Guizhou, one of China’s lesser-known provinces and best-kept secrets, opened to tourists in the late 1980s. This is one of the most beautiful provinces, offering dramatic karst limestone scenery, a spectacular plateau landscape cut by great gorges and canyons, terraced hillsides and enchanting vistas. It is a multicultural province with the third largest ethnic population in China. 48 distinct ethnic groups live alongside Han Chinese who have migrated there from all regions of the country. The various ethnic groups living in Guizhou make up 40 percent of the total population of 35 million. A major charm of the province for travelers is the number of festivals, resplendent with color and suffused with music, that takes place throughout the year and remains an important part of continuing traditional lifestyles and customs.