The main street in Yangshuo is Jie Xie. You will easily find it as it is a pedestrian street filled with restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. Is the place to be if you wanna meet people in Yangshuo or have some nightlife.
But avoid the hotels there if you wanna sleep!!
Though carefully carried from beautiful urban development to beautiful rural display, we could have a side view of real rural life.
It looks as hard as expected. China grows at two different speeds, and there are millions far behind the splendours of the progressive big cities.
I didn't find out if we were in a hotel by a public lake, or if the lake was part of the hotel. Anyway, the integration was perfect, composing one of the prettiest spots of the city.
Lake, I said! But I saw the raft used at night with cormorants, preparing near the hotel. Now I think that it is really a natural or artificial bay in the river. Beautiful, anyway!
Favorite thing: it is too far by bike from Mountain Retreat to Xingping, you should go there by scooter, you can see a lot of rice paddies on the way to Xingping, you can rent scooter by hotel. It is hard to take scooter on a boat back from Xingping to Yangshuo, you should rent a small boat from Xingping back to Yangshuo. There are not many public toilets on the way.
So what is a Karst landscape? Well, it's all due to limestone that has been dramatically eroded. The warm wet climate in the southwest of China speeds up the weathering of limestone by acid rainwater and chemicals in rotting plants. Surface streams lose water to cave systems developing in the limestone. Surface drainage is diverted down sink holes to below the water table. Peaks then start to develop from the land left after erosion by the streams. The cave system gets larger as fast-moving subsurface streams bore through the limestone and the water table drops. Much of the limestone has eroded past the caves down to a layer of shale whilst the limestone peaks remain, such as the one's found in the Guilin area.
There are two types of Karst features: Fenglin karst is characterised by peaks that rise near vertically, like trees, 100 to 250 feet (30 to 80m) above the surrounding flat ground. The other type is known as Fengcong karst. Their peaks are more cone-shaped and one hill meets the next across a depression or doline and are clustered together. If you travel down the Li River on a cruise, it starts with Fenglin karst before gradually giving way to the dense Fengcong as you reach Yangshuo.
Favorite thing: Public restrooms are available, though they can be a bit hard to find. Look for signs (there's one near Minne Mao's and one closer to the river, near a decorated bridge.). They aren't always the cleanest, but when you gotta go...
Peaceful outside the main tourist part of town, Yangshuo is a growing place that may soon not resemble the quiet, small-town village it strives to be, falling, of course, to the glowing commercialism of tourist dollars. Yet, away from the city, toward smaller villages, it still is local, still serene, beautiful and rural.
Fondest memory: Walking the dirt roads outside of town, easily accessible and quiet. When you've lived here a while, the glitz of the cities wears off (I wasn't ever really drawn to them) and places of real quiet become increasingly important.
Favorite thing: You might think that just because the town is old, the streets will be dirty and filled with rubbish dump. Well, you will be surprised to see that Fuli, the Ancient Town and XingPing's roads which are are made of gravel, are so clean and no rubbish is seen thrown on the roads. Sweepers are seen diligently sweeping off bits of leaves from the road. This will put some of the well developed countries to shame!
You will have to go through Dragon Back Hill Tunnel if you are travelling by road to Fuli town, Xinping town or to Guangzhou. This tunnel is cut through the hill and it's quite long. The tunnel is dimly lit by yellow lights. We went through this tunnel when we made our way to Fuli and also Xingping
Note of caution : When bus is going through this tunnel, beware of pickpockets on board. During one of the trips, we noticed that there was one pickpocket trying to slit open a bag of one of the passengers. There are usually more than 1person during this operandi modus.
Yangshuo's West Street and surroundings are full of these. They can be selling you tour packages, small souvenirs, packets of foodstuffs and flower halos......Most of them are ladies and they start their day as early as 6.30am (especially those who sell tour packages for Li Jiang river) and they finish their day late at night. They usually carry a bag with them and wear a cloth cap or a cone/straw hat. They are not really aggressive people - if you do not want to buy any of their goods, just smile and say "Sie, sie, pu yao" meaning " No, thanks"
See more pics on these
Favorite thing: Around Yangshuo, there are a lot of young students who are very keen and enthusiastic on mastering the English language. They will, if possible, find opportunities to practise their acquired English with you. We have spoken to a couple of these students and found that actually their spoken English is pretty good (pronuciations and grammar). Don't be surprised if some students approach you to request you to attend their "English Corner". We did not have time to go but what we understand is that , this is a place where the students get to practise their English with the invited foreigners. Do not really know if there's any catch to this "English Corner".
Some translations are really way out - it's not that it is grammatically not right or the spelling is wrong - it's that you totally cannot understand what it's trying to say, unless you know the Chinese version of it. Here's one which don't jive at all...
It says :
"The days aren't pass" - i bet you don't get what it means.
This sign was taken at the entrance to the performance of the "Impression of Liu Sanjie" near East Street. I was kind of surprised that no proper translation is given at such a renowed place where so much of publicity has been done on this performance.
After reading the Chinese words - well, it actually means that "There are no performances during the day"
You can find bicycles for rental in various places in Yangshuo but most can be found along West Street. There are different prices for the different types of bikes. Prices range from 10yuan to 50yuan per bike for a day's use (to return before 7pm same day). You can rent the bicycles as early as 6.30am.
If you are renting it on your own, normally you will need to pay a refundable deposit of 100yuan. If you are getting it through the hotel (where you stay), deposit is not required. Those normal bikes will only cost you 10yuan while mountain bikes are slightly more expensive. We got hold of 2 pretty good bikes, the pink one for 20yuan and the yellow one for 30yuan. Test your bikes for brakes and stability before riding off. You can request the operator to adjust the saddle level to fit your comfort.
See anothe pic attached.
If you want to get something really unique, this is what you should buy. The little bottles are hand painted - not on the outside, but painted from the inside. The artist skilfully, using a fine brush, draws and paints the picture inside the bottle. Now, can you imagine ... how unique the art is..... whatever that you draw has to be a "reverse" so that when the picture is seen from the outside, reflects the correct form of the picture. You can either buy the ready painted bottles on display or request the artist to paint whatever you desire on the chosen bottles. Prices vary and you can bargain for a price. Here, you can see that she has completed the "inside job" of painting the little panda .... Beautiful, isn't it?
Attached another picture to show the artist in full concentration when she's doing the "inside job"
Favorite thing: Lotus seeds, young and old, are sold along the streets of West Street, Pantao area or along any streets in Yangshuo. The young lotus seeds are packed in little leave cones while the old ones are sold together with the stalk of lotus pod. Eating the lotus seeds is said to be nutritious and good for the complexion. For the young lotus seeds, all you need to do is peel off the outer skin of the seed, split the seed into half and remove the stem that is inside (as this is slightly bitter) and pop it into your mouth. For older ones, which are still inside the pod, you just remove them from the pod, and do likewise. The older ones are crunchier and stronger in taste while the young ones are sweeter and of course, more tender. Can't remember how much they cost but it''s pretty cheap.