Nestled between several peaks and the Li River is Yangshuo, a small resort town known for the outdoor pursuits among its mountains and a spectacular theatrical performance under the stars.
Many visitors are drawn to the town by the Yangshuo Light Show. This is a nightly open-air theatrical spectacle with the mountainous scenery as a backdrop. It features traditional singing and dancing to tell a love story of operatic proportions. Approximately 600 performers take part, many of whom are local farmers and tradespeople.
After the show, head to one of Yangshuo’s many bars and restaurants. On Guiha Street you’ll find trendy cafés and bars, while the restaurants on Pangtao Road are loved for their authentic Chinese cuisine.
With many limestone peaks and more than 200 climbing routes, the area surrounding the town has become a draw for rock climbers. There are also several mountain hiking trails with the most accessible peak being Bilian at the edge of Yangshuo.
There are many other ways to experience Yangshuo’s beautiful natural scenery. Cycle through the countryside and rice fields that are still ploughed by using water buffalo. Explore the river on a bamboo raft and pass under the 400-year-old Yulong Qiao Bridge.
Explore some of the many cave systems. Wander through the stalactite- and stalagmite-filled subterranean spaces of the Buddha Water Cave, which runs 3 miles (5 kilometers) into the mountains. Bring your swimsuit with you to relax in its hot mud pools and hot springs.
Yangshuo is approximately 45 miles (73 kilometers) from Guilin where there is an international airport and railway station. From these locations you can reach Yangshuo by bus, taxi, rental car or by a boat ride down the Li River.
While Yangshuo’s wild surrounds and cultural attractions will easily fill your days, save some time for a daytrip to the historic Huangyao village. This ancient village is about 2 hours away by car and has a history of more than 1,000 years. Walk the slab-stone streets and see temples, shrines, pavilions and ancestral halls.