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How To Find The Hidden Views Of Yangshuo – Be My Travel Muse


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Concettina Lance



Welcome to Yangshuo, a picturesque town in southern China that is nestled among the stunning karst mountains and along the banks of the Li River. Known for its natural beauty and unique landscape, Yangshuo is a haven for travelers seeking an escape from the bustling cities and a chance to immerse themselves in nature.


With its hidden views and charming atmosphere, Yangshuo offers a delightful experience for visitors. From exploring the ancient alleyways of West Street to cruising along the tranquil Li River, there are plenty of adventures waiting to be discovered in this enchanting destination.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or a foodie looking to sample local delicacies, Yangshuo has something for everyone. This travel guide will provide you with all the tips and insights you need to make the most of your trip and uncover the hidden gems of Yangshuo.


So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as we reveal the secrets of Yangshuo and show you how to truly experience this captivating destination.


Getting to Yangshuo

Located in Guangxi Province, Yangshuo is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here are some options for getting to this charming town:

  1. By Air: The closest major airport to Yangshuo is Guilin Liangjiang International Airport. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to Yangshuo, which is approximately a 90-minute drive away. There are also domestic flights available from major cities in China to Guilin.
  2. By Train: Yangshuo does not have its own train station, so the best option is to take a train to Guilin Railway Station. From there, you can either hire a taxi or take a bus to Yangshuo. The journey takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, and the scenery along the way is breathtaking.
  3. By Bus: Yangshuo has a well-connected bus network, making it convenient to reach from nearby cities. There are regular bus services from Guilin, as well as other popular tourist destinations in the region such as Longsheng and Yangdi. The bus journey offers a chance to enjoy the beautiful countryside views.
  4. By Boat: For a unique and scenic experience, you can also reach Yangshuo by taking a river cruise from Guilin along the Li River. This leisurely journey allows you to soak in the stunning landscape and arrive in Yangshuo in style.

Once you arrive in Yangshuo, the town itself is small enough to explore on foot. However, if you want to venture further into the countryside or visit attractions situated outside the town, renting a bicycle or hiring a local private driver are popular options.


Now that you know how to get to Yangshuo, let’s dive into the enchanting experiences that await you in this picturesque town.


Exploring West Street

One of the highlights of visiting Yangshuo is exploring West Street, also known as Xijie. As the oldest street in Yangshuo, it is a blend of traditional Chinese architecture and a bohemian atmosphere, offering a unique cultural experience.


As you stroll along the cobblestone streets of West Street, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant mix of shops, cafes, restaurants, and art studios. This bustling pedestrian street is a hub of activity, with vendors selling colorful souvenirs, handmade crafts, and traditional Chinese clothing.


West Street is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars and clubs that come alive after the sun sets. Enjoy live music performances, karaoke sessions, and dance the night away with both locals and fellow travelers.


Don’t forget to indulge in the local delicacies while exploring West Street. There are plenty of street food stalls and restaurants serving traditional Chinese dishes, such as Guilin rice noodles, beer fish, and yangrou chuanr (lamb kebabs).


If you’re interested in art and culture, make sure to visit the many art galleries and studios in the area. You can watch local artists create stunning paintings or try your hand at traditional Chinese calligraphy.


For a unique cultural experience, consider attending a traditional performance at one of the theaters in West Street. From traditional Chinese opera to acrobatic shows, these performances showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region.


Exploring West Street is a must-do when visiting Yangshuo, as it offers a vibrant and immersive experience of the local culture. The fusion of old-world charm and modern influences makes West Street an excellent place to soak up the atmosphere and discover the heartbeat of Yangshuo.


Exploring the Li River

One of the most iconic and breathtaking experiences in Yangshuo is exploring the Li River. The crystal-clear waters, stunning karst mountains, and lush greenery make it a photographer’s dream and a nature lover’s paradise.


A popular way to explore the Li River is by taking a leisurely cruise. Hop on a bamboo raft or a larger tour boat and meander along the tranquil river, surrounded by towering limestone peaks that seem to emerge from the water. This scenic journey will take you past stunning landscapes, ancient villages, and lush rice paddies.


Highlights along the Li River include famous spots like Xingping, known for its picture-perfect scenery featured on the 20 Yuan note, and Nine Horse Painting Hill, which resembles nine horses galloping through the water when viewed from a certain angle.


While on the Li River, keep an eye out for the whimsical fisherman with their trained cormorant birds. These birds dive into the water to catch fish and then return to their masters’ boats. Watching this traditional fishing technique is a unique cultural experience.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also explore the Li River by kayaking or taking a bamboo raft ride. Paddle your way through the meandering waterways, immersing yourself in the stunning scenery at your own pace.


Exploring the Li River is an enchanting experience that allows you to connect with nature and witness the beauty of Yangshuo firsthand. Capture the awe-inspiring views, breathe in the fresh air, and let the tranquility of the river wash over you as you create lasting memories in this magical place.


Climb Moon Hill

If you’re up for a rewarding physical challenge and a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside, then climbing Moon Hill is a must-do activity in Yangshuo.


Moon Hill, named after its distinctive arch shape resembling a crescent moon, is a limestone pinnacle located just outside Yangshuo. The hill is known for its natural cave that passes through it, offering a unique opportunity to climb to the top and enjoy the breathtaking vistas.


The hike to the top of Moon Hill can be quite steep and challenging, but the effort is well worth it. As you ascend, you’ll pass through lush vegetation and occasionally encounter curious monkeys along the way.


Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning 360-degree view of the surrounding karst mountains, rice paddies, and the picturesque countryside of Yangshuo. The view is particularly spectacular during sunrise or sunset, as the golden hues wash over the landscape, creating a surreal atmosphere.


Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of Moon Hill and the surrounding area. It’s a perfect spot for a memorable photo to share with friends and family.


After your climb, you can relax and enjoy a well-deserved meal at one of the local restaurants near Moon Hill. Indulge in the local specialties, such as beer fish or stir-fried Yangshuo rice noodles, while basking in the natural beauty that surrounds you.


Climbing Moon Hill is not only a physical adventure but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of Yangshuo. Challenge yourself, savor the views, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this breathtaking destination.


Visit the Yangshuo Countryside

While Yangshuo itself is a charming town with plenty to offer, one of the highlights of visiting this region is exploring the stunning countryside that surrounds it. The countryside of Yangshuo is a picturesque landscape of towering karst mountains, fertile rice paddies, and traditional villages.


One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Yangshuo countryside is by renting a bicycle or joining a guided bike tour. As you pedal along the quiet country roads, you’ll be immersed in the serene atmosphere and treated to breathtaking views at every turn.


Explore the lush rice fields, pedal through quaint villages, and interact with friendly locals along the way. Discover the traditional way of life and get a glimpse into the agricultural practices that have sustained the region for centuries.


Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Yulong River, a tributary of the Li River, which meanders through the countryside. Rent a bamboo raft or a kayak and float along the peaceful river, surrounded by the stunning karst landscape and enjoying the tranquility of nature.


For a more immersive experience, consider staying in a rural farmhouse or guesthouse in the countryside. Wake up to the sound of birds chirping, enjoy a hearty countryside breakfast, and spend your days exploring the surrounding beauty.


While exploring the Yangshuo countryside, you may also come across hidden gems such as ancient bridges, centuries-old temples, and riverside caves. Take the time to explore these hidden treasures and learn about the rich history and culture of the region.


Visiting the Yangshuo countryside is an opportunity to escape the city hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in the serenity and natural beauty of the area. Whether you choose to explore by bike, on foot, or by boat, the countryside of Yangshuo offers a peaceful retreat and a chance to connect with the authentic essence of this enchanting region.


Discover the Karst Landscape

One of the most captivating aspects of Yangshuo is its unique karst landscape. Karst refers to a type of topography characterized by limestone formations and picturesque peaks, and Yangshuo is renowned for its stunning examples of this natural wonder.


The karst landscape in Yangshuo is truly a sight to behold. Picture towering limestone pillars surrounded by lush vegetation, rising majestically from the emerald-green rice paddies and meandering rivers below.


To fully appreciate the beauty of the karst landscape, take a leisurely bamboo raft ride along the Li River, which will give you an up-close and personal view of these mystical formations. As you float gently along the water, marvel at the intricate shapes and intricate patterns created by the erosive forces of nature over millions of years.


If you’re more adventurous, consider exploring the karst landscape on foot by taking a hike. The region offers numerous hiking trails that lead you through dense forests, up challenging peaks, and to hidden caves nestled among the limestone cliffs. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring vistas along the way.


One iconic karst formation in Yangshuo is the famous Moon Hill, which features a natural arch through the limestone cliff. A moderately challenging hike will take you to the top, where you can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding karst landscape.


Another must-see attraction is the Big Banyan Tree, a centuries-old tree that has grown atop a karst formation. This impressive tree provides shade and a peaceful spot to relax and admire the surrounding karst peaks.


If you’re interested in geology and want to learn more about the karst landscape, consider visiting the Yangshuo Karst Geology Museum. Here, you can explore interactive exhibits that unravel the formation and significance of the karst scenery.


Whether you choose to cruise along the Li River, hike through the karst mountains, or visit iconic landmarks, experiencing the karst landscape is an absolute must when visiting Yangshuo. Its awe-inspiring beauty and unique geological formations will leave you in awe and create lasting memories of this enchanting destination.


Try Local Cuisine

When visiting Yangshuo, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture is by trying the delicious local cuisine. Yangshuo offers a diverse range of dishes that showcase the flavors and culinary traditions of the region.


One must-try dish in Yangshuo is the famous beer fish. This signature local specialty consists of fresh fish cooked in a savory sauce made with beer, onions, ginger, and chili peppers. The combination of tender fish and flavorful sauce creates a mouthwatering and unique taste that you won’t find elsewhere.


Guilin rice noodles, a classic dish in the region, are also a must-try. These thin and silky noodles are served in a rich and aromatic broth made from pork bone and topped with various toppings such as braised pork, pickled vegetables, and peanuts. It’s a hearty and comforting dish that will satisfy your taste buds.


Another popular local dish is yangrou chuanr, which are skewers of grilled lamb marinated in spices. These succulent skewers are a favorite street food option, perfect for a quick and flavorful snack while exploring the streets of Yangshuo.


If you’re a fan of vegetarian cuisine, Yangshuo has some delectable options for you as well. The region is known for its abundance of fresh vegetables and herbs, which are skillfully used in vegetarian dishes. Try the stir-fried seasonal vegetables or the stuffed artichokes, and savor the natural flavors and vibrant colors of the locally sourced produce.


To experience the authentic local food culture, venture beyond the tourist areas and explore the local food markets. These bustling markets are filled with a variety of fresh ingredients, local snacks, and exotic fruits. You can also join a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional Yangshuo dishes and bring the flavors of the region back home with you.


Lastly, don’t forget to indulge in some sweet treats. Yangshuo is famous for its unique sweet rice cakes, made from glutinous rice and filled with various flavors such as red bean paste or sweet sesame. These delightful treats are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.


Exploring Yangshuo’s local cuisine is not only a gastronomic adventure but also an opportunity to connect with the local culture and traditions. So, be sure to embark on a culinary journey and savor the flavors that make Yangshuo a true food lover’s paradise.


Attend a Traditional Performance

To immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Yangshuo, attending a traditional performance is a must. These captivating shows showcase the artistry and cultural traditions of the region, providing a unique and memorable experience.


One popular traditional performance in Yangshuo is the Impression Sanjie Liu show. Set on the Li River and featuring a cast of hundreds of local performers, this open-air performance combines music, dance, and stunning visual effects to depict the story of Liu Sanjie, a local legendary folk singer. The performance takes place against the backdrop of the natural karst landscape, creating a truly magical atmosphere.


Another traditional performance not to be missed is the cormorant fishing show. Accompanying a local fisherman on his bamboo raft, you’ll witness a unique fishing technique that involves trained cormorant birds diving into the water to catch fish. The show not only demonstrates the fishing skills inherited from generations, but also highlights the intimate connection between the fishermen and their winged companions.


If you want to learn more about traditional Chinese performing arts, the the Yangshuo Traditional Art Center is worth a visit. Here, you can watch performances of traditional Chinese opera, martial arts demonstrations, and acrobatic shows. The performers showcase incredible skills and techniques honed over years of training, providing an insight into the rich and diverse cultural heritage of China.


For a more interactive experience, consider joining a traditional cultural workshop. Learn the art of Chinese calligraphy, try your hand at paper cutting, or participate in a tea ceremony. These workshops offer a hands-on opportunity to learn about the traditional arts and crafts of Yangshuo, and you can even take home your own handmade souvenirs.


Attending a traditional performance in Yangshuo is not only entertaining, but it also allows you to appreciate and understand the local culture on a deeper level. The vibrant costumes, graceful movements, and immersive storytelling create a unique experience that will leave a lasting impression.


So, step into the world of traditional Chinese performing arts and embrace the cultural richness that Yangshuo has to offer.



Yangshuo, with its hidden views and enchanting atmosphere, offers a captivating experience for travelers seeking a glimpse of natural beauty and cultural richness. From exploring the ancient streets of West Street to cruising along the Li River, there are endless adventures waiting to be discovered in this picturesque town.


Getting to Yangshuo is easily accessible by air, train, bus, or even by boat along the Li River. Once you arrive, be sure to explore the charming West Street, filled with vibrant shops, restaurants, and a bustling nightlife scene.


Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of Yangshuo by climbing Moon Hill or taking a bamboo raft ride along the Li River. Feel the tranquility of the countryside as you explore the picturesque rice fields and traditional villages.


Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the unique karst landscape that defines Yangshuo. Marvel at the towering limestone peaks, hike through lush forests, and visit iconic landmarks like Moon Hill and the Big Banyan Tree.


Indulge in the local cuisine as you try traditional dishes like beer fish, Guilin rice noodles, and yangrou chuanr. Explore the local food markets and participate in cooking classes to fully experience the flavors of Yangshuo.


To truly connect with the local culture, attend a traditional performance such as the Impression Sanjie Liu show or witness the ancient art of cormorant fishing. Engage in workshops to learn traditional arts and crafts, and gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage of the region.


As your journey in Yangshuo comes to a close, you’ll carry with you memories of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural experiences, and the warmth and hospitality of the local people. Yangshuo is truly a destination that offers a unique blend of adventure, tranquility, and cultural immersion, making it an unforgettable travel experience.