Guiyang is located in central Guizhou province, situated on the east of the Yungui Plateau, and on the north bank of the Nanming River, a branch of the Wujiang River. The city has an elevation of about 1,100 meters.
The city was first constructed as early as 1283 AD during the Yuan Dynasty. It was originally called Shunyuan (順元), meaning obeying the Yuan (the Mongol rulers).
Guiyang has grown almost exponentially since the 1990s. The city's heart is around the 大十字 (literally "Big Ten") which is a cross, resembling the Chinese character for ten, and 大瀑布 (literally "Big Fall") which is a fountain in the center of a rondpoint.
Guiyang is temperate and humid, and has a subtropical monsoon climate, with fairly mild winters and warm summers. The seasons are not particularly distinct. Unseasonably warm or cold spells are common although temperatures rarely reach extremes. Average highs are 49F (10C) in January and 83F (28C) in July.
Guiyang is the economic and commercial hub of Guizhou Province. The GDP per capita was ¥11728 (ca. US$1420) in 2003, ranked no. 206 among 659 Chinese cities.
As of 2003 , the total population of Guiyang municipality was 3.45 million, among which 1.65 million were urban residents.
Transportation in Guiyang consists of an extensive bus system and many taxis. The relatively recently constructed Longbaodong international airport conducts air traffic.