It’s been a while since I did travel related post on here, for a moment I thought I ran out of ideas to write. But I realised I haven’t told you guys enough about Yang Shuo County ( where I stayed this summer for one week and perhaps, the most memorable experience of my nearly two months holiday in China!)
Here’s some geographic information about Yang Shuo; it is a county under the jurisdiction of Guilin City( South of China quite close to Vietnam), surrounded by peaks and bordered one side by the Li River. Thus, making the town popular to foreign backpackers as well as rock climbing fanatics!
For someone like me who lived in North Eastern China for ten years, my journey to the South of China was a real eye opener. The most obvious one – a contrast in environment: the North is very industrial, big sky scrapers everywhere, very modernised. Here in Yangshuo Guilin, people’s lives are more primitive, they simply live off the land by growing rice and various crops. So, sounds a bit like time travel doesn’t it?
Oh there are no traffic lights !!! I know it sounds pretty crazy, but surprisingly, I haven’t witnessed any traffic accidents or traffic jam at all! In Yang Shuo, most people travel by motor cycle or scooters. For tourists, it’s pretty handy to walk around if you intend to explore Yang Shuo town. Of course, there are sights worth to see outside Yang Shuo County, you can choose either to rent a bike or just do what I did, by going along with a tour ( tours can be booked in the hotel front desk). But to be fair, a lot of Westerner prefer to cycle and there is an english speaking bike rental agency in the high street called Bike Asia.
What I loved about Yang Shuo is that almost every one – from market stall ladies to staffs in local shops; despite a high level of illiteracy in Southern China, however, everyone seems to be able to speak basic English. What a surprise that was, yet another contrast to the trip I took to Beijing. It is no wonder that I saw more Westerners in Yang Shuo than the North, so much more convenient being able to communicate! Oh and just another example of how Yang Shuo is loved by so many Western travellers, the high street is named Western Street; very quiet in the day ( due to the heat perhaps?) but it comes ALIVE at night, every few meters there’s a pizza place, night clubs, pubs and I kid you not there’s also German / Spanish restaurants & a London Tavern! Some of these restaurants have western managers; such as the one I’ve talked about in my previous posts – The Minority Cafe, offers English/ American styled breakfast then Chinese or Western cuisines throughout the day! It’s a really popular spot for western residents of Yangshuo or travellers to socialise.
So you might ask why is it a must visit in China? Well, personally, I think it’s an eye opener to the original lifestyle of Chinese people or may I say the Western view of China and Asia in general; living their life on land. Sadly, even though Beijing or Shanghai are the most well-known cities in the West, but personally I don’t think they are the best portrayals of China because there are hardly any natural scenery, unless of course, you are happy to visit somewhere modern for a city break. Yang Shuo as a typical old Chinese town in the South, is capable to offer both scenery and night life yet it is a friendly place for western travellers to experience China without the worries of language barriers!
There are so many near by sights worth to see:
Longji Rice Field & Long Hair Village, Bamboo rafting, Boat Ride in the Li River and Silver Caves Resort. (I will write about these events soon! stay tuned!) Of course, there is rock climbing option for those who fancy it and many more!