I visited Yangshuo in the Guangxi Province for the first time a year and a half ago during the Dragon Boat Festival and I’ve been waiting for the chance to go back again! When my friends came to visit China from the US during the National Holiday this year I knew this would be the perfect place to show them during their short trip here.
It’s easy to fall in love with Yangshuo – even if it’s more crowded and touristy now, the charm and beauty remain the same. The mountain and river scenery are gorgeous and there are so many different ways to see it – biking, hiking, rafting, paragliding, helicoptering!
If you only have a few days to spend in Yangshuo don’t worry! You’ll still have plenty of time to see and do a lot. Here’s my second trip to Yangshuo, a mixture of trying new things in a familiar place.
There’s a popular bike path I did last time that we returned to – it takes you along the Li River and you can go past it to a place called Moon Hill. We passed Moon Hill without realizing it, got lost, took some bomb photos, biked almost 30 km, and made some Chinese friends. Totally worth it.
BAMBOO RAFTING ON THE LI RIVER
There are lots of options for taking a boat out on the Li River – you can take a boat from Guilin to Yangshuo, or do a smaller part of the river from Xing Ping to Yangshuo. We booked tickets with our hostel – for 20 RMB each we could buy a bus ticket from Yangshuo to Xing Ping and back again, and the boat ride cost us around 90 RMB (price varies depending on where you buy your ticket). The bus ride took 40 minutes, and once we got there they sorted us into little bamboo rafts with 3-4 people on each boat.
HIKING TV TOWER MOUNTAIN
I’ve heard of several hikes in Yangshuo but wanted to go back to the mountain I climbed last year because the view is amazing and doesn’t take too long! TV Tower Mountain is a little hard to find. I hiked it last year but couldn’t remember the way because it’s hidden behind some little streets and houses.
I asked for help from our hostel and here’s what you do: Find the Li River Hotel and walk the alleyway next to it, don’t go into people’s houses, find the stairs up that will eventually become a real trail and you’ll know you’re on the right path. It takes about 45 minutes of solid hiking up stairs until you reach the top.
There’s a little old man and woman who live at the top and I remember last year they have to open a gate for you (and you may have to bribe them). On the way up we passed others who said they tried getting past the gate but no one answered. That was a little discouraging but we decided to try anyway. We shouted hello at the top and the old man popped his head out, dressed only in his underwear. “Shi kuai” he said (10 RMB) and we were like yeah okay. A cheap price for a good view! If I go again I have to do it at sunrise or sunset though.
*Note! If you are wanting to try the TV Tower Mountain hike it might be good to ask some locals if you can still go up past the gate. Others have told me recently no one was let in.
WEST STREET (XI JIE)
Shopping, Restaurants, Bars – everything is here. We ate beer fish (the special local food), Micah made some friends, we tried some pizza and eggplant, and wandered around looking for the best place to hang.
Tuesday October 3
- 7:12am – High speed train from GZ south to Guilin North station
- 10:30 am – Arrive and Book ticket with private company at train station to Yangshuo (We thought we’d be riding a bus, but we paid 50RMB each for a private driver)
- 12:30pm – Arrive in Yangshuo, check into The Hidden House Hostel near West Street
- 2 – 5:30pm – Biking around Yangshuo
- 7pm – West Street and Beer fish
Wednesday October 4
- 7am – 11 am – Bus to Xing Ping, Rafting, and back again
- 1pm – 4pm Hiking
- 7 pm – West Street
Thursday October 5
- 12pm – Check out and bus to Guilin (35 RMB)
- 2:30 – Bus 100 to North train station
Friday October 6
- 7:35am – Train from Guilin North to Guangzhou South
Yangshuo is one of my favorite places in China! There are so many ways you can enjoy the beautiful scenery here.
Have you been to Yangshuo? What’s your favorite thing you did there?
***ALSO: Special thanks to the FRM crew for being the first friends to visit me in CHINA! And shout out to THE Micah Bartz, my most faithful blog follower and loyal friend who has kept up with my Chinese adventures these last two years and who has heard me repeat Chinese phrases like “wow” and “it doesn’t matter” a million times.