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Many people still dream of going to Beijing or Shanghai to study Mandarin Chinese. But those big cities are busy, polluted and really expensive .
Learning chinese in Yangshuo is a much better alternative : living expenses are really low , and it's one of the most beautiful places to study in China. Locals and the many Chinese tourists speak Mandarin well enough for you to practice everywhere and make many Mandarin-speaking friends .
Another reason why some turn to the big cities is that the teachers are paid more there and have better qualifications.
In Yangshuo, Janie Chen is a private teacher that's been teaching there since 2006 . She studied at Beijing's best university for forming Chinese teachers (Chinese as a second language) (BLCU).
Janie gives one-on-one lessons in the center of Yangshuo. Most of her students follow her Intensive Chinese course (many stay for 2-6 months), but she also offers an excellent Survival Chinese course for those that only have a few hours or days to pick up useful vocabulary and correct their pronunciation.
For more details about Janie Chen's lessons, check out her recently updated website:
Learn Chinese in Yangshuo
Though there are several schools that offer Chinese lessons in Yangshuo, they seem to pay low salary to their teachers and can't keep the good or experienced teachers for very long.
Some of those schools much prefer to invest in advertizing, instead of aiming at keeping students satisfied for a long time. It might be difficult finding an authentic review.
The best thing is to check out the free lessons offered by each of them and compare, before deciding!
Updated May 8, 2013
Address: Diecui Road, Newstart College, Yangshuo
Phone: +86 136 578 32132
The Yangshuo Tai Chi & Kung Fu School is a special place for me since I have been going there for four years now to learn and study Chen Style Tai Chi or Taijiquan as it is more commonly known here in China. The school is run by Master Fu Nengbin who is a very highly regarded Tai Chi coach in fact he is the senior student and assistant coach for one of the Chen familiy lineage holders, Chen Zhenglei.
The school is pretty international with Chinese and foreign students training together and some of these students are long term, high level practioners. However you are just as likley to meet people there for one or two weeks and everyone mingles together and there is really no elitism there. The coaches at the school all speak English and can teach beginners to any level, young or old and any level of fitness. I have seen families come there for a holiday, old people and young couples. So really anybody is welcome.
The school provides food and accomodation where needed and there are also other small hotels in the village.
If you want to get more information try searching YouTube for the schools video channel where there are videos of classes as well as student testimonials or contact them via the schools website. You wont be disapointed.
Written Feb 20, 2013
Address: Shibanqiao Village, Yangshuo, Guilin, China 541900
Phone: +86 773 8820866
We were taken to a traditional house, in the way to the most wonderful natural spot we saw in China.
Though clearly performing for tourists, the "actors" really look like natural people, and those who surrounded us trying to sell something were real people.
Not pushy, real friendly and gentle people, providing a contrasting look to the powerful, rich, and modern China that we felt around us all the time.
Updated Jan 25, 2013
One of the unique characters of Yangshuo is cormorant fishing. We had an evening trip cruising on the Li River to see the local using cormorant (sea bird) to catch fish. The cormorant has a long neck and a distensible pouch under the bill for holding captured fish. Cormorant can see the fish in the dark and use its mouth to catch the fish at dark.
It was such a memorable experience of the lifetime!
Updated Jan 22, 2013
Don't miss it. At 7.30 PM a boat (50 RMB per person) leaves to the river, with a man paddling at its side. Under a strong light, a few cormorants swim and dive, catching the fish attracted by the light.
They have a ribbon tied in the neck that allows them to swallow only the very small fish. From time to time, the sailor grabs them, and empties their necks into a basket. But, at the end, one of the birds still had three fishes in the throat!
What a show.
NOTE: You will be in a cloud of mosquitoes, so, be prepared, and use repellent in your exposed areas.
Updated Aug 21, 2012
You can see Moon Hill from the South side of Yangshuo. It is a moon shape rock with a big hole in the middle. It looks beautiful during sunset. You can climb the hill for about 8 KM from Yangshuo and the entrance fee is Y15.
In Chinese: 月亮山 (yue liang shan)
Written Aug 19, 2012
We joined the Li River cruise in the earning morning. It was such a great morning cruising on a river with such amazing scenery of limestone peaks, fishing boats, and classic rural scenes of wallowing water buffalo, and ladies washing cloths by the river.
The reflection of the sunlight on the river is so magnificent. The rock formations shape different things, for example the Nine-Horses Fresco and Lincoln's face. Many Chinese tourists are looking forward to see the view of the photo on the back of Y20 currency notes.
Unfortunately, this river has been the main tourist spot for both domestic and foreign tourists, so you can't have it all by yourself.
Don't miss the Li River Cruise! One of the most stunning views of China!
For more photos!
In Chinese: 漓江 (Li jiang)
Updated Aug 19, 2012
After lunch, we walked around town and encountered a way to climb up to Bilian Peak to see Yangshou. No doubt! It was well worth to climb the steps to higher level to see the views. There is a water garden on the mountain with benches. Some locals spends time here with friends chatting, playing Chinese chess, and etc.
It was so nice to live in a town surrounded by mountains of different shapes. Stunning!
In Chinese: 碧联锋 (bi lian feng)
Updated Aug 19, 2012
Yulong River is a smaller river with clear water surrounded by small villages and breathtaking views of mountains. The best way to explore the river is hiring a bamboo boat to cruise on the river. During the boat cruising, we passed by an old bridge, Dragon Bridge. This bridge is 600 years old stone arched bridge and one of the largest stone bridge in Guangxi. Under the bridge would be a 7 meter deep water and prefect for swimming.
Along the cruising, we passed by several crossings, few are built by natural stones, a particular one crossing was made by a local. The lady was charging the crossing boats for a fee.
Anyway, it was amazing to see boats crossing the river and water flowing on different levels.
Written Aug 18, 2012
It was such beautiful scenes to see people swimming, paddling boats, fishing on Yulong River. Yulong river has fresh clear water. People can't resist to jump into the water. Swimming in the river, paddling bamboo boats for tourists, fishing in the river are part the local lifestyles in Yangshuo. People's smiles would show the blessing and peaceful life in the village.
I could not resist to swim in this river!
Updated Aug 18, 2012
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