14 beautiful images from China’s Guizhou province

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CNN  — 

Home to sheer limestone peaks, dramatic gorges and cascading waterfalls, Guizhou is a mountainous and largely undiscovered province in southwestern China.

Until recently one of China’s least accessible regions, it hasn’t yet seen the mass tourism that’s crowded Yunnan to the southwest – a popular destination for domestic travelers.

Guizhou’s karst landscape is part of a UNESCO world heritage site and the region is also home to an underground kingdom of huge caves, staggering sinkholes and sinking rivers that attract rock climbers and other thrill seekers.

The province is dotted with photogenic villages, many untouched by modern development and home to ethnic minority groups such as the Miao and the Dong, whose ancient traditions, architecture and cuisine beguile visitors.

A $14 billion high-speed rail line connecting the province with the southern boomtown of Guangzhou, near Hong Kong, opened in late 2014.

It cuts the journey from more than 24 hours to around five hours and makes the bone-jarring bus journeys that used to be necessary to reach the province’s remoter corners a thing of the past.

We’ve put together a gallery of Guizhou’s highlights that offers a glimpse of the beauty this region has to offer.