Tours to Yangshuo - Stunning Scenery in Southern China
When people are planning their China tour, the emphasis often seems to be on taking in as many of the sights as possible. Of course China has plenty of these with global icons such as the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta Warriors to name but two of the many. In my experience of China, both firsthand, in the decade I lived there, and working for The China travel Company, I’ve found that it’s the countryside that interests me the most.
Taking a Cruise Down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo
The first place that people tend to think of when talking about the Chinese countryside is Guilin and more specifically Yangshuo. Located in the North East of Guangxi province, which is found in the South of China. It’s situated alongside perhaps China’s most beautiful of rivers, the River Li. The River Li is surrounded by the distinctive karst mountain scenery that this province is so famous for and nowadays attracts huge numbers of tourists searching for a bit of peace and relaxation or those looking to get active. Therein lies the beauty of Yangshuo, it really has something for everyone.
Whether it be the Li River cruise that takes you from Guilin to Yangshuo, bamboo rafting on one of the many tributaries that come off the Li River, taking in the wildly impressive Liu Sanjie Impressions light show – directed by Zhang Yimou, the man responsible for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, or simply to sit back in one of the many cafes and watch the world go by – there’s enough to keep anyone occupied for several days.
Yangshuo Opened up by Backpackers before Chinese Tourists
Yangshuo was actually originally “discovered” by foreign backpackers who were looking for a place of peace and natural beauty to escape the cities of China. They were to stumble upon the peaceful fishing village of Yangshuo with it’s friendly local villagers and beautiful surrounding countryside and decided they’d found their spot. Mountain climbers were to follow and from it’s humble beginnings it’s now a mecca for those wanting a dose of the Chinese countryside or to scale the amazing karst mountain scenery that surrounds you here. It wasn’t long before the domestic population got wind of this quiet town and it was soon to become as popular with them as it first had with the foreign backpackers and nowadays it has filled up with Chinese tourists looking for an escape from the hectic city life as much as foreign tourists.
Speciality Cuisine of Yangshuo including Beer Fish!
Yangshuo’s speciality dish is Beer fish and can be bought in several of the local cuisine restaurants that are found in Yangshuo’s main strip. There’s also a wide selection of foreign foods (most of which aren’t worth writing home about), innumerable cafes and plenty of souvenir shops but it’s the combination of the local minorities welcoming attitude and the natural beauty that keeps the numbers coming back.
All in all, Yangshuo is a must for all China tours that are lacking a bit of time with nature or for any short stay break if you were coming from Hong Kong.
Article originally posted by Phil Stanley and Headseast: 13th February 2015
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