Yangshuo and Guilin
Yangshuo and Guilin are the main tourist attractions in south east China (maybe with the exception of Hong Kong). The limestone karst mountains is Yangshuo's main attraction.
The spectacular rock formations offer you an option to ride a bicycle, go climbing, visit caves or simply enjoy a good meal in one of the many restaurants in town.
The first time I was here was somewhere in the mid 90's. Even though traveling in China became rapidly easier, Yangshuo was still mellow.
With a few hotels and western styled restaurants, it didn't show much of what would come in the next few years. Nowadays Yangshuo is a busy tourist destination for foreigners and local Chinese alike.
It is impossible to give you all the Yangshuo information on one page. Therefore I will give you only a rough idea what to expect in Yangshuo. Here's an short overview what you can do but if Yangshuo is on the to be visited list, check our Yangshuo Travel Guide.com website.
Bicycling in and around town
The very first visitors in Yangshuo understood the riding a bicycle in the vicinity of Yangshuo would be the best way to explore Yangshuo. It is still the best way to find out the secrets of the town and county.
There are many paths and roads to explore around Yangshuo. I have created several pages about (unusual) bike trails around Yangshuo, click here to read more.
Get a local guide to get the most out of Yangshuo. For many years I know Jessie Lu, my personal tour operator and her guides Chloe and Ping, great girls, great company and well worth the money. Check out our tours in Yangshuo.
The most spectacular areas are the Yulong river with Moonhill nearby, Xingping, 25 km north of Yangshuo on the other side of the river. And then there is the area east of the Snow Lion Resort, a dirt road that leads to Liugong and Puyi.
The amazing thing about Yangshuo is that you never get bored. There's always more to do, even if you don't want to.
The list is almost endless.
Getting there and away
Yangshuo is remarkable easy to travel to. Take a bus from Hong Kong or Guangzhou is one way. Guilin, 65 km north has plenty of flights, buses and trains to different destinations in China.
For cyclist Yangshuo is also easy to reach and many roads are worth to cycle:
There are several loops to make with Yangshuo as a base. A very nice loop would be:
=> Guilin - Longsheng - Sanjiang - Zhaoxing - Congjiang - Ronjiang - Sandhu - Libo - Hechi - Yizhou - Rongshui - Guilin.
The loop alone will keep you busy for about 2 to 3 weeks and offer a really good insight of the spectacular culture of the Dong, Miao and other minorities, beautiful mountain ranges, rice terrace building and remote areas seldom visited by any travelers.
It is this loop that I would recommend to any cyclist who wants to spend time in this part of China.
North of Yangshuo lies the little town Xingping. It's a relatively unspoiled town although it is quickly changing. Still, I think it's absolutely worth a visit. You can use your bicycle to cycle to Xingping. There are three options:
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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.
Hong Kong to Yangshuo by bicycle
It wasn't a huge success but still, I enjoyed my week from Hong Kong to Yangshuo, despite the many bicycle problems including a broken handlebars
Xingping is what Yangshuo used to be. Once a day the tourist boats enter the town and Xingping changes for about an hour but the rest of the time, it is a town like 100 years ago. Xingping is certainly worth a visit with bike rides and walks in the limestone mountains nearby. And with a good hotel (This Old Place) you can't go wrong.
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: