I apologise in advance for the long essay I am about to write, however, Yangshuo is so complex to comprehend. Yangshuo is located in the Guangxi province which is around an 80 minute bus ride from Guilin. I took the river cruise down and I paid a fair amount for the experience which I’m embarrassed to disclose (400 CNY!). I was able to do this since I was a good 6 days ahead of budget. If you asked me if I would do it again, the answer would probably be no, but only because I went back to all the main highlight points along the river by bus or bike whiles I was staying in Yangshuo and could have got there by bus for 22 CNY. As I got off the boat I was met by a flood of touts trying to get me to take bamboo rides and other things. It looked like a small village with narrow streets, but as I turned the corner the pedestrianised street became a wide road filled with souvenir shops, restaurants, bars and last but not least a large number of Chinese tourists. This really wasn’t what I was expecting, and you can imagine the horror I felt when I saw KFC and McDonalds in the distance. In a village that takes no more than 10 minutes to walk from one side to the other I was rather shocked. 75% of the restaurants were either English or German offering Bratwurst and Bangers and Mash. Yes, you can say I was rather disappointed. As I walked up to the rooftop of the hostel (Showbiz) I saw one of the most breathtaking views in my life and I immediately extended my stay from 4 nights to 6 nights. Even though I had to share the beauty of the place with hundreds of other people I could see in the distance walkways and pathways that laid bear, just waiting for me to tread upon them.
You can easily spend a week and more here just relaxing or going full out adventurous. I would highly suggest climbing to the TV tower just before sunset. The view of the sun going down is really incredible. As I spent more and more days in Yangshuo I realised the hustle and bustle was only really in the village areas. As soon as you cycle out you have peace and quiet which is really nice. There are countless places you can cycle to. There are a lot more foreign tourists here than in nearly any other part of China in terms of per square metere. On every street corner you will most likely bump into one. An interesting thing happened last night where a Czech tourist got hit by a bottle in KFC by a Chinese local. At first hearing this you must think this is horrible and of course it is, but the problem with foreign drunk tourists here is that they think they can do what ever they want and get away with it which is completely wrong. For 1 hour this Czech tourist was provoking, shouting and prodding this Chinese local over and over again. Come to China with the wrong attitude and you will get stung. It’s simple. Yangshuo’s beauty is just breathtaking. The pictures below don’t even justify the view by half.
If you have a spare evening and 100 CNY in total, get the bus to Xingping which takes about 40 minutes and climb the mountain up to the small temple. It takes about 45 minutes with breaks. I guarantee you it will be the best sunset you will ever see in your life. I went there with 5 others and 1 of them had been travelling for 4 years. He had seen countless ones and said nothing else compared to it.