Surrounded by karst peaks and the Li River, the small picturesque town of Yangshuo is popular with backpackers and other travelers. Known for it's natural beauty, Yangshuo provides plenty of outdoor activities including bike riding, hiking, rock climbing, and swimming in the Li Rivers - there are also plenty of resturants and accomodations to help you enjoy your stay in this inspiring destination.
As the old saying goes, "Guilin's scenery is the most beautiful in the world, Yangshuo 's scenery is far more superior to that of Guilin's". From this, one can know that the natural scenery of Yangshuo is unique and like none other in the world. In Yangshuo County alone, there are over 20,000 hill and over 250 scenic spits. The clean and clear Li River winds through Yangshuo for 56km. On both sides of the river, magical peaks and push green bamboo trees reflect off the mirror like surface of the water to paint beautiful mountain and water murals.
Yangshuo, like many old towns, has struggled with the challenge of preserving its past while providing tourist facilities that modern visitors demand. It took a major shakeup - to rethink its development plan. The town has done a lots to focus its energies on restoring and preserving its old town. Moon Hill - Hiking, cycling through trails and villages
Since then, Yangshuo has remade itself into a fine example of how China can mix history with comfort. The town´s well-preserved dwellings, winding cobblestone alleys and narrow streams have made herself Mecca for most backpackers in China. Indeed, Yangshuo has a vibe that makes you want to sip tea by a small stream and soak in the sun as you ponder the patina of a stately weathered old house, and catch a fleeting insight into what life must have been like generations ago. Daily Join-in Yangshuo Tour - Water rafting on Yulong River
Some travellers - especially hardcore backpackers - complain the old town has been too tarted up and has become a ´Disney-ised´ version of antiquity. They feel that Yangshuo travel sells its soul by selling souvenirs and is now merely backdrop for each busload of tourists that take pictures of one another. However, anyone who´s ever suffered travels through a ´real´ old town that ignores the tourist trade can appreciate the ability to read a menu, find artsy souvenirs and have not just tolerable but pleasant options for lodging and dining. Granted, this is not Koh Samui; English exists mainly on menus, and there are no 24-hour convenience shops. But the tourist amenities that do exist are helpful in a place in which history echoes off the cobblestone streets and where the photo opportunities would exhaust even a professional photographer´s thumb.
The old town doesn´t require any translation to enjoy its beauty. The best thing to do is just to wander around the old lanes and get lost. That´s easy to do, considering the lanes seem to follow no coherent plan. But not to worry; the place isn´t that big, and most streets lead to the main street - West Street that´s the hub of the town´s activity. In the early mornings, locals dance in a big circle around a bonfire and welcome tourists to join in. The shops along the street sell the trademark colourful ethnic minority embroidery, which can be a bargain if you´re up for the haggling.
The hike is bound to make you hungry. Back in the old city, numerous cafes and restaurants provide English menus and feature an array of local and Western items for those who need a taste of home. Try a baba, a Frisbee-shaped cake-like snack that can be ordered sweet (tian) or stitley (xian). End your meal with a cup of the well-regarded Yunnan coffee and linger with a selection from the used foreign language books that most cafes offer for purchase or trade. The cafes also make good places to get info on the latest yangshuo travel news and the area´s many natural attractions.