily approached, met and interacted with everyone. He is an excellent translator and always made us a part of the conversations.
Tony approaches his occupation with a strict sense of responsibility. This was constantly evident in his dealing with restaurants, hotels and his driver. Our needs, wants and safety always came first. In short, he leads his tours with experience and authority. Our van and driver were excellent as well.
We have taken other tours in China, and elsewhere. A common practice is to visit a village and be told explore on your own. Then you're instructed return to the vehicle at a certain time. Tony, however, always accompanied us and our visits were enriched with his insights, knowledge of village layout, and comfort with the people. He has guided many professional photographers and knows the best spots for photos and when it's not appropriate.
Tony Chen offers a first rate service that may cost a little more, but in my opinion there can be no better guide in SW China.
Roland and Lyndall Lummis - Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A.
Brooke and Dov with Gejia Women joining a Funeral Small Flower Miao Women and Children in Batik Dress


  We don't have a lot of experience with guides, but my husband and I both felt that Tony far exceeded any expectations that we had. He was always extremely considerate, well informed and good humored. I would like to list a few specific things that he did which I particularly appreciated.

  1. He gave us a very warm welcome at the airport and offered us a
choice of having lunch or leaving directly for Kaili. We chose to
drive right away to Kaili so he gave us snacks and water for the trip.

  2. He hired a very good driver and a comfortable air conditioned van to take us everywhere. This proved to be very important when we were faced with the challenges of road construction and narrow mountain roads later in the week.

  3. He took us to many great restaurants and ordered interesting local dishes. He carried disposable chopsticks, napkins and bottled water to make sure that we didn't get sick ( and we didn't). Once he discovered that we liked cold ( as opposed to luke warm) beer with our meals, he made a special trip at each location and always managed to find bottles of chilled beer. Cold beer is usually available in the large cities or tourist sites but still hard to find in the provincial towns in China.

  4. He was very knowledgeable on the subject of minority textiles and answered all of our questions. He was able to identify the group and the area of many of our purchases. He shared several of his books with us on the subject of Miao textiles and embroidery techniques.

  5. We were not in Guizhou during the season for any of the big festivals, but Tony still made a great effort to find out about some of the smaller local festivals He spent a lot of time talking with residents of various villages and tracking down events in smaller less known villages. The fact that he is Miao was definitely a great

   6. The itinerary that he designed for us reflected our interest in Miao culture but was not so ambitious that we ended up spendinghalf a day or more in the car ( comfortable though it was, we were happy to avoid that). We were able to make choices and adjustments as we went along and saw a great deal without ever feeling pressured or experiencing cultural over-load.

  7. When we spent a night in a small hotel away from Kaili, Tony arrived in the breakfast room with juice, bread jam and coffee.He was concerned that we might not like the Chinese breakfast.

  8. On the morning of our departure from Guiyang, Tony and the driver were ready at an early hour to take us to the airport. When we got to the airport toll-gate there were long lines of cars backed up and waiting at the three gates that were open in our direction. Tony jumped out of the car and ran up to one of the booths for the closed gates. After a few minutes of persuading, he was allowed to go and manually lift the gate so that we could drive through. This was typical of his "going the extra mile" to make sure that everything worked out for us.

  9. After taking us to get our boarding passes and walking with us up to the security checkpoint, Tony finally discharged us from his care and we said good-bye. As we were turning the corner to walk to our gate, we looked back and saw that Tony was still standing and watching us, just to make sure that we were heading in the right
direction and still on our feet.


So, after our week with Tony we now have a better idea of what a guide can be: a good guide becomes a teacher, a leader, a friend and almost a parent in some situations. Traveling with Tony was a very special experience and one that we will recommend to any of our friends planning a trip to China.

                                       Brooke & Dov Jaron from USA

Big Flower Miao Women in Hidden Guizhou
Joanne,Charles,Arvona and Linda with Big Flower Miao People Joanne,Charles,Arvona and Linda with Tony's Family in Langde


 A few days ago, we received Tony's letter for asking to write the recommendation letter for him, we were very happy and decided to write something for Tony.
To tell you how good Tony's service is, we can write it by several pages, but maybe no one likes to read a long letter, so we just write it in a short letter.

 We travelled with Tony in Guizhou 3 times at present. The first trip we travelled in a group of 11 people in April 2004, the tour was 11 days in Guizhou, Susan Pifer brought us for Tony's, we saw the Sisters' meal festival with Miao villages, waterfalls and natural scenery. Charles took the video for Tony, we agree Tony to use our video for the advertisement, hope he can put it on his web site soon. Before this tour, Susan and her husband-John also traveled with Tony in Guizhou 3 times, Susan knew Tony in 1998.

 Our second trip we brought Arvona and her daughter-Linda, we flew from Shanghai to Chongqing, then made the trip with Tony starting from Chongqing, we saw 3 interesting Miao festivals in the remote region of northwest Guizhou together with different kinds of Miao costumes, the tour was 22 days in Guizhou. You maybe think 22 days only in Guizhou is too long, but Tony told us his longest trip in Guizhou was 23 days, the group members were also from the US who were fond of tribal textiles and embroidery stitches.

 Our recent Guizhou trip with Tony was in 2009, the tour was 16 days, we brought the other three friends, they were our neighbours. We explored many Miao festivals in Southeast Guizhou, we also visited the Hundred Bird Miao village with a performance, because we were the first foreign group who need the performance in the village, the Miao villagers regarded it as festival to celebrate.

 We took a lot of pictures each time for our tours to Guizhou, we also like to share the pictures to our friends and neighbours, we hope to visit Guizhou again with Tony if we have a chance in the future.

 In a word, Tony was Miao from the countryside, his knowledge of Miao culture is unique. He is especially good at every detail of the tour, he deserves what you pay. Oh, please don't worry about his small team, Tony is a professional tour operator and guide, he was responsible for his tours and clients, he has done this job since 1997.

                                  Joanne and Charles Curtis from Tucson, USA

                                    March 16th, 2012


                                    Sep 1,2009
Four Seal Miao Women in Liuzhi Region

My wife and I searched many days on the web to find a guide that would compliment our needs and are character to travel in Guizhou.

   We came across Tony's Web Page and unlike the other glossy looking pages he actually talked about the area and the different Minority People, his articles and photos on line convinced us that he had a tremendous understanding of the landscape and its peoples. Tony is an ethnic Miao and is connected to his people with a deep understanding of the culture and crafts; we actually stayed at his village and it became apparent that his family and himself were concerned about tradition and preserving the integrity of the Miao culture.

  We have travelled to many places before mostly without guides but what Tony added to this trip was knowledge of textiles, the people and their daily lives and their beliefs. Tony told us stories and that is what you usually remember about a trip; it was these stories of his family; friends and village people; festivals; marriage births and work that we remember with fondness. I particularly like the story about his brother buying a fighting bull The Bull that would Not Fight.
   It was these stories that made his services so very special we felt we knew him his family and the people of the area. He was more than a guide we enjoyed being on tour with him and would not hesitate to do another with him anytime soon

Gejia Women in Batik Dress

Dear Tony,

Joan and I want to thank you for everything you have done to make this trip enjoyable and memorable. As teachers, we love your intelligence and the information yo have given us. As people,we love your thoughtfulness and attention to the big and the little details.

  We want to give you a special thank you for the arrangements you made for us before and after this tour -the hotels,the plane tickets and the guides. We will use what we have learned fron you to guide us on the rest of our journey.

  Remember,I am happy to help you with any internet or email problems of questions you have in the future.
David Safier

 ( If we return to this area of China in the future,you will be our guide.)






Howard Diner and Eva from Canada



                                   April 26th,2005
Xijia Woman in Kaili Area

Dear Tony


  Congratulations, you did a marvellous job leading this group. Everyone appreciated the hard work & time you spent taking care of us. The food was outstanding.

  Both John & I wish you every success. I will do our best to encourage others to visit Guizhou.
    Thank you
    Susan & John Pifer

A Miao Woman in Her Best Festival Dress

Thank you, Tony....

  Your concern for our welfare & comfort has made this trip to China memorable. The quality of our food & lodging was outstanding.
    You are an excellent guide.
    Thanks again....
         Pat Kulinovich

Tony -

  It has been delightful traveling with you through your beautiful part of China, especially the first part with just four of us. I learned so much. The Miao are beautiful people. I would love to come back again to see new places in Guizhou.

Thanks for taking such good care of us and being so kind to me. You are fun to travel with!

 Iris V

Dear Tony

   Thank you for a wonderful trip. It could very easily been a disaster-- bad weather, one tour leader sick, the other new to the job -- but your enety, cheerfulness, and konwledge pulled us through and made it a succuss. To appreciate all your help shopping, and I thank you for helping me get through despite my bad knee. We would tour China with you any time. Thanks again.

     Gene & Joan Eppen

P.S. If you ever need a recommendation, just E.Mail us! 

Dear Tony --

   Many Many thanks for all you have done to make this trip a success. We needed you badly to make up for the others inexperience. You are a wonderful travel companion and I hope to see you again sometime in China or the USA. I invite you to my home if you come to San Diego. It has been delighful to get to know you and your family. Langde is a treasure.

   Best wishes for your future carrier and for married life. I wish you happiness, long life and prosperity.



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