Why Is This Place so Great?
Yangshuo, and its neighboring towns in Guangxi, have long been considered the most beautiful region in China for thousands of years. Its gorgeous mountainscapes and rivers have been the inspiration for some of the most famous paintings and poetries in Chinese history.
Where Should I Stay?
For Luxury Choose: Banyan Tree Yangshuo
Photo of the Hotel’s Karst Discovery Suite. Courtesy of Banyan Tree Yangshuo
Located in the ancient town, Fuli, this Banyan Tree resort was designed as a village resort away from the hustle and bustle of the city so guests can truly enjoy the tranquil scenery before them. This resort is quite widely spread, with a total of 142 suites and villas. Consequently, guests are spoilt for choice of activities within the resort compound itself – one could relax in their yoga studio, take a private bamboo boat ride (and choose to make it romantic with a private meal), or swim in an infinity style pool overlooking the gorgeous Li River. If you decide to leave the compound, that’s fine too! The hotel has a free shuttle to take guests to the city.
For Lifestyle Choose: Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Photo of the Hotel’s Family Room with Terrace. Courtesy of Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
If you’re looking for a peaceful stay surrounded by nature, then you’ll find it at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, where all of the furniture is locally sourced to promote local vendors and reduce the carbon footprint. The accommodation at this hotel is by no means the same luxury that you would receive at your average Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons, but you will be greeted by the same friendly faces upon arrival, most of whom speak impeccable English.
This hotel is all about giving back to the community. Every employee working here are from neighboring villages, and Yangshuo Mountain Retreat tries their best to support them. Not only does the hotel purchase the majority of their produce from its employees’ family farms, but they also provide their staff with a percentage of the hotel profits as well. To further help those in need, the retreat also donates a percentage of its profits towards the Chinese US Medical Foundation to provide children, with the brittle bone disease, an education.
For Boutique Choose: Li River Resort
Photo of the Hotel’s Terrace View. Courtesy of Li River Resort
Li River Resort is a family run boutique hotel containing 19 rooms. Fully renovated in 2016, this resort features a pool with gorgeous views of the Li River and the infamous Karst Mountains, as well as bike and scooter hires. Li River Resort could not be better located. It is close to the town of Yangshuo but just tucked away enough so guests can avoid the hustle and bustle of the city. Furthermore, the views from this hotel are incredible. With unobstructed views of the Karst Mountain, the majority of rooms at this hotel offers flawless perspectives of the Yangshuo skyline from its floor to ceiling windows. We highly recommend springing for a higher category room (just not the standard room!) to be guaranteed one of these unforgettable views.
What Should I do?
Luxury: Visit the Qi Xian Feng Peak Tea Plantation with a Guide
If you like tea, then we’re sure you’ll love visiting the Qi Xian Feng Peak Tea Plantation (also known as the Seven Star Tea Plantation to English speakers). Located on a hilltop outside of town, visitors will have an in-depth tour of the 2009 Guangxi Tea Winner’s plantation. They’ll then have the opportunity to pick tea leaves (with a lesson on which ones are best to pick), and have a tasting of the green and black teas in-house. To top it off, there will also be a demonstration of the traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony as well.
Lifestyle: Go Rockclimbing
Yangshuo is known for its infamous mountainscape – so why not climb it? Well, you’re not the only one to think that. In fact, climbing has become so popular here that Yangshuo has become one of the most sought-after climbing spots in the world. There are routes for everyone, whether you’re a first-time rock climber or an experienced Everest climber, you’ll definitely have fun on this activity. If rock climbing isn’t your thing, that’s fine too – You can go zip lining or abseiling instead!
Boutique: Visit the town of Fuli and Make Your Own Fan
Approximately a 20-minute drive away from Yangshuo is a small town called Fuli. This is an ancient town with more than a thousand years of history and is mainly known as the home of the Chinese fan. Today, you will find that Fuli has become large market selling food, souvenirs, and (of course) bamboo and paper fans! While there, look for a family owned shop named Peng’s, and they’ll teach you how to make your own fan. If you don’t require any guidance on how to make one, you can make your way to Mao’s further down the street to make one for a cheaper price.
Where Should I Eat?
Luxury: Bai Yun at the Banyan Tree Yangshuo
Photo of the Restaurant. Courtesy of Banyan Tree Yangshuo
Bai Yun is expensive in comparison to dining in local establishments in Yangshuo, but it is well worth it. This restaurant serves Guangxi specialties, as well as famous Cantonese dishes (true to the chef’s Canton roots). If you’re celebrating something special, we recommend booking one of their six private dining suites.
Lifestyle: Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
(Formerly known as Pure Lotus)
Photo of the Restaurant’s Vegetarian Dumpling Dish. Courtesy of Pure Lotus’s Facebook Page
If you’re looking for a fully vegetarian option in Yangshuo, then visit Pure Lotus. At this restaurant, you will be able to eat all the traditional local dishes in a meat-free fashion. In addition, they also serve fresh pressed juices in case you’re missing your juice fix whilst on holiday!
Boutique: Dine at a Farmhouse
To taste some of the most authentic cuisines in Yangshuo, we recommend trying a Farmhouse instead of dining on the main streets of Yangshuo city. However, those who do not speak Chinese may find ordering quite difficult. Consequently, we recommend these travelers to go on a meal inclusive excursion that takes tourists to these types of restaurants (away from the city center). For travelers who are able to speak Chinese, we suggest Lizi Farmhouse (李子农家饭) located approximately 200 meters away from the docks of Yulong River’s Old County to try some great chicken and beer fish.