A good place for china vacations — Yangshuo , Guilin

Yangshuo is a very scenic, small tourist town surrounded by mountains and beautiful scenery. (Not a bad choice for the tourists’ China vacations)


Yangshuo is near Guilin and like Guilin, it has incredible karst scenery and a parade of Chinese package tourists who can be spotted wearing baseball caps and following a tour leader who carries a flag.

However, it isn’t your typical Chinese town. Yangshuo has a reputation as a foreigners’ village in Southern China. This town feels like one of the stops on the travelers’ trail, with lots of the same people you’d expect in Katmandu, Sihanoukville, or Dali. It does not have a big China-city feel to it. It is more like a vacation town, with restaurants and shops. (This is good for your China vacations)

Many travellers use Yangshuo as a base and spend their time exploring the karst scenery and rivers, or checking out caves and local temples. Renting a bike and taking off into the countryside, with or without a guide, is one popular strategy. There is also a whole community of rock climbers enjoying hills and caves.

Others just take it easy in the many cafes and bars. While this certainly isn’t the whole story, the town is in some ways a break from the rest of China. For this reason, it is very popular with foreigners who work in China.

Get in (China vacations info)
By plane (This is most convenient way for your China vacations)
Yangshuo has no airport. The nearest airport is in Guilin (airport code KWL). As yet, there are no direct buses from the airport to Yangshuo. There is an airport bus you can take into Guilin and then take a bus or boat to Yangshuo. If you book your accommodation ahead of time, most hotels in Yangshuo can arrange for a car you pick you up from Guilin Airport and take you to Yangshuo for around ¥200-250.

One of the best routes to take to Yangshuo if you wish to head there directly is to fly to Hong Kong, cross the border to Shenzhen, then take a flight from there to Guilin. Both China Southern Airlines and Shenzhen Airways serve this route. Flying directly from Hong Kong to Guilin can be quite a bit more expensive. Either way, the flight takes about 50 minutes.

By train (Train is not a good option for your China vacations. It is too crowded and noisy.)
Yangshuo is not served by train and the nearest railway station is Guilin. Minibuses to Yangshuo conveniently depart from the square in front of Guilin railway station. For bus connections, see below.

By bus
From Guilin — There are frequent minibuses and express buses to Yangshuo from Guilin. All buses terminate at the bus terminal in Yangshuo. Minibuses depart from the square in front of the Guilin railway station (¥14, buy tickets on the bus once it is underway. Invariably touts will try to sell you a more expensive ticket before the bus departs, even coming onto the bus. The best approach is simply to ignore them). The journey takes between one and one-and-a-half hours as buses stop along the way. Express buses (¥15, buy tickets from counter inside terminal) depart every half hour from the Guilin bus terminal off Zhongshan Zhong Lu and take just an hour. (info for your china vacations)

In Yangshuo, wait for minibuses at the exit of the bus terminal at Die Cui Lu. The first bus to depart will be at the head of the queue. Express buses depart half hourly starting at 7AM from their allotted bay inside the terminal. Buy tickets from the glass counter.
Note scam: Beware that on the bus from Guilin, unscrupulous hawkers frequently stop the bus before the center of town urging you to get off while claiming this is Yangshuo and the bus will continue to another place. The bus conductor will often be complicit in the scam and even tell you that you’ve arrive at the bus station. The reason for this is to make you have to pay for them to take you to the centre of town and to their hotel.

From Guangdong — Overnight sleeper buses run direct to Yangshuo from Shenzhen on the Hong Kong border, from Zhuhai on the Macau border, and from Guangzhou. These cost around ¥100-250 depending on which station in Shenzhen you want to depart from and how new of a bus you want to travel on. The buses from the border in Shenzhen are the most expensive.

From Nanning — Two daily buses go directly to Nanning, leaving Yangshuo at 8AM and 9AM. They go to Guilin first where they stop for just a short time to pick up passengers. Tickets cost ¥110. In Nanning, the 8AM bus stops in the Langdong bus terminal while the 9AM bus goes to the Jiangnan bus terminal.

By boat
There are also boats that travel down the Li River from Guilin, slower and more expensive (¥400+) than buses, but a very scenic journey. You may be able to travel for about ¥100 by joining a tour group. You will pass by what is considered some of China’s most famous scenic views, including a mountain view that can be seen on all ¥20 bills.

In the winter time, which is the dry season, the boats often only travel starting halfway down the Li River from Guilin. A tour company will inform you of this. It is still worth taking the journey. You will then travel part of the way by bus or private taxi, then join the boat where the water is deep enough (this may vary).

Get around
Around town
Yangshuo is a small place; the town can easily be covered on foot. There is an electric minibus network consisting five routes covering most parts of town. ¥1 per ride.

The main tourist area is laid out roughly like a ladder. The two main tourist streets run more-or-less parallel up from the river and end at one of the town’s larger streets. There are assorted smaller streets (rungs) crossing between the two larger streets. The street (ladder vertical) on the left seen from the River is West Street (西街 Xijie) and is the older more established tourist street, the real center of things. The other long tourist street is Diecuilu (畳翠路).

There’s a small creek that runs down the center of the “ladder”, some of the prettiest bars and restaurants in town are on balconies near it. The street there is called Guiha Lu. At the “foot of the ladder” by the river is an open area with a large number of vendors hawking all sorts of tourist stuff, both from shops and from handcarts. There are also a number of rather nice riverside hotels.

Across the “top of the ladder” is a major street (Pantao Lu) with many hotels. The town’s main bus station is at the corner where that main street meets Die Cui Lu. The intersection has a large open area that becomes very busy at night, with dozens of restaurants and hundreds of diners. Do not expect English menus or non-Chinese dishes.

There are two banks near the top of West Street there are banks with ATMs (Bank of China and Agricultural Bank and ICBC), and a third bank on Die Cui Lu (China Construction Bank). Service in the Bank of China can be awful, but it has the only ATM that accepts foreign cards.

The post office is on Pantao Lu, opposite the top end of West Street. It’s open from 8AM until 9PM.

Into the countryside
If you’re planning on walking around the many streets and caves around Yangshuo, a map is recommended. Artistic tourist maps are available for sale for around ¥5-10 at tourist shops all over town, but the free maps are better for finding your way.

For those who want to wander a little further afield, or to check the attractions in the area, there are several options.

The most popular is bike rental, there are several places around the main street catering for short-term rentals charging from ¥5 upwards.
There are boat tours up or down the river.
Local buses serve some locations. From Yangshuo’s bus terminal, minibuses (xiao mian bao or “little bread loaves”) go to Gaotian (for Yueliang Shan/Moon Hill), Jinbao via Baisha (for Yulong Qiao/Dragon Bridge), Shazhi (for Fuli village), Xingping (for the Xingping-Yangdi scenic area) and further afield.
It is possible to hire private cars for others.
You can mix these modes of travel, for example taking a boat out of town and biking back or taking a bus upriver a ways to catch a boat tour.

Tour Guides
Most hostels or hotels can arrange transport and a guide if you want one. Alternately, you can choose your own tourist guide by working out a deal with one of the many who will accost you on the street. Two good guides are ‘Mirran’ and ‘Julie’, you can find them at the West Street Harbor or contact thru Email: liyuan6085@hotmail.com, skypeID: mirran or Phone: +8615078960197 / +8613471396085. Guides can also be found at ‘Expat Services’ on Chenzhong Rd, next to 7th Heaven. A guide may be very helpful for things like cycling tours.

Some local guides are simply savvy street wise individuals trying to make some money, whilst others are registered and take government examinations. Whilst some of the unlicensed guides can be very good at what they do, be careful that you are not simply being taken on a ‘shopping’ tour where you feel pressured into spending money you do not wish to.

Haggle over prices too. Tickets for the nightly “Light Show” can vary from ¥150-250 a head!


View of Yulong River valley from Yulong Qiao (Yulong Bridge)Guilin Yangshuo Guide (Guilin Yangshuo Guide), ☎ +86 13457367600, [1]. This is a great site to get information, but also Mulan’s Tours are really good. She has a great range of tours and activities and she is a fully licensed tour guide guide with a great reputation. Above all though, she’s a really sweet-natured, outgoing girl who loves her job.

Karst landscape

The area around Yangshuo is renowned throughout China, and probably the world, for its Karst landscape where there are hundreds of limestone hills dotting the countryside. The beautiful scenery here is a common subject of Chinese paintings as well as the inspiration for poetry. There are several popular areas for Karst landscape sight-seeing which can be covered by river cruises, bamboo-raft cruises, cycling, trekking and combinations of the various modes.

Yangdi-Xingping scenic area — This stretch along the Li River is probably the most renowned and popular. There are river cruises available and in fact, the Guilin-Yangshuo boat ride passes through this area. There is also a 24km (5 to 6 hours) track for easy hiking along the Li river. The walk is a far more peaceful way to enjoy the Li river and mountain scenery than the loud noisy boat down the river. It takes you along the pebbly shores of the river, through many small villages, fields and bamboo forests. If you get tired, you can always rent a bamboo raft to float down the river.

Getting there: There are various ways of reaching this stretch of the Li River. You can of course catch a direct river cruise from Yangshuo town. You can also get to Xingping by minibus (called xiao mian bao or “little bread loaves”) from Yangshuo bus terminal, or cycle out there and then take boats or bamboo rafts to reach the scenic area. Again, combinations of the various modes are possible.
Yulong River valley — The pretty Yulong River valley is said to rival the Yangdi-Xingping stretch in terms of beauty. Besides rafting down the river on bamboo rafts, another popular way of seeing the valley is by cycling along riverside tracks. The journey will bring you through many farming villages and past several stone bridges across the river such as the Yulong Qiao and Fuli Qiao.

Getting there: From Yangshuo town, you can access the Yulong River valley by turning west into a small road from the main Yangshuo bypass road just south of the Sinopec petrol station at the junction of Pantao Lu (there are road signs in Chinese). You can also access it by using the road to Jinbao from Baisha town 9km north of Yangshuo on the main road to Guilin. Minibuses from Yangshuo bus terminal to Jinbao go near Yulong village.
Moon Hill — Another popular scenic spot south of town. The main attraction is a hill with a huge hole in the shape of a moon. The hills here can be climbed for spectacular vistas from the top.

Getting there: Take a Gaotian minibus Yangshuo bus terminal. If you plan to cycle, Moon Hill is located about 8km south of Yangshuo on the road to Wuzhou. It’s not an incredibly long trek to the top but the gradient and strange angle of the steps can do something strange to your legs on the way down. The Moon Hill Cafe at the base of the hill sells fairly mediocre food at ridiculously high prices, but there’s no alternative and you may need something after the trek up and down.

Yangshuo town

Many people come to Yangshuo are so preoccupied with the surrounding karst landscape that they do not spend much time in Yangshuo town itself.

There is quite a bit to do in the town itself. Apart from shopping and haggling prices on the main tourist streets, there are a plethora of backstreets with all sorts of interesting eateries and little shops. Explore and be daring. There are Chinese tea shops where you can sample ‘ten year’ old tea, or even ’fifteen year’ old tea. It looks very black, but produces a very mild light looking and tasting tea, all served from miniature teapots into miniature teacups. Additionally, you can also sign up for Chinese cooking classes, experience foot reflexology or attend a Tai Chi class.

Tai Chi classes are given in The People’s Park each morning at 8AM. Otherwise there are also formal schools providing ‘drop in’ classes.

If you want some guidance as to what to do and to enjoy, very helpful local guides are ‘Julie’ from West Street Harbor,‘Lisa’ from Lisa’s Cafe in West Street and ‘William’ from 7th Heaven. Both can provide you with ample information and are happy to do so as a service. They can happily tell you which ‘Massage Parlours’ are the real deal in terms of genuine Chinese Medicine or just cheap fronts for brothels.

The People’s Park just opposite the bus station is a great place to observe the locals playing cards, a national pastime so it would seem. You’ll also see groups of women sitting around talking whilst doing their knitting, some even walk along the street whilst knitting and chatting.

Beware of the fresh market. If you are sensitive, then cages full of dogs waiting for the slaughter may just upset you enough to put you off your food. There are plenty of stalls out on the streets where you can buy lots of fruits, no need to face the grim meat market.


Impression Liu Sanjie runs nightly during the high season. Set to the music from the movie of the same name (which in turn was based on an old Chinese story), it features a cast of 500 wearing traditional Zhuang, Miao and Yao dress, and a highly impressive light show. By far the best view is from the official seating area. Tickets are available from most travel agents or hotels in town for ¥150. Expensive by Yangshuo standards, but well worth it. You can see it more cheaply from a boat on the river, or even from across the river, but the view is not as good.

Getting in and out of the show area is a fairly haphazard process. A disorganized collection of buses, mini-buses, cars, pedi-cabs, bicyles, motorcycles, and pedestrians are all streaming towards a small courtyard entrance gate. Some buses go through the gate to park on the grounds, other buses and all other vehicles are parked in semi-organized fashion in nearby lots. Once dropped off, the sea of pedestrian traffic flows to the seating areas (fortunately, the tickets are for assigned seats). Also, since there are two shows on most evenings, there is foot and motor traffic going both in and out between the shows. Just think of it as part of the show and minimize your expectations about getting there and back.


There are so many things to do here:

Bike riding — Wandering through the countryside on a bike and getting lost is one of the best things about Yangshuo. The villages often have dramatic mountain backdrops, and the people are generally friendly. Another popular trip is to take a boat ride with a bike, then bicycle back to town. Bike hire starts at ¥10 per day, and tandems are a bit more. The bikes tend to be poorly maintained, so be sure to check brakes and gears before you set out. For travelers craving reliability, Bike Asia (on Guihua Rd, above Bar 98) has well-maintained specialized mountain bikes for ¥50. Bike Asia also has free bike maps of the area, and can advise on where to cycle. Find an farmer woman for ¥100 per day to give you a guided tour of the local paths. This may include lunch at her place if you’re lucky.

Rock climbing — Yangshuo has over 300 climbing routes ranging in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.13. There is a lively climbing scene in town, so experienced climbers will have no problem finding a partner, just ask in the climbing places and they should know other climbing travelers you can hook up with. For beginners and climbers traveling without their own equipment several climbing companies offer equipment rental, one/multi-day trips and places to hang out chatting about potential routes or to find a partner. The “Yangshuo Climbing Guide,” a guidebook showing route topos, grades, etc. can be purchased from any of the climbing companies.
There are three climbing shops on Xianqian Road, the first cross street off West Street as you come up from the river. Spiderman has a conspicuous sign. The other two places, Karst Cafe, and Chinaclimb, are across the street.
Two more climbing shops are on Guihua Road, Xclimber, and Blackrock (a right turn then a left turn before the start of West Street).

Exploring caves, of which there are an abundance in the limestone hills.
Guided tours are readily for the general tourist.
Serious cavers should talk to the climbing shops about possible cave climbs.

Swimming — During the summer the water and air temperature is good for swimming. Locals swim from the docks on the Li Jiang (Li River) a short way upstream of the town centre. The Lijiang water quality is average, and it is possible to swim as long as you comfortable with some undesirables in the water. Also tour boats that travel the Li Jiang coming from Guilin are a hazard. The Yulong River is also good for swimming, offering some quality swimming spots, although some parts of the river are crowded with bamboo rafts.

Bamboo rafting — Rafting along the Yulong river is particularly popular in summer, but travelers should take care not to go rafting if the water is brown and turbulent. In 2005 there was a fatality during high floods.

Hot air ballooning — Pricey by Chinese standards, hot air ballooning in Yangshuo is still a bargain compared to the west. Again safety can be a concern, there was one non-fatal accident in 2004, however, a new hot air ballooning company, China Hot Air Ballooning, has recently been established by renowned Australian ballooning company, Outback Ballooning. Flights are run to the highest balloon safety standards and are for 1 hour. Prices for a one hour balloon flight are US$290 all inclusive. Transfers leave daily from Guilin. Ph: +86 773 8814919

Volunteering — The Volunteer English Teachers program visits local schools to teach poor children English.

Martial arts — Classes in Taichi, Qigong, Kungfu, Taekwondo, and other martial arts are available at the Budizhen school at the top of West Street for ¥80 a day. LongTouShan Taichi school offers also Taichi, Qigong and Yoga classes in a beautiful spot located in the country side, half an hour walk from West street. There is also the Wang Zhi Ping Tai Chi Training Centre located behind the park on Baoquan Road. This school offers once off lessons, weekly and monthly rates, plus professional training in various forms of Tai Chi.

Chinese cooking — Single and multi-day classes in traditional Chinese cooking are offered in the beautiful traditional farmhouse at Yangshuo Cooking School, and at Cloud 9. Typical dishes include beer fish and stuffed pumpkin flowers. Yangshuo Cooking School teaches egg-wrapped dumplings, a delicious local treat.

Cormorant fishing — Local tourism companies offer evening boat trips to watch fisherman using a traditional night fishing technique that employs cormorants.


Chinese Language Classes — at Yangshuo’s number 1 cultural centre, where you can study Chinese language, Tai-ji, Kung Fu, Calligraphy and even join a two-week Chinese Painting Holiday.

River cruises — Take a boat down to Liugong village then cycle back, much cheaper than the boat from Guilin.


There is a huge amount of touristy stuff available:

Pashmina scarves (Cashmere by a different name).
Silk products: ties, kimonos, scarves, dresses.
Pottery, bronze, stone carvings, bracelets, and knickknacks of all sorts.
Scroll paintings, fans and embroidered cloths.
Much of this stuff is lovely, really very tempting. However, quite a bit of it is fake and nearly all of it is available all over China and cheaper outside of Yangshuo.

Asking prices for such stuff in Yangshuo are horribly inflated. Here is a table showing one traveller’s experience:

Item Asking price, in yuan Price paid
elsewhere Yangshuo Yangshuo
silk ties 18-30 75-120 50 for 3
small silk scarves unknown 80-100 20
large scarf/wrap 80 120-200 50
old silver dollars, nearly all counterfeit 20 80-150 10

Getting the prices in the right hand column took hard bargaining, based on knowledge of prices elsewhere. Of course, even those may not be the best possible prices.
Additional prices:
Large circular blue tapestry, first price 150 RMB, foreigners bargained down to 55 RMB, a local says it is worth 30-40 RMB.
Wooden dolls with minority style clothes: 6 yuan each (starting price up to 50 yuan), pillow cases 10 RMB.
A foot and a half wooden Buddha statute started at 400 and ended at 100. A local said I over paid.
Update: I got silver coins for 6 RMB and large scarfs for 18 (Dec 2008)
The main drag of West Street and the street along the river are more expensive. You can find the same stuff for cheaper at XingPing, the small town in the north, or in the back streets.

Many tourists, having no idea of the real Chinese price, are grossly overcharged. After all, even ¥120 (about $17 US) would be a great price for a nice pure silk tie back home, and even without haggling skill you can no doubt beat him down to 60 or 80. However, when they may not be real silk and routinely sell for far less in China, even 60 is excessive. On the other hand, there is no need to be rude while haggling. The guy who asks ¥120 for a tie that is worth maybe ¥20 is not a thief; he’s just trying to make a living, charging what the market will bear.

Advice for tourists who have no idea what the Chinese price should be:

Assume nothing on offer here is worth more than a fourth of the asking price, and most things quite a bit less.
If you are prepared to haggle, offer about 10% of the asking price and go from there.
If not, offer 20% to 30% and stick to it. Walk away if the vendor will not meet your price. They often follow after you with better prices.
Consider the classic mother-to-daughter advice “Men are like buses. You don’t worry if you miss one and you never chase them, because you know there will always be another one along.” This applies very much to vendors of tourist goods in Yangshuo. If one is too expensive, or even if you are not sure the price is fair, you can always try another.

Local goods

There are also a few things not usually available elsewhere:

Postcards and picture books of the area, in stores or hawked by older women on the street.
Chinese paintings of the local Karst scenery.
Chinese characters with different slogans, such as “I have no money”, or “Foreigner coming” on the front and “Foreigner going” on the back.
Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts are common. There has never been a real Hard Rock Cafe (part of the chain) in Yangshuo, though at least two now defunct places used the name.
Some places with great names (Red Capitalism Cafe, Outside Inn, Fawlty Towers) do not have T-shirts, unfortunately.
Silver and embroidery pieces by local minorities.
Prices for large pieces are high, but some pieces may be worth them.
Small pieces, such as embroidered Zhuang minority love balls, are also available.
You should also bargain on these, of course.

Other interesting things

Nature House, On Die Cui Lu about half a block from the river. Sells various rocks, some are interesting geological specimens while others are carved and/or painted. Fascinating.
The Chopstick Shop, on West Street. Their factory is in Guilin and they sell wonderfully gift wrapped chopstick sets.
Used Bookstore, 13237831208, ([13]). There is a used bookstore and reading room (with a large selection in English and some books in several other European languages) at Cafe Too at 7 Cheng Zhong Road. Prices are higher than at used bookstores in Western countries, but cheaper than new books. You can buy coffee and read them free. It is great for people living in China and missing Western books.
Also around the corner, “Yak Cafe” 16 Gui Hua Lu has a book exchange. Books can be purchased, traded, rented (3 rmb per day) or just read while hanging around.
CDs and DVDs — Available at several stores on West Street or nearby. Nearly all such products in China are unauthorised copies, but many in Yangshuo look real. General quality, especially the packaging, is far better than the usual. Many come with booklets of lyrics or artist biography. Some have full-colour advertising printouts for the label’s other offerings, I cannot imagine a “pirate” duplicating that. Selection is also good, the English music is not all Backstreet Boys and the Carpenters. Prices are also higher, ¥15-25 versus ¥6-8 for the cheap copies all over China.


Yangshuo is a great place to eat. There are dishes from all over the world and just about any region in China. You can eat cheaply in the markets with the locals or you can try comfort food in one of the many cafes in town.

Local specialties:

Yangshuo produces very sweet and juicy grapefruit or pomelos (sha tian you), which can be bought everywhere for ¥1-2. Ask the vendor to choose one with a small top and cut it up for you.
Beer fish — A local specialty, something most Chinese tourists try.
Western food
It seems almost every restaurant in Yangshuo offers burgers, shepherd’s pie and a Western breakfast. Most of the staff in these places speak reasonable English, a few excellent. In general, the standard of the food is quite high.

However, there is much menu copying and some places serve rather bizarre impressions of Western dishes as prepared by Chinese chefs without the original recipe. In particular, be prepared for odd looking and tasting bread and copies of western cakes and deserts. Also, in these places the standard of the Chinese food is generally hit or miss, since Western food is their specialty. Note that it will be much more expensive than eating in China usually is.

Many of these offer free Internet access, but they generally only have one machine so you may have to wait a bit.

On West Street itself, listed from up the hill down toward the river:

Green Lotus, 100 West Street, next to Youth Hostel, open 24 hours. Has a friendly staff and a good ¥20 breakfast.
Cafe del Moon, near center of West Street. ¥32 all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, ghastly croissants but the rest is good. Excellent value if you are hungry or want a lot of coffee.
Drifters, middle of West Street. Great apple crumble and mediocre pizza.
Cafe China, on the corner of West Street and Xianqian Jie. Great coffee, great cheesecake, packed most nights, wireless internet, also generous 7 RMB brandy and good chocolate milkshake (though small).
Twin Peaks Cafe — Standard western fare, but notable for having genuinely great bread, very much a novelty in China.
Along Xianqian Jie, off West Street near the river:

Karst cafe — Climber hangout with good pizza (if you’ve been in China long – but don’t spring for the stuffed crust), comfortable sofas, and wireless internet.
The Balcony Bar — Fairly decent French food and crepe, movie every night at 9 and free internet.
Buffalo Bar — Aussie run, with meat pies and quiz night on Thursdays. Wireless internet and a pool table
MC Blues — Good cocktails, happy hour from 6PM to 8PM, great music, wireless internet, 2nd floor lounge and open till they close.
Along Cheng Zhong Road, perpendicular to West Street:

7th Heaven Cafe — Western and Chinese cuisine.
Cafe Too, 7 Cheng Zhong Road. Has English books to read, buy or trade.
Along Guihua Lu, quieter street parallel to West Street:

Bar 98 — Wireless internet and a pool table. Run by two Australians, has Aussie meat pies and good burritos. The mixed drinks are real – a lot of Chinese run places have very weak drinks that aren’t worth the price. Also, just a nice bar feel with out the too-loud pop music.

Red Star Express, new location a bit off West Street. Turnoffs from both West Street and Xianqian Jie are marked with a flag showing a Red Star. Excellent burritos and enchiladas.

Kelly’s Cafe — Great service and food, cheap beer. Foreigners living in Yangshuo often hang out here. Also offers free wireless internet. The Kelly’s Cafe on Guiha street is better than the one of the side street- they both have milk shakes and their veggie burger is in fact the best in China as claimed. Also, a nice view and an ample breakfast.

Soul Cafe — A great coffee house opposite Kelly’s.
Valentine, on the corner of Guiha Lu and the small bridge towards west street. French Chef Nicolas with a romantic atmosphere. Original first class fusion cuisine. Great desert and best chocolate cake of all the city. A good selection of tapas and cocktails.

The Alley— Recently opened, just across the Kaya with a big round bar in the middle and a real western bar atmosphere, Offers hugh burgers, draft beer, pool table, free wierless and more than 60 uniqe Cocktails

Yak Cafe, 16 Gui Hua Lu. Specialties include Yak cheese Pizza, Homemade whole wheat, white and banana breads, maple syrup imported from Canada. Their brownie is mass-produced chocolate cake, which is no good. They don’t make noodles any more. It used to be owned by Sula from Tibet and Andrew from Canada and then they sold it to a local. Non Smoking Restaurant as well.

Along Furong Lu, quiet street perpendicular to Diecui Lu:

The Flying Dutchman, — Wireless internet and a quiet environment. Run by a Dutch guy, has traditional Dutch dishes and the best burger in town. Away from all the sales people. Cheap Western Rooms.
Outside town:

Luna ((听月餐厅)), Yangshuo Village Inn, Moon Hill Village (Rooftop of Yangshuo Village Inn), ☎ 86-773-8778189. 12:00-01:00. Italian restaurant located on the rooftop of Yangshuo Village Inn in Moon Hill Village. Designed by Yangshuo Mountain Retreat owner, Chris Barclay, Luna offers gorgeous views of Moon Hill and the surrounding village. They also serve gourmet Chinese dumplings and offer a full bar. There’s no elevator so be prepared to walk up. $5-6/plate.

Chinese food

Cloud Nine — A popular Chinese place on West Street.
Ganguoyu (干锅鱼) — A “dry pot” fish restaurant very popular with the locals. It is located beside the pond on Jiefang Lu (between the petrol station and the tunnel).
Yangshuo Ren (阳朔人) — A Chinese restaurant very popular with the locals. It specializes in beer fish and other hot pots. It is located on the market street between Sunshine 100 and the 99 supermarket.
Beifang Jiaozi Guan (北方饺子馆) (Note: sign also reads in English “Dynasty of Dumplings”) — This “northern dumplings” restaurant on Xianqian Jie near the intersection with Die Cui Lu and right around the corner from the Magnolia Hotel has fantastic North-East Chinese cuisine.
The night market — Located near the bus station, this market has quite a variety of food, much of it at low prices (although still more expensive than elsewhere in China). They even serve dog, rat, oysters, mussels, rabbit, duck, shrimp, frog, the local mud snails and a variety of other surprising dishes! Make sure to haggle. WARNING: Take very good care of your belongings — there are some very accomplished sneak thieves and pickpockets specialising in wallets, phones and passports.


Pure Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant (暗香疏影 素菜馆) [18] — Down near the river end of Die Cie Lu. Word of caution though: If you are absolutely strict about not wanting to come into contact with meat, be the reasons morally or religiously, know that the staff of this restaurant uses the kitchen to cook their meat in the same pans as the vegetarian dishes. Very yummy food – XO “steak” and vegetable balls and carmelized tarro. The stuffed tomatoes are not good, and neither is the spicy tofu.


Considering its size, Yangshuo has a pretty boisterous nightlife. Most restaurants along the main street stay open late and serve alcohol. Several have live music.

Cafe le Votre — Set back from the street with a courtyard in front, is a brew pub with its own beer. They have two brews, a wheat beer and a dark beer, both are rare finds in China. They also have French and Chinese food. Their courtyard is a great place for people-watching, but unfortunately it is also convenient for touts to find you.

Monkey Jane’s Rooftop Bar — Offers panoramic views of Yangshuo, and is perfect for meeting other backpackers. It is set back from West Street up an alley near the river end, but is sign-posted.

China Climb on Xi Jie (West Street). Has a bar and a bouldering wall. China Climb guides and other climbers hang out there in the evenings.

Kaya — A reggae bar, with a larger range of music though, often has good live music (permanent open mic) and very laidback atmosphere. Guihua Lu 47, next to Dr. Lily Li, opposite Alley bar. Also has a branch in Guilin city.

There are also several clubs located near the bus terminal, which sometimes stay open until 5 or 6AM and other nights are shut by midnight. There doesn’t seem to be a method to their hours, worth going down and seeing if they’re open. There should be no cover, and frequently there’s an opportunity to see young PLA soldiers from the nearby base in a decidedly un-military context.

As with Guilin, the local drink is Guilin Three-flower Wine, although most residents seem to prefer a glass of Tsingtao or Baijiu.

Loove Bar, Guihua Rd 48 Yangshuo (next door to Dr Lily), ☎ 07738823918. The owner, Nina, is the sweetest and most fun-loving person. She speaks good english. The place attracts a consistent crowd of westerners as well as locals. edit


Cooking school — Learn to make several typical local dishes at the Yangshuo Cooking School. Classes involve a trip to a local market to buy ingredients, individual woks as you go step-by-step through preparation of the various dishes, and a meal at the end, all in a rustic setting at the Outside Inn. Classes must be booked a day in advance.

Kung Fu offered at the Green Lotus on West Street.

Tai Chi Chen and Yang at master Mei’s School. Mei is one of the few female masters in China.

Tai Chi Chuan & Kung Fu at Master Fu Nengbin’s School in Shi Ban Qiao, within lovely walking distance from Yangshuo.

Tai Chi/Qi Gung at Wang Zhi Ping’s school. Walking distance from centre of town.

Chinese Painting & Calligraphy Holiday – The only one in China. Learn how to paint in tradititional Chinese way. Next starting date: April 27th 2009.

Chinese Mandarin at Mandacentre – Study at Yangshuo’s number 1 Chinese Language Centre. Learn from Professional teachers and friendly staff.


There are many places to stay in Yangshuo from ¥20/night for a dorm room through US$100/night for a luxury bungalow. Hotel touts are to be found around the main bus station but best avoided. Prices are very negotiable in the off season, and the asking price will be many times lower than that advertised on signs in the hotel lobby. Don’t be afraid to negotiate!

One word of warning, any place within a block of West Street will likely be very loud, as apparently every bar on West Street turns up their sound systems to the max until 2AM. One can assume any at accommodation on West Street it will be nearly impossible to sleep until after the bars close.

Lisa’s Cafe, West Street. The original hostel in Yangshuo, and one with a lot of character, though these days looks a little dilapidated. Dorm beds from 25.
Youth Hostel, 102 West Street, near the Pantou Lu end, +86-773-8820933.
Backpackers’ Hostel, just off West Street.
Moon Resort, in Moon Hill village (in front of the mountain), +86-773-8777688.
Monkey Jane’s Hotel & Rooftop Bar, off West Street (near the river end, well signed). Reliable service and friendly English-speaking staff.
Xi Jie House Inn, behind the Industrial and Commercial Bank on PanTao road. Should be avoided.
Double Moon Hotel, 16 Xian Qian St. Offers private rooms with hot showers for reasonable prices in off season. Decent, clean rooms with TV and double bed, helpful staff. There are also several other good budget options surrounding this hotel. From ¥40/night (but you need to negotiate).
Mid range
Yangshuo Village Inn — Yangshuo’s first boutique hotel. Located in Moon Hill Village close to caves, rivers and Liu San Jie lightshow. Eight beautifully appointed rooms with solar hot water in summer, American Standard fixtures, handmade bamboo beds, private bath and amazing views of Moon Hill and surrounding limestone karst towers. Also great Italian restaurant, bikes to rent and helpful staff.
Fawlty Towers, on the main street (opposite the bus station). ¥50/night for private room with shower in off season. Decent rooms, helpful staff.
Lisa’s Mountain View Hotel — Situated in a quiet street just 4 min walk from West Street, Restaurants, Bars and the heart of Yangshuo. Great mountain views.
Blue Lotus, near middle of West Street. ¥60/night for single with shower, TV, and a western toilet.
Breeze Inn Yangshuo West Street YHA
Friend Hotel, No. 2 Chenzhong Lu, just off West Street (coming down West Street from Pantao Lu, turn left into Chenzhong Lu and cross the bridge over the creek. The hotel is the second establishment on the right). +86-773-8828696, +86-13807735906. Clean and just far away from West Street to be quiet. Staff are friendly. Twin/Double cost ¥80-120/night off season. Rooms with western toilet and hot water shower.
Karst Hotel, located in the alley directly across from the entrance to China Climb. Run by the same people who own the Karst Cafe and operate Karst Climbing. This hotel also includes dormitory-style rooms for travelers on a budget, costing about ¥15 per night (summer 2007). The dormitory rooms are clean and comfortable and contain a bathroom with a western-style toilet and a shower.
Li River View.
MorningSun Hotel, No. 4, Chenzhong Lu (next to Friend Hotel), +86-773-8813899.
Outside Inn — Restored farmhouse 5 km from town, ¥80-120/night.
Sihai Hotel, 73 West Street.
Water Buffalo Guesthouse.
White Lion, on West Street.
Yangshuo Culture House — On the edge of town within walking distance of West Street, from approx. ¥70 per person per night. They provide cooked dinner at 6pm (with the other guests, so no chance to practice Chinese in case that’s what you were hoping for), we did not see any of the classes advertised on their website. Rooms were warm in winter.
Rosewood inn, 21 Gui Hua Lu. Situated in a quiet alley along a small stream just a few steps away from the West Street. Charming wooden decoration and great comfort in a calm environment. ¥100-300/night.
Dragon River Retreat, is a new, beautiful hotel located on the bank of the Yulong River surrounded by limestone peaks and bamboo forests.
Magnolia Hotel, 7 Die Cui Lu (a block from the river and west street). Very clean with nice big rooms, tastefully decorated.
Li River Retreat — Best views of any hotel in Yangshuo, great location and with great rooms.
Snow Lion Resort — 3 kms out of town. Great views, clean, friendly, Wi-Fi.
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat — A hidden gem just outside of town right on the banks of the Yulong River. China expat favorite, spectacular views of karst and river, Wi-Fi, full indoor and outdoor dining and bar, ¥250-450/night.
Regency Holiday Hotel, at the inland end of West Street, 86-773-8817200. Satellite TV and air conditioning.
Hotel of Modern Art — Approximately 30 minutes drive from Yangshuo this hotel is set inside Yuzi Paradise, a park full of stunning modern art in a remote rural location.
The Giggling Tree — A guesthouse created from farmhouses surrounding a courtyard. It is located in Aishanmen, a village 5 km from Yangshuo. ¥120-250/night.
Riverside Retreat — Country-side location with beautiful views, English speaking staff and western-style accommodations.

Stay safe

Yangshou has lots of pickpockets, especially on local minibuses. Be aware of who sits next to you, they sometimes operate by distracting you when its busy and even cutting open pockets with a razor blade.

Several tour operators in the area are also less then scrupulous. Beware when catching bamboo rafts as some of the tour operators will drop you off well before your intended destination.

Get out

Because Yangshuo is so dependent on backpacking tourists, you’ll find a range of services and agencies not commonly found in China. There are ample places that sell plane tickets to all other provincial capitals and some international destinations. There are also bus and sleeper bus services available towards Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Kunming. Train tickets (which will depart from Guilin) are also available.

There are tickets available all the way to Hanoi in Vietnam. These aren’t easily available elsewhere, and can save quite a bit of hassle at the China/Vietnam border. Vietnamese visas can also be obtained in Yangshuo, but the process takes several days, so plan accordingly.


[Source: Wikitravel]