Follow the Li River down to Yangshuo, a hub of stalls, bars, boutique hotels and international restaurants surrounded by towering mountains.
The town of Yangshuo is small and condensed, you can walk around it within a day. But rent a bike an see the countryside outside of Yangshuo and enjoy the natural beauty of Southern China.
Hostel/Budget rates – ¥30 – ¥50 for dorm beds with private rooms starting at ¥110.
Midrange Hotel rates – ¥150 – ¥400 – Decent 4-star hotels can be found at ¥300.
Luxury Hotel rates – ¥400 – ¥700
Transport – Bike rentals start at ¥15 a day, didi’s from one side of town to the other costs around ¥10 and electric bike rentals cost ¥ 60 for the day. Yangshuo is very much a walkable town so don’t expect to pay much at all for transport.
Average cost of food – Local foods cost around ¥20 – ¥40 per dish but be aware the Yangshuo is a touristy area and food here is higher than other areas in Southern China. International restaurants will cost around ¥150 per person whilst high-end restaurants start at ¥200.
Where to stay
Hostel/Budget – Xingping Old Place International Youth Hostel is on the outskirts of the city but offers gorgeous views of nature and dorm beds cost ¥40. The Yangshuo 131 Youth Hostel is another popular place, with dorm beds costing as little as ¥17.
Midrange – Yangshuo River View Hotel was our favourite – close enough to the markets and hustle of West Street but located on the river, offering balcony rooms with views of the Li River from ¥280 per night. For a more atmospheric and quieter experience, look at the Farmhouse Hotel; prices start from around ¥260.
Top End – The Yangshuo Mountain Nest Retreat is a popular and affordable but luxurious place to stay; costing ¥340 for private rooms. The Yangshuo C Source West Street Resident is another popular hotel with fantastic amenities with rooms starting at ¥240.
How to get there
Boat – Boats are available from Guilin which was our favourite way of getting to Yangshuo. The cruises take you down the Li River and take around 4 hours. Note, you are able to take luggage onto the cruise.
Taxi – From Guilin, you can catch a taxi to Yangshuo which will cost you between ¥260 – 400. Arrange a driver with your hotel in Guilin to ensure you are dropped off in the right location or use the Didi app.
Train – Yangshuo Rail Station now has high-speed trains between Guangzhou, Guilin and Guiyang but be aware that the station is actually in Xingping – a nearby town.
Bus – There are many daily buses that depart from Guilin Railway Station and terminate at the North Bus Station in Yangshuo. Mini-buses are affordable and an easy route with the trip taking 80-90 minutes, costing ¥22 and tickets can be purchased on the bus itself during the journey – just make sure to ignore anyone trying to overcharge you or sell you invalid tickets. Once in Yangshuo, you can jump on the public bus (which looks like a golf cart) and get to West Street for ¥1 – this is the Central street of Yangshuo and many hotels and hostels are within a 5-minute walk from here.
Fly – Yangshuo does not have a local airport so flying into Guilin is your best option. Taxis, buses, boats and trains are all available from Guilin; as discussed above.
Like I said above, Yangshuo is a small town so you can walk everywhere in a short amount of time. You can rent bikes or electric bikes to get around the town if you prefer; I would recommend renting on and exploring the countryside around Yangshuo. There are also cycling tours available for those wanting to explore Yangshuo with an expert – there are many many travel agents around the town to inquire at.
You can use a taxi but local taxi’s don’t tend to use the meter so you are best off using the Didi app (like Uber).