Before I left China I had a list.
I know. I became one of those people who has a list of things to do – i’m not really a fan of those but when it came to leaving China I was determined that I was going to see as much of the country as possible.
When it came to deciding where to go, I knew the first two stops on my mini tour of China. Guilin and Yangshuo.
I had heard so many things about the beautiful scenery that I couldn’t leave China without seeing it for myself. And boy would I have missed out if i’d left without visiting.
I fell in love with the rice terraces, the Li river and the feel of clean fresh air.
So I decided to put together a list of reasons to go to Yangshuo and Guilin and I can tell you narrowing them down was hard.
Yep. I bought myself one of those hats and boarded a raft made from bamboo with a friend of mine. We spent 90 minutes sailing along the Li River and we had the best time.
It’s a really different way of seeing the surrounding mountains and also testing out one of the area’s mode of transportation.
Despite what it looks like, it’s plain sailing all the way from the dock in Guilin to the town of Yangshuo.
We spent ages on the boat wondering where on earth the location of the 20 yuan note was. Little did we know that you had to get off the boat and walk to a specific platform on the lake.
And we did it. I mean, my photo doesn’t match up completely but we did it!
It gets a bit addictive though because you want to visit the rest of the locations.
One of my favourite things that I did during my trip to Guilin and Yangshuo was a trip to the rice terraces. When you’re tucking into rice, it’s hard to imagine just what it looks like in the fields.
The rice terraces close to Guilin are deep down in a valley meaning that at some points you are well above the clouds.
We spent hours traipsing around the fields, following different paths and exploring the streams.
Then when we were done we grabbed some delicious food including bamboo rice – a local delicacy. You also pass through a small village where the local Dai people live. Some of them even sell some homemade scarves and bags.
Some people think that Yangshuo is too cheesy but honestly I loved it. You could find a bit of everything. It was where the Chinese hipsters seemed to end up, where the weary backpackers seemed to find, it was anything you wanted it to be.
The buildings looked amazing at night and made Yangshuo feel like one of those model villages you expect to see.
I mean yes, there is a Pizza Hut and a KFC but at least they are in cute buildings.
So are these enough reasons to go to Guilin and Yangshuo?
I think you’ve got plenty here to keep you busy for a while!
While you’re here you can take a look at China Tour Advisors’ tips on what to do with 3 days in Guilin.
Let me know what you think!