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Overview

The terminus of popular cruises winding down the Li River from Guilin, Yangshuo lies in the heart of the uncanny karst peaks and pinnacles that constitute the quintessential Chinese landscape. A cruise on the Li River is an ink scroll come alive, and from tiny Yangshuo, long a favorite of independent travelers and backpackers, one can bike, hike or raft this landscape at a leisurely pace. The Yangdi-Xingping Scenic Area upstream is particularly fine for trekking and bamboo rafting. Moon Hill, five miles south, and nearby Big Banyan Tree Scenic Area on the breathtaking Yulong River, are the most popular natural spectacles in the area. ...

The terminus of popular cruises winding down the Li River from Guilin, Yangshuo lies in the heart of the uncanny karst peaks and pinnacles that constitute the quintessential Chinese landscape. A cruise on the Li River is an ink scroll come alive, and from tiny Yangshuo, long a favorite of independent travelers and backpackers, one can bike, hike or raft this landscape at a leisurely pace. The Yangdi-Xingping Scenic Area upstream is particularly fine for trekking and bamboo rafting. Moon Hill, five miles south, and nearby Big Banyan Tree Scenic Area on the breathtaking Yulong River, are the most popular natural spectacles in the area. Visitors can also enjoy night cruises with fishermen employing lanterns and cormorants on the Li River. The town caters to foreign visitors with dozens of laid-back cafes, guesthouses and adventure outfitters. Yangzhou is also a world-class rock-climbing destination, China's best, with local outfitters providing access to some 300 bolted routes (rated 5.6 to 5.13), including Moon Hill. Yangshuo also offers excellent cooking schools, language academies (with crash courses) and martial arts/tai chi centers. The town is dotted with limestone peaks that can be climbed, including Green Lotus Peak in Mountain Water Garden on the Li River. Nearby, a cast of 600 singers and dancers presents a nightly riverside revue, "Impressions Liu Sanjie," devised by celebrated film director Zhang Yimou, creator of the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Summer Olympics.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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J.D. Brown for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Yangshuo lies northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China
  • Language: Mandarin and Yangshuo Hua
  • Currency: Yuan
  • Research: Wikitravel | Yangshuo County

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summers are humid, making spring and fall the best times to visit. Winter is mild, but the rivers are often too low for cruising.