Xingping (Xing Ping) is a beautiful little village 27 km north of Yangshuo on the other side of the Li River. It's hidden in between karst mountains with one road out south to Fuli and Yangshuo, another road north to Guilin and the river on the west traditional connecting the town by water to Yangshuo and Guilin.
It's despite the increase of tourist by Li River cruise still a beautiful little town full of atmosphere, not in the last place because it is more and more a kind of "artist" village, painters come here to do their work inspired by both scenery and village itself.
Xingping is a must visit for any traveler to Yangshuo and if you are on the way to Guilin on your bicycle, this is how you should cycle (the old road to Guilin).
The Village Center
Xingping is a small town. It's easy to walk around the town in an hour, maybe two not including a visit to the market, if there is one (every 3 days).
The history of Xing Ping is at least 500 years old and the heart of the town reflects that back to you. Fortunately the locals understand the importance of their Qing and Ming heritage and take care of it.
Around the village you will find some amazing looking hills with names like "5 fingers hill", "Carp Hill" and "Snail Hill". You will need some imagination to see why it is and some have a clearer shape than others. For example, "Camel Hill" is an obvious name.
Xingping is located on the east bank of the Li River. There is a road leading from Guilin to Fuli, passing Xing Ping but few people travel this road except for the part from the town to Fuli. The road north is hardly known but is excellent to cycle (the old road to Guilin). The river is another option and there is a road on the westbank that leads to a ferry.
Yangshuo is 27 km away and although it's not far. There are three different roads leading to Xingping:
Almost all travelers use the main road leading out of Yangshuo to Fuli (follow the directions out of Yangshuo to Guangzhou) which is 6 km from Yangshuo. In the middle of town, take the junction to Xingping, another 18km.
Somewhere in the countryside on the way to Xingping
(this one is located a few hundred meters away from the may road)
The second road leads out of Guilin to Daxu. You can follow directions in Guilin to the Crown Cave. Just a few km after Daxu, take the road to the caves and Xingping, which is about 45 km.
Starting this road in Xingping, just outside Xingping town there's a junction to Jiangcun, the next village. Don't make the mistake I made in May 2011 to go straight. It leads all the way to Baishandi and into the mountains, scenic though but a dead end road. There are some caves to visit, should you have not enough seen before. It IS a scenic road.
The third road originates in Yangshuo and leads north following the west bank of the Li River to a ferry crossing. Check this page for the details of this highly recommended road.
Boats to Xingping originate from Zhujiang wharf, south of Guilin. The river cruise takes about 5 hours. The start of the cruise is not very interesting but the closer you come to Xingping, the more beautiful the scenery becomes. I wrote a full page about the river cruise for the Yangshuo Travel Guide website. Click here to read more and if you need help for a booking, see that page.
Walking around Xingping
North of Xingping you will find the Yangshuo Park. It's a great option for hiking. The starting point can be either Xingping or Yangdi (I suggest Yangdi it s more logic option as you find easier transport back to Yangshuo).
The hike takes 3-4 hours depending on how fast you walk and how long you have to wait for a ferry crossing here and there. The route is fairly easy, no need to bring a guide.
Hotels and restaurants
Xingping has a few hotels and restaurants.
This Old Place.
This Old Place is a really nice and neat place on the mainstreet in town, not far from the Li River with some great rooftop views. It's part of the International Youth Hostel Federation but available for non organization member.
Alternatively you could stay at Kelly's Guesthouse. If you come from Yangshuo, you may have met Kelly in her Kelly's Cafe in Yangshuo town center, a hard to miss and popular backpackers cafe. I've stayed here twice in 2011 and with pleasure.
It's also one of the bicycle friendly places to stay.
Maps of Xingping
There are maps of the town available in the town center at tourist shops. Not that you really need them though. I have scanned one of these maps so you can an idea what it all looks like.
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Map of Xingping
Xingping is very scenic. Click on the map below to enlarge
Back road to Xingping
There is a nice back road to cycle from Yangshuo to Xingping. Few people take the opportunity but I did it a few times. Here's the story:
The ancient village Mushan is a must visit, not only for those who stay at the Snow Lion Riverside Resort, but for all travelers to Yangshuo.