After a fun few days in Taiwan (we recommend that if you haven’t been you must!) we were back on our way to China! Having quickly sorted some new 30 day visas out in Hong Kong we were back in China to explore the more southern regions. This time round it was a lot colder there (I guess we can’t always be chasing the sun!) but even still we were eager to explore more of the countryside and see the picturesque landscapes we frequently saw on postcards of the Guangxi region. Guilin, north of the Guangxi region is made famous for it’s unique landscape of Karst peaks – huge limestone hills that jut out of the ground like giant stone chess pieces.
The city of Guilin itself was not pretty or interesting, we only stayed there one night. We were glad to leave for beautiful Yangshuo town just one hour’s bus ride away in the heart of the Guangxi countryside. We stayed here for 9 days and spent most of the time exploring the countryside. One day kayaking down the River Li, another rock climbing (and ripping out clothes to shreds on the sharp rock) and most other days renting a bike to go off exploring. We cycled through little villages, fruit orchards, rice paddies, just enjoying the fresh air and stunning landscape.
We stayed in a lovely hostel called Trippers Carpe Diem, set out of the main town in view of the mountains and just 15 minute walk to the main town. There we met lots of lovely new friends, both working at the hostel and other fellow travellers. Yangshuo was well set up for tourism with lots of restaurants and bars, but it definitely had a lovely charm about the place. Unlike other places in China it was very clean and well maintained, everyone was always smiling and there were no aggressive traders trying to sell you tat (though there was plenty of tat around to buy if you wanted it!) We loved every moment we spent in Yangshuo and would go back again, its our favourite place in China.