China has developed a major tourism industry, and one of the upcoming travel destinations is Yangshuo. Yangshuo is quickly gaining a lot of attention for being a family friendly tourist spot that boasts of scenic landscapes comprising mountains, rivers and enchanting greenery. Exploring Yangshuo will leave you breathless and in love with nature’s perfection, and the rejuvenating atmosphere is bound to help you feel relaxed and refreshed. So leave all your worries and troubles behind as you head out to this adventure island in the southern half of China.
Getting to Yangshuo is not as problematic as you might think. Although Yangshuo does not have its own airport, you can easily reach Guilin airport and hire a taxi from there, or have your hotel arrange a pickup for you; it’ll be easier and cheaper than getting ripped off by the local tourist taxis. You can also take a bus or the airport shuttle from the airport, or if you arrive by train at Guilin, you can have your hotel arrange transportation from there. There are also many frequent minibuses and buses available at the bust station in Guilin that will take you to Yongshuo for a pre-fixed price. For a slower but stunning journey, take a boat ride from Guilin down the Li River. You will be dazzled by scenic mountain views and crystal clear waters as you breathe in the cool, pollution free air.
Yongshuo is so beautiful in its entirety, it is impossible to call one spot better than the other. It is probably for this reason that it was the backdrop for the Star Wars Episode 3 movie. The area surrounding Yongshuo is renowned throughout the world. But there are some must visit places that too magnificent to be missed. Here are some definite spots that you should check out:
Yangdi-Xingping Picturesque Area
This breathtaking view along the Li River is the most popular and most recommended parts of Yongshuo. These days, the traditional bamboo rafts have been replaced by plastic pipe rafts that are powered by two stroke motors and this “raft experience” is offered by many marketers. Numerous raft cruises and big tour boats are available, and you should not miss out on this adventure of a life time. The river offers beautiful scenery along the way and you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your raft ride.
Yulong River Valley
This stunning valley can rival any scenic route anywhere in the world. A popular way of seeing the valley is cycling through the riverside tracks. The route crosses many farming villages and stone bridges across the river and will give you an experience you will remember forever.
The hill is named so because of a huge hole on top of the hill in the shape of a moon. Climbing the hill will give you a spectacular vista of the surrounding land. It is not a long way to the top, and can be easily trekked. On your way back, you should also check out the Big Banyan Tree area; a park that features a 1400 year old banyan tree.
Assembling Dragon Cave
This Karst cave has grotesque peaks outside the cave that look like dragons in the clouds. The superb stalagmite and stalactite formations are lit by multicolored neon lights and the serene background music make the whole cave come alive like a fairyland.
Where to Eat
There are plenty of restaurants featuring all kinds of cuisines for a wide range of prices. You can eat your fill of local and international food and drinks. Make sure to fill up on the hearty local rice noodles available in local stalls and Chinese self-service line ups on Chengzhong Road. Don’t miss out on the local specialties like grapefruits and of course their famous beer fish. Different varieties of fish are available for you to choose from which are then fried in beer batter with different types of spices and textures. There is also a Muslim restaurant that offers halal noodle and rice dishes and a local Indian restaurant as well. There are plenty of Western style cafes and bars that offer English breakfasts and fair amount of burgers, pizzas and pies. Some well-known Western cafes are The Alley Café and restaurant, the Balcony Bar, the Buffalo Bar and London Tavern.
Where to Go Shopping
There are many shops and stores available in town. You can have your face painted on to a t-shirt or any famous face in place of it on West Street. Buy vintage postcards that feature scenic areas of Yangshuo and the famous local Osmanthus tea. The fresh market offers plenty of fresh fruits and assorted vegetables and ingredients. Of course, as a tourist spot, Yangshuo offers plenty of attractive buys for tourists and visitors such as Pashmina scarves, silk ties and kimonos, pottery items, bronze and stone carvings, jewelry items and knickknacks. Silver embroidered pieces and love balls by local minorities are worth checking out. You can also pay a visit to the Junxion bookshop, the Nature House, the Chopstick Shop and DMZ Bar.
Where to Have Fun
Yangshuo has a lively night scene and there are plenty of nightclubs all along West Street. A couple of clubs are located near the bus terminal too. However, the real fun places at night are the bars and the Night market that has a number of food and drink stalls offering exotic dishes and drinks for you to enjoy. Reggae bars and live music bars are frequently visited by tourists and local visitors alike.
How to Get Around
You can easily get a travel or tour guide to take you around the town, and this is a very helpful way of getting around the place, albeit slightly expensive. You can hire local guides or find guides online. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bike and take off. See where the road leads you. Explore the area on your own and get lost in the magnificent mountains. You can always get a taxi if you’re with a group of people. And obviously, the cheapest method is to walk around on foot.