We have only a couple of days left before the end of our Chinese visa and decide to travel for a quick two-day getaway from Guangzhou, China, to the rice terraces in Longsheng and continue on to Yangshuo to spend the night and following day before heading back.
1. Getting around in Yangshuo
Yangshuo can be easily covered by foot or bicycle. A must-do while in Yangshuo is to get on a bamboo raft and ride the Li river admiring the spectacular scenery. Don’t forget to negotiate your fare and wear your lifejackets (available on all bamboo rafts)!
If you want to visit the 20CNY bill picture in Xinping, you can either get on your rented bicycle, ride the local transportation: a bus from Yangshuo to Xinping cost a little less than 10CNY per person and departs from the main bus station in Yangshuo, taxi (over 100CNY) or boat.
Bus from Fuli to Xinping 10CNY per person, catch the bus from the main road right outside of the Ancient Town.
2. Where to Stay
Hotels in Xi Jie (West Street) – we stayed at 11 Hostel , highest rooftop in town, Off of Xi Jie,.
Description: We stayed here for one night. It is located in the same alley as Monkey Jane. The owner was friendly and we could leave our bags at the reception for the day. We enjoyed the quiet rooftop view a lot. Perfect for a comfortable overnight stay.
Price: 100CNY for a double room
Amenities: Wifi, hot shower, en suite bathroom and toilets, highest rooftop in Yangshuo, bicycles for rent, six floors – stairs only.
3. What to do in Yangshuo and Longsheng – Activities and Sights
Longsheng – Longji Rice Terraces 80CNY per person, hike through the amazing rice terraces and interact with the locals. There are many lodges and hotels in Longji, you can stay overnight and admire the sunset/sunrise over the rice terraces.
Boat ride on a bamboo raft along the Li river. We were able to negotiate 100CNY for 1hr and the boatman dropped us off in Fuli. You can also come back to Yangshuo or go to Xinping to admire the sight on the 20CNY bill. A longer ride will cost you more.
Go to Xinping for 20CNY bill sight. Xinping is home to the 20CNY bill Karst mountain sight. Xinping is a small touristy towns with western-style coffee shops and street vendors, though much calmer than Xi street. You can stroll through the town and see other tourists looking for the 20CNY view.
Stroll through Fuli Ancient Town We were dropped off from our bamboo raft ride in Fuli, a small village which almost appeared to be a phantom town. We were told there was a market there but by the time we reached it, all stalls were already closed up. Senior citizens were playing cards or mahjong in the streets, often in front of their sometimes dilapidated homes. From Fuli, you can catch a bus to Xinping.
Admire karst mountains at night. The beauty of Yangshuo is that it is surrounded by karst mountains and at night, these mountains are illuminated all over, creating an enchanting scenery. Xi street is filled with hotels and rooftop bars: sit atop, sip on your drink and admire the amazing sights.
Browse and dine in Xi Jie (west street). Xi street is filled with bars, clubs, street vendors, souvenir shops and anything you may be looking for. The street is filled with local and foreign tourists enjoying the energy and vibe of the small town. It is not a peaceful walk so hold on to your belongings and let your eyes feast. Xi street also has tons of foreign-cuisine restaurants as well as local cuisine. Pick one, sit on the top floor and people watch. Dining is a show in itself right below the magical karst mountains.
Try Beer fish – THE dish of Yangshuo, the fish comes from the Li river and is simmered in beer and also has tomatoes, scallions, green peppers and oyster sauce. Very very yummy!
Rent a bike and ride through Yangshuo – many hostels offer bicycle renting, you can bike on your own or join a group
4. Getting there and away
Bus Yangshuo to/from Guangzhou : there is no direct train from Guangzhou to Yangshuo and vice versa. Your best option is by bus, the ride takes about 7-8hrs. We were in a sleeper bus and arrived in Guangzhou at 3am but were allowed to continue our night of sleep in the parked bus, a very nice, and needed, bonus!
In Yangshuo, the bus station is walking distance, at the roundabound at the beginning of Xi street.
Bus from Longsheng to Yangshuo – there is no direct public bus between the two, you have to take a bus to Guilin first and then head to Yangshuo and vice versa.
Below is a table summarizing our different modes of transportation during our two-day trip:
Time and Cost (March 2013)
|Guangzhou – Guilin||Night Sleeper bus||8hrs 180CNY per person|
|Guilin – Longsheng||Local Bus||3hrs 21CNY per person|
|Longsheng – Rice Terraces||Private Car – negotiated on site (often available where the local bus drops you off)||45mins 30CNY|
|Rice Terraces – Yangshuo||Tour bus with add’l seats-travel luck||2.5hrs 70CNY per person|
|Yangshuo – Guangzhou||Night sleeper bus||7-8hrs 130CNY per person|
Enjoy your travels!