Overview of Yangshuo

A not-so-hidden gem just outside the city of Guilin, Yangshuo is undoubtably one of the most beautiful locations in China, and you’ve made a great decision by choosing to visit.

You may have seen thousands of pictures online (or perhaps the iconic image on the 20 yuan note) but nothing can prepare you for the beauty of witnessing Yangshuo’s unique karst peak landscapes in person.\Once a sleepy farming village, foreign backpackers began flocking to Yangshuo in the 1980’s and tourism has been booming ever since. Now a popular destination for local and international tourists alike, it’s still easy to avoid the crowds in Yangshuo, even during Chinese national holidays if you follow the tips below… So, let’s jump into it!


How many days?

I would recommend 3-4 days in Yangshuo in order to give yourself enough time to see and experience everything the region has to offer.


Where to stay in Yangshuo?

Most people will arrive into Guilin on their Yangshou adventure, but it is highly recommended you travel to Yangshuo town and stay here for at least a few nights for easy access to all the great things to do in the area.


Yangshuo truly is the hub for everything you would possibly need on your trip. You might even say it’s been overrun by tourism and now boasts a plethora of western restaurants like KFC, Starbucks and McDonalds. However, it’s easy to escape the hustle and bustle if you walk 10-15 minutes away from the main West Street.


Xingping or Yangshuo?

Locate about an hours drive north of Yangshou is Xingping town, now although beautiful and definitely worth a visit, there isn’t much there worth staying the night for


However, depending on whether you prefer a bustling town centre or scenic views, you may want to choose 1 of the following options:


Yangshuo West Street Area

We recommend setting up base in Yangshuo West Street Area (西街) if you’d prefer a bustling town with lots of local and western food options. You’re no more than a few minutes away from swapping the hustle and bustle for beautiful landscapes, but still have the convenience of supermarkets, entertainment, transport links, pharmacies, plenty of food options, hotels, and so much more. We do suggest you avoid staying directly next to West Street itself, as although the nightlife is fantastic, it can be extremely noisy, especially at nighttime. The music from bars and pubs will continue until around 02:00, with locals waking up at sunrise for their daily chores. Perhaps choose a hotel a few streets over for the best experience.


Yangshuo Yulong River Area

We recommend setting up base along Yangshuo’s Yulong River is you’d prefer a more scenic wake up call. Nestling amongst the karst hills are retreats, resorts, and homestays perfect for those looking to embrace the natural landscape. Perfect for couples, the scenery can be hopelessly romantic and absolutely gorgeous come sunrise and sunset. Don’t forget that you can also catch the more local way of life as you wake up and open the curtains to witness a local farmer feeding his chickens or plowing his land with his domestic buffalo. However, keep in mind that some hotels along the Yulong River are located far from downtown West Street Area making it difficult to travel into town or other nearby attractions.


Best Hotels for each budget (low, middle, high)

Yangshuo is a huge holiday destination amongst the Chinese, thus there is a place to stay within everyone’s budget. So, take your pick… hostels, hotels, or 5* resorts? Let’s list off some of the best hotels to stay?





Yangshuo Sudder Street Guesthouse (20 USD)

This is the hostel I stayed in, and although it’s more of a ‘guesthouse’ with private rooms the vibes just scream HOSTEL! There’s a pool outside, lounge area, communal kitchen, pool table , free bicycles etc. The hosts will even help you to hire an e-bike for your stay.
Address: No. 74 Shenshan Village, 541900 Yangshuo



Yangshuo River View Hotel (53 USD)

No. 25 Binjiang Road, Yangshuo County



Banyan Tree Yangshuo (阳朔悦榕庄) (200 USD)

No. 168 Zhengdong Street, Fuli Town, Yangshuo (阳朔县福利镇正东街168号)





Yangshuo Eden Inn (30 USD)

No 8 Chao Long Village, 541900 Yangshuo



Yangshuo Mountain Nest Boutique Hotel (80 USD)

No. 20 Longjiaoshan, Jima Village, Yangshuo



Yangshuo Mountain Retreat 阳朔胜地酒店 (120USD)

Wanggong Shan Jiao, Fenglou Village, Gaotian Town, Yangshuo


Best time to visit & Weather

Spring or Autumn. The shoulder seasons are typically dry, yet warm. Early summer has the highest likelihood of rainfall – which although is probably why the landscape is so lush and green, is also a bit of a nightmare when your underwear is soaked through.


We visited in June and boy oh boy did it rain. We got caught in 2 rainstorms on a 1.5-hour e-bike ride and got absolutely drenched!


How to get there

It’s likely you will first fly into Guilin Liangjiang international Airport (桂林两江国际机场) in the nearby city of Guilin, but from here there are plenty of transport links to get to Yangshuo…


  1. Local Mini-Bus

There are 2 kinds of buses from Guilin to Yangshou, from downtown Guilin or Guilin Airport.

Local buses depart regularly from Guilin South Passenger Station (桂林汽车客运南站) and Guiling Qintan Passenger Station (琴潭汽车客运站) to Yangshuo Bus Station (阳朔汽车总站). Likewise, they run in the opposite direction also. I recommend heading straight to the bus station and just booking your ticket at the ticket counter, because as a foreigner you’ll need to show your passport for the ticket. Alternatively, if you fancy heading straight to Yangshuo from the Airport, just follow signs for the bus and jump right on for around 50 RMB ($6 USD). All journeys take about 1.5-2 hours, and the buses are pleasant too!

This was our favourite way to get between the 2 cities.



  1. Train

Yangshuo has it’s own high-speed railway station! HOWEVER, It’s pretty far out of town, so expect to hop in a taxi for about 1 hour before arriving to downtown Yangshuo. Feel free to attempt the local bus from the train station to downtown, but be warned, they’re BUSY). A taxi from Yangshuo train station will set you back about 100RMB ($14 USD).

If you do decide to take the train, whether it be from big metropolitan cities like Shenzhen, Gaungzhou, Hong Kong, or Shanghai, try to grab a window seat because the scenery is spectacular on the journey into Yangshuo!


  1. Taxi

If you’re willing to blow the cash, by all means, hop in a taxi and head straight to your destination. The price is reasonable for a 1.5-hour journey of 80km, so if it’s late at night this option may be your best bet!

From downtown Guilin: 200-300RMB ($30-40 USD)

From Guiling airport: 350RMB ($50 USD)


Things to do

Here I’ll just quickly list all the things you can see and do in Yangshuo, but a for a full list of activities and itineraries, click here to check out the full article.

  1. River Rafting on Yulong River
  2. Xingping Village (20 yuan viewpoint)
  3. Laozhai Mountain (Xingping)
  4. TV Tower Hike
  5. West Street
  6. Rock Climbing
  7. Pictures of fisherman and cormorants
  8. Moon Hill