Yangshuo, a picturesque resort town on the banks of the Li River in southern China's Guangxi region, is recognized for its spectacular scenery. It's so popular that it's even on the 20 Yuan bill! Yangshuo is home to stunning limestone karsts, magnificent caverns, rice terraces, flowing rivers, and beautiful bridges.
Take time to appreciate the beauty of the place whether you're exploring it on foot, via bike, hiking, or rock climbing. There are many things to do in Yangshuo, from exploring its calm valleys and lively streets to visiting its butterfly gardens and amazing underground caves.
Water Caves – Spectacular stalactites-filled water caves
Yangshuo is known for its spectacular stalagmites and stalactites-filled water caves, underground mud baths, waterfall pools, and hot springs.
Explore the Dragon Cave's mirrored ponds and large underwater pool, have a mud bath in the Real Water Cave or Gold Water Cave, or relax in the three-layer Buddha Water Cave's hot spring.
The Moon Water Cave, one of Yangshuo's largest and most well-known subterranean river tunnels, goes through eight mountains and features a secret underground pool concealed behind a waterfall.
Longmen who arrived by boat Water Cave is the world's largest underground karst cave, with labyrinthine passageways that extend through three mountains and served as a WWII hideaway. Bring a flashlight because this is the only water cave that isn't lit up.
Guilin Butterfly Spring – Most Beautiful Scenery
Guilin Butterfly Spring, named for a butterfly-shaped stalactite located in a cave within the park, has some of Yangshuo's most beautiful scenery. It is China's largest live butterfly garden, with thousands of free-flying butterflies.
Everything inside the park is themed on butterflies, as you may have guessed. For rock climbers, a massive Monarch Butterfly model on a cliff beside the entranceway is a big lure, while a cave contains an interesting combination of butterfly-shaped stalactites. Over 10,000 butterflies from 300 different species live in the Exhibition Hall, including the Papillon, one of the most beautiful butterflies on the planet.
A stroll through the Butterfly Garden, a walk across the Butterfly Bridge, and a climb to the top of Butterfly Hill for a stunning view are all highlights. The Honeybee Garden, where you may sample real wild honey, is a must-see!
Fuli Bridge – Surrounded By Lush Greenery
The Dragon Bridge is well-known, but few people are aware of the equally stunning Fuli Bridge, which is located a short distance upriver. This one-of-a-kind single-arch bridge is nestled amid a peaceful section of the Li River, surrounded by lush greenery. The majority of the original masonry is still present.
Fuli Bridge is a favorite spot for wedding photoshoots because it is less well-known and has less visitors. During peak season, however, it is one of the most popular bamboo rafting destinations, thus the best time to visit Fuli Bridge is early in the morning.
West Street – Beautiful Architecture
West Street, located in Yangshuo's downtown area, is a prominent pedestrianized street known for its beautiful architecture and souvenir shops. This S-shaped road is almost 1,400 years old and is paved with local marble!
Yangshuo West Street, also known as Foreigner's Street, is a trendy backpacker's destination and an amazing mixture of east and west in China. In fact, it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city; three times as many tourists visit West Street each year as natives (about 100,000!).
On West Street, there's always something going on. It's China's largest foreign language center, with everything from craft shops, calligraphy shops, and Chinese Kung Fu academies to stores offering embroidered silk cloth, wax-painted weaving, and embroidered shoes lining the street.
With its foreigner-run bars and cafes, West Street comes alive at night. Here you can sample traditional Chinese cuisine such as Ciba (a Chinese-style rice cake) and Yangshuo rice noodles.
Xianggong Mountain – The Breathtaking View
Xianggong Mountain, also known as Hebao Mountain after the community at its base, is a picturesque hilltop in Xingping Town wedged between Mural Hill and Yellow Cloth Shoal.
It was once just an unknown karst hill that became famous after a local Chinese photographer entered his photos in an international photography competition. Since then, the peak has been clogged with photographers and tourists eager to see the breathtaking vista for themselves.
The term 'Xiang Gong' alludes to an ancient government official; perhaps you'll notice that the mountain is formed like a guy dressed in feudal China's official hat and dress.
The best views of Yangshuo are from the summit of Xianggong Hill, which overlooks the Li River with its fisherman, endless rice fields, bamboo rafts, and the surrounding karst peaks. The trek is steep but brief, and it includes handrails and viewing platforms. To get to the summit, allow at least 15 minutes. Aim to climb the hill right before daybreak for the finest view!
Guilin Laozhai Mountain – View The Dawn And Sunset
Until a Japanese traveler climbed the mountain and realized the area's potential, the Guilin Laozhai Mountain was just wild and harsh landscape. He constructed a roadway and two pavilions to enable access to the mountain's summit, and he made it available to the public for free.
The Guilin Laozhai Mountain has become one of the most popular places to see the dawn and sunset over Xingping Town in the Yangshuo Valley.
Allow at least an hour to ascend the 1,149 stone steps if you're planning a visit. The views from the summit are absolutely worth it; you'll get a bird's eye perspective of the distinctive limestone karsts, rolling valleys, river, and villages. Don't forget to take your camera along with you for some amazing photography!
The Silver Cave – Largest Karst Cave
The Silver Cave is Guilin's largest karst cave and a perfect illustration of southern China's typical karst scenery. This fascinating multi-level cave winds its way up 16 levels and across 12 summits. It's divided into three sections – the ground-level cave, the main hall, and the upper-level cave – and has glistening crystal stalactites hanging from the ceiling; the cave's name comes from its wonderful silvery color.
The Silver Cave's spectacular stalactites and stalagmites were developed over thousands of years by water slowly dripping into the cave. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, ranging from columns and buildings to waterfalls and even human forms!
The Three Wonders, which include the Snow Mountain Flying Waterfall – a snow-like wonderland, Wonderland in a Jade Pool Fairyland with its ever-changing rainbow lake, and the Music Stone Screen, where you may produce music by tapping on the various-sized stones, are not to be missed.
The Three Treasures are a major attraction here as well. The Preaching Buddha, the Single Pillar, and the Hunyuan Pearl Umbrella are all worth seeing. The cave is ideal for visiting all year because it is chilly in the summer and warm in the winter.
Moon Hill – Arched Mountain
Moon Hill is an arched mountain on the borders of Yangshuo, located in Yulong River Park. It is famed for its peculiar moon-shaped hole-in-the-hill, which attracts hikers and rock climbers from all over the world. It is located in the Guilin Mountains.
The ‘Appreciating Moon Path,' which consists of 800 marble-paved stairs, leads to the ‘Moon Palace,' the hole at the summit of the hill. A smooth wall and different stalactites, three of which resemble a fairy, a bunny, and a woodcutter, hang from the ceiling.
On the northwestern slope of Moon Hill, there are 14 rock climbing routes, providing ample opportunity for both novice and experienced rock climbers. In October, the Annual Yangshuo Climbing Festival, one of Asia's best, takes place here, attracting hundreds of climbers from all over the world.
The August Mid-Autumn Festival, when villagers burn grapefruit lanterns on the grassy slopes at the foot of the hill and then launch them into the Li River at midnight for good luck, is another highlight on the Moon Hill calendar.