During our 11-night stay in Guiyang, we took several day trips, including to the admittedly-touristy Qingyan Ancient Town.
On all the websites for researching interesting features around Guiyang, everything completely assumes you'll be taking a tour, hiring a driver, or otherwise be shepherded around. Once I figured out the public transportation directions on Apple Maps, we were able to be totally independent! As you can see in the map below, we were able to take the #203 bus straight from our hotel to the bus station at Qingyan Ancient Town... just about a 1.5 hour bus ride, only 2 Yuan per person!
(As I mentioned in the post about Oriental Science Fiction Valley, the public transportation feature appears to only work within China. In the US, I get an information-not-available error message when I try to ask for the same directions via public transportation.)
There is admission to get into the town, but it's quite reasonable. We paid the full price so that we could also visit each of the buildings and monuments within the city, which I think was the right choice. Navigating was definitely not easy, but the town is small enough that we always stumbled back onto the main paths whenever we got vaguely lost.
Our trip to Qingyan Ancient Town turned into an overnight when we decided that we weren't quite ready to leave by late afternoon... I had brought our toothbrushes and passports just in case, and we found a tiny hotel that gave us a king-bed room for a decent last-minute price.
The town itself was maniacally crowded, ultra touristy - every business within the center of the town was clearly aimed at tourists - but lovely and really fun to walk around.
Most of the "special Qingyan specialty snacks" were kinda terrible, but we LOVED the frozen waxberry juice. How much of that is just because it was frozen and we were roasting... I can't quite say. But it was delicious and tart.
After learning a little about Di opera at one of the tiny museums the day before, it was really special to stumble upon a Di opera performance the next morning!
If you're looking for more thoughts about traveling through China, you can find more about our trip here.