Located in the southwest of China on the border between Yunnan and Guizhou, Guiyang is a beautiful city home to a large number of ethnic minorities. Its southern location means that the city is blessed with stunning nature; surrounded by karst mountains and forests, it boasts fresh air, blue skies and a year-round pleasant climate.

Guiyang is famous for having a colourful culture, which has been influenced by over 30 ethnic groups, including Miao, Buyi, Dong and Hui. If you’re looking to experience ‘real China’ and gain an insight into a unique side to the culture, Guiyang is the perfect place to visit.

Guiyang placements are available on our TEFL Training Programme, meaning they are state run schools. Teachers in Guiyang can choose from Middle or High school placements, or universities. Classes are made up of an average of 50 students, and lessons will last around 40-45 minutes. You’ll be expected to work around 20 hours per week from Monday to Friday, with a timetable that runs throughout the year. Basics like a blackboard, computer and a projector to display your PowerPoint will be supplied, and your school will provide you with textbooks and guidance. Props and other classroom realia are unlikely to be provided, so you’ll have to bring specific supplies yourself if you wish to use them.

Last minute changes are common in state schools, so you will need to be ready to adapt if your teaching schedule changes. While knowledge of Mandarin isn’t necessary it is definitely helpful to learn a few basics in preparation. You may be the only foreign teacher in your school, but you’ll be able to integrate into the local expat community of foreign workers and students with ease.

Salaries in Guiyang range from between 5,000 – 7,000 RMB depending on experience. This might not sound like a lot, but with free accommodation and a low cost of living it goes a long way!

Accommodation in Guiyang

All placements in Guiyang include a fully furnished apartment nearby your school. Your apartment will be equipped with all the essentials, including a shower, western toilet, fridge and freezer, and a washing machine. The school will not charge you rent, and bills are often included as well, however this will be confirmed in your contract. Depending on your school, you may or may not have a kitchen in your apartment. If you do not, the school will provide all meals in their canteen. If you do have a kitchen however, you will be offered food during the working day, but during evenings and weekends you will need to eat out or cook for yourself.

Whether you live on campus or not, you may need to teach at more than one school. Your schools will usually be within walking distance of your accommodation, but in case they aren’t you will be picked up and driven there.


Known for its beauty and colourful culture, Guiyang is a popular tourist hotspot during the summer months. Make the most of the quieter seasons when there are fewer tourists to explore the great attractions the city has to offer.

Qingyan Ancient Town: one of the province’s most famous attractions, this ancient town contains architecture from the Ming Dynasty, when it acted as a spot for transferring military messages. Home to temples, beautiful architecture and delicious snacks, this is the perfect place to learn more about the ancient history of the region.

Flower Stream Park: This natural park boasts stunning views and is a great place to explore. Visitors can enjoy strolls around the gardens, towers, pavilions and bridges.

Jiaxiu Tower: Built during the Ming Dynasty, this tower has been renovated several times and become the cultural symbol of Guiyang. You’ll first enter over the Fuyu Bridge, the city’s longest bridge, before arriving at the eye-catching tower sitting by the water.

Hongfeng Lake Scenic Area: If you’re prepared to go a little further outside the city at the weekend, this is a worthy spot. The largest artificial lake on the Guizhou Plateau, it’s a wonderful place to explore or relax on a sunny day.

Cost of Living

Item RMB Item RMB
City bus 1-2 Beer (shop bought) 6
Taxi (first 3km) 10 Beer (at a bar) 15+
New bike 350+ Water 2-5
New E-bike 2500+ Coke 4
Cheap meal 15 0.5kg fresh veg 7
Average meal 30 1kg chicken 20
Expensive meal 100+ Gym (per year) 2,500+


Like other cities in China, Guiyang has its own unique cuisine that the locals are extremely proud of. Here are some that you simply must try.

Lian’ai Doufu Guo: Translated as the Bean Curd in Love, this famous local snack is made by slicing a piece of bean curd horizontally and filling it with vegetables and sliced meat. It’s then toasted until golden and then covered in sesame oil and other condiments. Its name comes from the fact that couples often share the snack.

Chang Wang Noodle: Undoubtedly the most popular dish in the city, this meal has a history of over 100 years and is an absolute must-try.

Si Wa Wa: This cheap and tasty Guiyang snack translates in English to Sliced Vegetable Baby. Called ‘baby’ because of its shape, it is a thin cake made of flour and stuffed with various sliced cooked vegetables like carrot, radish, celerey among other vegetables. You can’t try Si Wa Wa without adding spicy and sour condiments.

Given its multiculturalism, Guiyang is home to a wide range of restaurants serving food from the different ethnic minorities as well as other cuisines from around China and the world.


While Guiyang can’t compete on the nightlife scene with cities like Shanghai, there is still plenty to do come nightfall. There are a number of bars and clubs and it has several cinemas and theatres, which regularly show various films and performances. You can also visit one of the many KTVs and party Chinese style.

Guiyang is home to several universities with a foreign student population of a similar age, so it’s easy to meet other people from around the world.

Interested in teaching English in Guiyang? Check out our State School Teaching Programme, or apply now to kickstart your career in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in China.