Yangshuo is best enjoyed over a few days or weeks. Indeed, many are captivated by Yangshuo’s unique charm and extend their stay to months or years. Escaping the city to be surrounded by miles of mountain scenery has the price tag of a somewhat remote location attached to it, with entry usually taking around 1-2 hours via bus or taxi from Guilin city. If you only have one day to spare in Guanxi province and Yangshuo to tick off your bucket list, here are some hints, tips, and top things not to miss out on.
- Rent a scooter
A scooter is going to be your new best friend in Yangshuo. What better way to enjoy the vast, unique landscape, than by cooling down from the heat, cruising on a scooter along the winding mountain roads or through paddy fields. Apart from simply enjoying the ride, a scooter can open up many more opportunities for you and help you make the most of your limited time in Yangshuo.
You can rent a scooter from various locations around town.
- Check out the town & West Street
It depends on what brought you to Yangshuo as to how much time you’re going to want to spend in the tourist riddled town center and West Street. West Street is great to take a walk down and see what’s on offer in the shops, and, with its small canals and cobbled streets, the fairly compact town center has a certain charm about it. Pick up a mango juice from one of the many mango smoothie chains, or grab lunch in one of the local restaurants such as Ganga or The Brew.
- Li/Yulong River
Yangshuo is surrounded by both the Li and the Yulong river. Take a trip to either or both of these and it makes for a nice day out. On the Yulong river, you can catch a bamboo raft and go on a tour for a few hours. You can also take a back road out of town and go swimming, have a picnic, or a sunbathe. The Yulong river does not allow motors and there is usually much less pollution and fewer tourists around.
If none of that tickles your fancy, or you want to make a bit more out of your experience, Yangshuo has a lot to offer in the way of activities. You’ll probably be able to squeeze one in, depending on your schedule. Explore the numerous caves tucked away in the mountains, or enjoy Yangshuo from up above by climbing one of them such as Tv Tower or Moon Hill. Yangshuo is also famous around the world for its incredible climbing spots. This isn’t one to miss out on! Horse riding and archery can also be found in various locations. If these sound a bit too arduous, you can always enjoy the view by taking a few minutes in a hot air balloon or a microlight over the city.
- Check out the bars
Depending on how and when your return journey is, you’ll hopefully have some time to check out the few Western bars that there is around town, such as DMZ, Bad Panda, and Kaya. If you’re taking the bus back to Guilin, you have until 11pm to enjoy good draft beer and infused Baijiiu shots at DMZ, reggae music at Kaya or some good company and foosball at Bad Panda.
After a long day out in Yangshuo, and a good few drinks, make sure you make it back safely! After spending less than 24 hours in this fantastic town, you’ll surely only be made hungry for more. The longer you spend there, the more fantastic things you discover.