Yangshuo China

Yangshuo China is both a county and the city that is the county seat. It is located in Guilin, Guangxi Province and bordered by the shores of the beautiful Li River on one side and surrounded by graceful karst peaks on the other three sides. The setting is quite beautiful, and the karst peaks provide superb rock climbing and hiking opportunities. In 1992, the American free climber Todd Skinner established some of the best routes on the peaks, including the “Moonwalker,” which crosses one of the iconic peaks in the area, the Moon Hill arch. There are more than 200 climbing routes around the city, and climbers come from around the world to experience them.

Bamboo Rafting
Bamboo Rafting

The closest major city to Yangshuo China is Guilin, where there is an airport. There is no airport in Yangshuo. Flights into Guilin are scheduled from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Shenzen. There are trains and buses from Guilin, as well as relatively expensive taxi service. Unless you are a particularly independent traveler, the most common transportation will be included as part of vacation packages. Many visitors on longer tours of the country will stay a night or two in Guilin, and visit Yangshuo as a day excursion or overnight trip. The reason to come is to view the incredibly beautiful scenery, often on a lazy boat trip down the Li River (another form of transportation from Guilin). These are the famous serene landscapes of misty mountains that appear in so many classical Chinese watercolors and are featured prominently in so much Chinese poetry. Another great way to enjoy these landscapes is by cycling through the countryside.

Cormorant Fishing
Cormorant Fishing

Other popular activities in Yangshuo China include observing the traditional cormorant fishing that has remained virtually unchanged here for centuries. Cormorants are used by the fishermen. A ring is placed around the diving bird’s neck to prevent it from swallowing the fish, and a leash is tied to its foot to ensure it brings the fish back to the boat. The bird is allowed to eat every seventh fish to keep it interested. There are a number of wonderfully preserved ancient fishing villages along the river banks that can only be reached by boat. These date from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries, and the villagers are very welcoming to visitors. About five miles from the city is the must see Big Banyan Tree. This massive tree is said to be close to 1,500 years old. There are also a number of caves to explore in the surrounding hills; guided tours available. In the summer, it is possible to swim in the river, and there are nice swimming spots north of the main dock. The Chinese are famous for their grand spectacle performances, and you can experience a famous one here on weekday evenings. This is the “Impression Liu Sanjie,” a sound and light extravaganza including some 600 performers held on the misty water of the Li River.

While many visitors come here only for a day excursion and use Guilin hotels, there are plenty of Yangshuo China lodgings available. There are budget guest houses and mid-range hotels as well as more upscale properties. You might want to consider the Riverside Retreat, a beautiful boutique hotel located ten minutes from the city center on the shores of the river. Its address is 10-3 Ao Tou Village, and it’s best to take a taxi or make transfer arrangements in advance.

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