You will not be disappointed with any trip to China. China is a huge, vast country with so much beauty and diversity. Endless large cityscapes are prefect for exploring the culture, while stunning landscapes provide a feast for the eyes and spirituality to fill the soul.
While living in China for two years I had the pleasure of exploring several areas of the country, but there are still many more yet to see. Everywhere I got to explore in China was amazing. With all the incredible places I got to see in China, I do have a favorite. My favorite by far is a little tourist gem, Yangshuo, China.
When visiting Yangshuo, you must fly into another larger nearby city, Guilin. Guilin itself is also gorgeous. As soon as you arrive you will be awestruck by the magical vision of the Karst Mountains all around. Those mountains are what make for a truly unique and unforgettable landscape in the Southern Guangxi province of China.
Yangshuo can be reached from Guilin by a short drive or even boat ride down the Li River. The karst mountains are made of weathered limestone. This terrain is very unique but karst mountains can be found in other places around the world. They are similar to those found in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
The Li River
The Li River (Lí Jiāng, 漓江) is a well known landmark in China. The Li River is the backdrop to the 20 Chinese Yuan bill as well as in numerous paintings and literature. You can take tours by boat along it to see the beautiful countryside. You can take a boat tour from the cities of Yangshuo to Guilin.
You can also take bike rides (bicycle or motorized) around the city and enjoy the river views.
Yangshuo is a bustling little city that gets pretty busy itself filled with Chinese tourists and foreigners from around the world. It has an adorable downtown area filled with yummy restaurants and little shops to wander. The must try food is beer fish, which is absolutely delicious!
You can walk through the city by foot, rent a motorized scooter or bicycle. You will never get bored of exploring here.
Take a bike ride
One of the days we rented a motorized bike to wander and another day explored on bicycles. Both were incredible ways to see the views. The main roads get crowded and busy but as soon as you diverge from those you can feel like you are the only one around among the beautiful views.
My favorite day was when we took our bicycles and just wandered. We wandered through backroads of farm land, villages all with beautiful views of those karst mountains in the background.
Do not be afraid to explore on your own. Make sure you know your route and how to get back. You can find motorized bikes and bicycles for rent all around the city.
The Longji Rice Terraces in Longsheng
On our final day we decided to book the bus tour that takes you to see the Longji rice terrace mountains and villages. I am not always interested in real structured tours, but this is one that is absolutely worth your time and I highly recommend.
The bus ride is a few hours long and makes a few village stops along the way. As we worked our way up high into the mountains we first stopped at the Huangluo Ethnic Yao Village. It is one of 13 ethnic villages in the Longji area. Here it is customary that women never cut their hair. The believe that long hair is a symbol of a long prosperous life and wealth. We got to watch a show and learn about the history of their culture.
Then we were taken to the rice terraces. The terraces are created up the mountain, the highest being at 2900 feet. This is still one of the most stunning views I have laid my eyes on. We went in the early fall when the rice fields turn a beautiful yellow. You must do a little hiking before you see this view, but it is absolutely worth the view at the top.
As our tour concluded we were able to be dropped off back in Guilin (rather than Yangshuo, you can choose). We chose to do this on our last day because it included this in the price and allowed us to be back in Guilin in order to make our flight out the following day. You can also have the tour take you back to Yangshuo.
This is just a little bit about the many amazing things you can see and do in Yangshuo, China. If you are going to China and want to experience a place so beautiful and unlike anywhere else. I highly recommend getting Yangshuo in on your itinerary.
Health, Love & Happiness,