Guilin to Yangshuo is expensive by tour boat, but you an easily get boats up the river from Xingping. The boats go upstream as far as Yangdi, then turn around to terminate at Xingping.
The most beautiful peaks along the Li river are between Xingping and Yangdi, look for "the Glove", "the Nine Horses Fresco Hill", "the Fish Tail" ... You can bring your bike on the bus/boat and cycle back from Yangdi, around 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Yangshuo.
If your the kind of person that would like to sit in a chair and float down a river on a raft for a few hours then you gotta do this. In Yanghuo you will find information about this everywhere and they will want 60RMB about per person. Find out how to get there, rent a bike and bike there yourself, to bike to the furthest spot, it will take you about 30-40 minutes. There will be people all along the bike route that will take you but from there the raft time is shorter. For a local chinese person they will pay 25-30RMB from the furthest spot for 2 people. I felt bad for saying that so we payed them 60 for 2 people. You can get cheaper no problem, but the guy does have to paddle for a few hours. Your bikes also go in the back so you are good to go.
More pics from Bamboo Rafting
For us the best thing we did was to hire Wendy as our guide for two days. What she did was to take us along bike trails through some magnificent countryside which we otherwise would not have done.
Normally we try to find our own way to scenic spots but there was no way we could have seen by ourselves what Wendy showed us. She also took us back to her home and cooked us lunch so we got to see a glimpse of rustic Chinese village life. Wendy’s English was quite good but what impressed us more was aside from her love of her family, her pets and her love of the country. She was generous, had a sense of humour and a delightful personality.
Have a look at the testimonial written for her by a customer.
Wendy also can guide you by bus or electric car.
Contact details: phone 13197638186 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: 50 Yuan each plus costs for lunch.
For further detail and photographs of the tours we did with her see travelogue.
As we approached this bridge there were signs which said, "welcome to fairyland". I must admit that I thought it was a bit kitsch until we arrived just before sunset and I looked at the view from the bridge.
I can truly say it was an image that still remains in my head but I was not quite skilled enough to capture fully on film. I tried.
This bridge is a modern bridge located south of Yangshuo town along the main highway to Gaotian town. It is really special especially around sunset!!
This is a "Must Do" here - should be good for a 3/4 day unless you are a cyclist enthusiast and have good-cushioned buttocks! We got hold of the bicycles at 9am and the plan was really to spend the whole day cycling to the nearby places of interests (just to get good value for the rental money of the bikes - you are to return the bikes before 7pm). Well, that didn't work out as planned as we are not really good cyclists and our buttocks really hurt! We returned the bike by late afternoon. I have splitted the bike rides into Route 1 and Route 2 (see next Tip on Route 2) :-
Route 1 (Big Banyan Tree/MoonHill/WaterCave/Gaotian Scenic Spot)
From West Street, turn to Pantao Road, take a left turn, all the way straight, passing Green Lotus Hill on your left. Reach the 1st roundabout where you take a 3 o'clock turn to Kangzhan Road with Souvereign Hotel on your left and continue to cycle all the way. Reach the 2nd roundabout and take the 12 o'clock turn with Big Banyan Hotel and Jiatianxia Hotel on your right. (There is a signboard that shows you where MoonHill's direction at the roundabout). Cycle all the way......
After 25mins (3km), you will reach the Butterfly Spring on your right - see Tip on Butterfly Spring
After another 10mins you will reach Gongnong Bridge with the Yulong River beneath it - See Tip on Gongnong Bridge and Yulong River
After another 5mins you will see Big Banyan Tree on your right - see Tip on Big Banyan Tree
From here the route is termed as "Gaotian Scenic Spot" until you reach Moon Hill on your left and Buddha Water Cave on your right. This whole stetch will take about 10-15mins ride - See Tip on Gaotian Scenic Spot and Moon Hill.
Continue further will take you to the town of Gaotian and to get to Silver cave from here will take you another, i think 20km.
Once we reached Gaotian town , we decided to turn back. On way back - same route as you have came, you will pass Ancient Totem Path on your right after the Butterfly Spring - See Tip on Ancient Totem Path
See more pics attached.
You enter right under the big butterfly on the Rock. You go through a cave and there are many butterflies on the rocks that are made by nature, they are all lit up and there is music playing while you walk through it. You will walk out and have to walk on a tiny bridge and then you get a good view of a waterfall. After a few more minutes of walking you get to a little park at the bottom of the waterfall (it will be very nice in the summer but we were there near the end of winter). Then you can walk through a butterfly garden with many butterflies flying around you (no butterflies in the winter) At the end of the little tour there is a store to buy art work, sculptures, statues, and other things with butterflies. You cant bargain here. The whole tour takes about 30 minutes-45 minutes and costs 25-30RMB!
More pics from the Museum
This is a must if you are fit and want to see the glorious countryside up close.
Bike rental places are all over Yangshuo at different prices and different quality. We went with Wendy our guide and therefore hired bikes without a deposit and at 10 Yuan for the day.
We made sure that we had mountain bikes that were reasonably sturdy, good brakes and had locks on them. We knew that we would be travelling along some pretty rugged ground which turned out to be the case.
The place we hired bikes was at the top of West Street near our hotel.
You can do a half tour or a full tour, and the full tour costs like 130RMB per person, half tour costs about 80RMB per person. There is many entrances to this cave so i am not excatly sure which one is the "real" entrance. After paying 130 per person we wanted to leave after 20 minutes as its just the same rocks over and over again, if you are into caves then maybe go for the full tour, but if not then stick with the half. If you go there by yourself and with a local you will pay 30RMB for the full tour, all the travel companies in Yanghuo will rip you off as much as they can. We went there by our selves after renting bikes but still overpayed as we didnt know the prices.
If you are going in the summer time then you might want to bring your bathing suits as you can swim in the mud and then clean your self off in the clean waters.
More Pics from the Water Cave
To get to here by bike takes about 45mins-1hour. You can take a normal road or go through some poor villages and rice fields. IF you have the extra time then go through the villages, you can see some interesting stuff there and good views aswell. You can also see the Moon Hill from many places around Yanghuo.
You can take these things down the river and there is a picnic table right in the middle, so you can bring beer, food, cards whatever you are into. I am not sure about the price as we took the 2 person one. Price for that was 60 RMB for 2 people but you can get cheaper.
Most of the travellers stay on this street for accomodation. A lot of hostels, guesthouses to choose from. Price ranges from 15 to 25 yuan for dorm bed. Also many resturants serving both western and chinese food. There are many shops selling handcrafts and stuff. It gets busier from the afternoon until 11 to 12 at night.
This fruit grows on the tree. The day that this pic was taken, the fruits were ready to be picked. This fruit has very thick skin. After peeling off the skin, inside each slice has a layer of skin covering the fruit meat. The fruit texture is like orange but much bigger and the color is very light yellow. 4 yuan each teak.
You can go there from Guilin by public transport but it could be a pain. In Yangshuo, many places offer day trip to Long Ji which cost 90yuan per person. The ride was about 3.5 hr. I think it's worth it cos it saved us a lot of time and hassel and it wasn't that much more money than using public transport.
The entrance fee to Long Ji is 30yuan.
Also called the Long-Ji Terrace Fields. Entrance fee RMB30. Best time to visit is during Spring, where the fields will be filled with water & plants, and farmers wil be working in the field. I went there early winter, as you can see, the fields are dried up. But it was a nice trekking though!
Yeap! It's a hill with a hole in it.....
Most will get there by bicycle - See Tip on Bicycle Ride - Must Do - Route 1
Alternatively, you can walk there which could be pretty far or you can take a motorcab.
Yueling Shan (means MoonHill), a limestone pinnacle, is about 8km away from Yangshuo - in the rural areas. To get there by bicycle will take you about 50minutes of easy ride. It is a scenic spot and many will hike up the hill to get a good view of the Yueliang Village (Moon village) and the ranges of mountains. There is a flight of steps for you to "conquer" before you can enjoy this spectacular view. The hike, which is about half an hour, one way, is quite strenous for some (hey! i did it, so can you). There are a lot of pedlars selling chilled drinks along the way up and down. They even sell you hand fans.
You will need to pay 5 yuan to park your bicycle inside and an entrance fee of 15yuan. You cannot really see the full view of Moonhill if you don't enter - is only when you have paid your entrance ticket will you be able to view the Moonhill. In order to see the Moonhill without entering this spot, you will need to get off from here, turn to the right of the road after you have exit and cycle for just about 2mins, you will be able to view Moonhill from the road.... See pic attached.
See more pic of Moonhill - way up and the spectacular views from top...
And see how I climbed up MoonHill in my travelogue "Hill with a Hole - MoonHill"