In July 2013 we hired bicycles for the first day but found them badly maintained and dirty. The daytime temperatures were 34 to 38 Celsius and very high humidity and it was hard going!
Then we found Melody's bike hire service in Yangshuo and hired an electric scooter with charger, helmets and wheel clamp for the rest of our holiday at a cost of Y70 per day.
This carried two adults in comfort up to 30km between charging at speeds up to 50km/h (usually much less). We were told with one rider it would travel 40km between charging. Melody requires a Y500 deposit which was happily refunded in full when we returned it.
The beauty of the electric scooter is that they are not licensed as road vehicles and you don't need a driving licence.or helmets, and you can stay cool as you ride around!
The catch is you must be able to charge it up in a safe place at your accommodation. We had no problem with this and one of the hotel staff arranged an extension cord for the transformer, charged it at no cost, unplugged it when they closed the office at 11pm and stored the charger until the next morning. We found you must fully charge the scooter for 5 - 6 hours, the meter was a bit unreliable. They lose power slowly and on 2 occasions we realised we were low on power but managed (just) to get to our destination.
We mention this in detail because we saw no other European tourists on electric scooters but felt it was a great way to get around this area and felt perfectly safe doing so.
It's hard to describe where Melody's business is located but it's in downtown Yangshuo, on a narrow lane off Diecui Road in the direction of West Street, near Kelly's Bar. Melody has reasonable English and was pleasant to deal with. I have provided her mobile number and email address off her business card.
As my wife and I arrived at Guilin airport after dark in the evening and at the end of our holiday had to leave our hotel in Yangshuo at 5am to return to the airport, our hotel arranged for a taxi from Yangshuo to take us in both directions at a cost of Y300, very reasonable since the taxi would have had to travel empty one way on each occasion and the trip is over 1 hour in each direction.
There are frequent buses all day between Yangshuo and Guilin. The key is to understand and know where to find the 2 different kinds of buses. You have the choice of an express buses or a non-express bus. For an express bus, buy a ticket for 20 yuan at the window in the bus station between the waiting area and the area where the buses sit. This bus leaves ON TIME and DOESN'T STOP along the way, and your ticket will have a seat number making it a great choice. The non-express buses can be found inside the bus station facing one of the exits. For these, you pay 18 yuan once you're already on the bus. The bus won't leave until it's full (including the aisles sometimes), and it will stop several times along the way, picking up and dropping off people. The trip can take from 1 hr 20 min to 2 hrs.
Xinping is a little village north of Yangshuo where you can hire bamboo boats to see the river and the mountains. Though there are organised tours to visit it, the simplest and cheapest way is to take a public bus to this cillage. It takes less than 30 minutes and you can find it at the Yangshuo Bus Station.
The nearest airport is Guilin. From Guilin's bus station you can take a minibus to Yangshuo, that takes about an hour. In fact you can take it in the street just stopping it, but taking it from the station is safer.
There are many buses per day, as Yangshuo is a popular location.
By Train: HKG - Guangzhou (3 hours) then Guangzhou - Guilin (14 hours).
By bus: HKG - Shenzhen (1.5 hour) then Shenzhen - Guilin / Yangshuo (10 hours). Price HKD250-280.
Tickets available at Shenzhen bus terminal, as well as China Travel Service in Hong Kong (www.chinatravel1.com/english/index.htm).
I took a sleeper train from Guangzhou to Guilin, then a bus transfer from Guilin to Yangshuo. Train from Guangzhou departed 7pm everyday, 14 hours, Y201 for upper hard sleeper and Y220 for lower hard sleeper. I arrived Guangzhou in the afternoon, was lucky to get a same day ticket.
If you choose to take a bus it's better to do it from Yangshuo. Save money, save time. If you wanna make it even cheaper, then catch a local regular bus to Guangzhou. Usually at the roundabout not at the bus station. No luxury at all minimum comfort if any, but really cheap. You, probably, would need some help from locals to direct you to the bus.
I segguest, you should go to Guangzhou by bus from Yangshuo straightly to Guangzhou. This will take you less time and money compare to a train besides the train tickets are also hard to get sometimes.
There are a lot of travel agencies in Yangshuo who can help you book the bus tickets.
Of course if you are lucky enough you can get a low price fly ticket.
If you wanna more info, contract me.
I booked my Li River Cruise at the Backstreet Youth Hostel, where I was staying, and it cost RMB400 which included a bus pick-up from the hostel and lunch on the boat. This was the "western" boat cruise where the boat and food are better than the cheaper "Chinese" cruise. It's probably better to do the Western cruise even though it's more expensive as you're with other western travellers even though were still quite a few Chinese as well.
There are many spots around town to rent a bike .Its a good way to get around and out to the countryside. You won't have to go far to be greated by chickens , ducks ,water buffulo and venders!!
Bikes are cheap about 10RMB
It looks like a van and the Chinese termed it the "Mien Pau Che" (Bread van). We took this vehicle from Yangshuo bus station direct to Fuli, the Ancient town. The bus will go throught the Dragon Back Hill tunnel. The ride is about 20mins-25mins, making quite a bit of stops along the way. The fare is 2.50yuan per pax one way. The so-called bus is non AC and old looking. The bus will stop you at the main road when it arrived at Fuli. To get back to Yangshuo after you have completed your visit to Fuli, you will just have to cross over to the road to where the bus has stopped you earlier when you arrived.
Within the town of Yangshuo, you can simply walk to venture. There are not much traffic so walking is safe and you get to see more things at your pace. You can move into nooks and corners to check out shops and eateries. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle which can take you to as far as where MoonHill is (about 8km away).
One important thing you must have in hand is : a map and of course your camera!
See another pic attached
Yangshuo bus station caters for not only intercity buses but also long distance buses to other parts of the China's provinces. Long distance buses are usually of the sleepers type - "sleeping berths" in 3 rows of two deckers each. It would be better if you buy your tickets before hand so as to avoid disappointment. We got hold of our tickets to Zhuhai on our arrival in Yangshuo and we make sure that this time round we get to sleep in the lower berth which is more convenient.
The bus ride from Yangshuo to Zhuhai was about 12hours (we boarded the bus at 8.30pm and arrived Zhuhai next morning at 8.35am). The fare was 200yuan per pax one way. The bus do make a couple of short stops for washrooms and one longer stop for food. Sleeper buses are clean and you are suppose to take off your shoes when you step into the bus (They will give you a plastic bag to put your shoes in). Blankets are provided for the cold night in the bus. Finally there's something to be thankful about being short .... you will feel more comfortable in sleeper bus as the bed is rather narrow and short..ha.haha... For those who cannot sleep, some buses play video shows (usually Chinese movies) until about 11pm before they turn off the lights. There is a bus driver and an attendant and they take turns to drive.
Note : Bring along your MP3 ...this will lullaby you to sleep and remember not to drink too much water before the journey..ya.
Another pic attached to show you how the inside of the bus looks like...
The bus ride to XingPing was about 50mins from Yangshuo bus station. The fare was 5.50yuan per pax one way. The bus will go through the Dragon Back Hill Tunnel to reach Fuli before reaching Xingping. The journey will pass through many, many beautiful sceneries. It will also make many short stops along the way to pick-up and drop off passengers.
To get back to Yangshuo once you are done with XingPing, just wait for the bus directed to Yangshuo at the same station when you arrived.