As the capital city, Guiyang is the political, economic, cultural and traffic center of Guizhou province. It has a total area of 8034 square meters, with the average altitude of over 1000 meters. Guiyang is so named because it lies to the south of Guisan Mountain. In the Chinese language, "Gui" refers to the Guisan Mountain, and "yang" means "south", therefore, "Guiyang" means "the south of Guisan Mountain". The city is called "Zhu" for short, as the area was famous for the making of a kind of bamboo musical instrument named "Zhu", which was very popular in ancient times.
The census in the year 2000 shows that it has a population of 3.3157 million. Guiyang is a multi-nationalities city. Apart from the Han, there are 36 minority ethnic groups, including the Miao, Buyi, Dong, Yi, Shui, Hui, Gelao, Zhuang, Yao, Manchu, Bai, Mongolian, Qiang and Tujia. Nationalities like Buyi and Miao account for 77.65% of the total minority populations. The most populous minority ethnic group was the Miao, and less populous are the Buyi, the Dong, and the Tujia.
The moist, subtropical climate has brought abundance of flowers and trees to the city, earning it the name "City of Gardens". Guiyang has a total forest area of 275 hectares, accounting for 31.7% of the city's total land area. There is a green belt around the city, which is about 1 to 7 kilometers wide and 70 kilometers long, proving a green shield for the city.
Guiyang is surrounded by green mountains, and green mountains are situated in Guiyang, which constitutes a peculiar landscape. The urban area of Guiyang is not big, so it should not be tiring to tour around. In Guiyang, it is very convenient to go by bus. One yuan (RMB) is charged for the one-man-operated bus, where IC card can also be used. The minibus charges 1.2 yuan (RMB) per person. In the city, a lot of minibuses usually run until 1 o'clock at midnight. So, when it is very late at night, you can still go home by bus instead of by taxi, which will charge you more. That's why the nightlife of Guiyang looks very busy and colorful.