Yangshuo, near Guilin, is known for its breathtaking scenery full of dramatic limestone karst formations. With plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, Yangshuo is popular with hikers, bikers, and rock climbers, while rafting trips down the Li or Yulong rivers offer a more leisurely way to enjoy the picturesque countryside.
Yangshuo is a well-known destination for many independent travelers in southern China, but a guided tour will make it easier to find hiking and biking routes. A guide can also help point out the countryside’s most scenic spots. Tours range from a few hours to multiple days and cover a range of activities, from biking and hiking to kayaking and rock climbing. Those looking for less active pursuits can try their hand at calligraphy, cooking, or learning Chinese while in Yangshuo. Most tours originate in Yangshuo or Guilin, but also from further afield like Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Yangshuo is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts, adventure travelers, and nature lovers.
- Bring a camera as there will be plenty of scenes to photograph.
- Don’t forget to bring sun protection and water if engaging in more active pursuits.
- Those planning on climbing should check the status of different walls ahead of time, as they are subject to closures from time to time, often as a result of a dispute with local landowners.
How to Get There
Yangshuo is located 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Guilin. The closest airport is Guilin. From Guilin, taxis will be the most direct, though expensive, option to Yangshuo. There are frequent minibuses (about 1.5 hours) and express buses (about 1 hour) from Guilin. Overnight sleeper buses are available from Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Guangzhou. The nearest train station is Yangshuo Railway Station, near Xingping, 14 miles (22 kilometers) away. A pleasant and scenic alternative is to cruise down the Li River from Guilin.
When to Get There
Yangshuo is a very popular tourist destination year-round. Avoid visiting during Chinese national holidays. For those planning on engaging in outdoor activities, spring and fall are the best times to visit for the most pleasant weather.
Top Yangshuo Attractions
Within Yangshuo itself, top attractions include West Street and Green Lotus Peak. Nearby, popular attractions include Moon Hill and Big Banyan Tree, which are all along the scenic “Ten Mile Gallery” Road from Yangshuo. There are also many peaks to climb and caves to explore. Rafting along either the Li River or the Yulong River are also popular pastimes, as is exploring nearby villages like Xingping.