Of all the time I spent backpacking in China, I remember fondly my days in Yangshuo. Not only because I stayed there 4 weeks studying Mandarin and meeting lovely people but also because it’s a stunning region, there are so many things to do in Yanghsuo that I don’t know why not more people knows about this beautiful place!
NOTE: This blog contains affiliate links to pages selling products and/or services, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase through these links at no extra cost for you. There’s no sponsored content on this blog.
The first time I got there I thought I was in Ha Long Bay on land! and can’t help but thinking into why so many people goes towards that part of Vietnam but not many know about this wonderful part of China.
Whether you visit for a couple of days or longer. These are the things to do in Yangshuo that I enjoyed the most:
1 – Rent a bike and explore around!
Just a 40 minute bike ride will take you to the stunning Moon Hill. This is a fantastic creation from nature! park your bike and pay a 11 RMB fee for a short climb to the top! on the way there you can also visit Treasure Cave for some wonderful views.
2 – Go rock-climbing to Treasure Cave
As above, this is easily reached by bike. There are routes for any level and incredible views as well!
3 – Visit the Qixianfeng Tea Plantation
Another bike ride away, this one is a bit farther away. Make sure to rent mountain bikes (or motorbikes if not too keen on the hills) as there will be some climbing to do and you’ll need gears!
The Qixianfeng Tea Plantation is about 15 Km away from town. There’s an entry fee of 60 RMB and you can collect tea leaves yourself.
A delicious tea tasting is also included on the fee.
4 – Day trip to Guilin
About an hour and a half away by bus it’s the city of Guilin, here you can visit the Reed Flute Cave and climb the Old Man Mountain all in one day.
You could take a boat back to Yangshuo or back by bus if on a budget. There are also short boat tours around town which are not too expensive and an underground market where bargains mix out with crap merchandise.
5 – Take a Bamboo Raft on the Li River
There are numerous spots to do one of these, rent a bike and ask at your hostel for tips as they’re one way trips (of course) and if you will have to catch a ride to go back to the starting point to pick up your bike.
6 – Climb the TV Tower
Being surrounded by karst mountains, it’s always tempting to climb them. One of the most famous is the TV Tower, it’s also easily accessible.
Find the local market and you will see some (almost hidden) signs pointing towards the mountain top. The climb is at times steep but short, if you’re fast you can do it in as little as 20 minutes.
Go for sunset or sunrise and get rewarded by incredible sights! don’t be scared with the signs mentioning that it’s forbidden to go up, even the caretaker of the TV equipment will let you in for a small fee…
7 – Experience the night life at West Street
West Street is definitely crowded at times, but you have to go there and experience the chaos at night.
From clubs and restaurants to street food, there are options for all budgets and an entertaining night.
NOTE: if you’re planning to go to China you need a VPN to keep using the internet as you know it (with Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc). There are lots of VPN providers out there. Some of them free. I got mine with Surfshark after doing some research and it worked really well for me and it was pretty cheap. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions on this 🙂
Although there are definitely many more things to do in Yangshuo, the ones above are just the best things to do independently and on a budget.
Feel free to suggest new ones or ask me for anything else and I can share more of my experience living there!
Check out the rest of my adventures in China for ideas on your next backpacking trip!