Yangshuo, China

Visitors to Yangshuo often find it hard to tear their eyes from the astonishing drama of the surrounding landscape – the zig-zagging karst escarpment, the mist-hugged mountaintops, the legendary meanders of the Li River. It’s no wonder the Guangxi region has inspired an entire genre of Chinese painting. Beyond the beauty of the backdrop, however, there’s an ancient city of teashops and street markets that has changed little since it was first founded. The astonishing scenery and the riverside setting make the town a key stop-off on the traveller’s trail, and the region is often flocked with rock-climbers keen to get to grips with the towering cliffs. There can be fewer better ways to relax after a hard day’s haggling than hiring a bike from one of the street-side stalls and heading out of town for a sunset cycle among the groves of swaying bamboo and lush rice paddies.

When to go

The spring months between March and May are both the most pleasant and the busiest times to visit. Winter, between December and February, when the chill sets in. Summer months can also be on stifling side, thanks to the combined heat and humidity.

  • Best-price guarantee

    Found your stay cheaper? We’ll match the price and give you a $75 voucher

  • Smith Extra on arrival

    Enjoy extras such as a picnic lunch, champagne or spa treatments, on the house

Getting there

  • Planes

    Most domestic | and a handful of international airlines (including AirAsia and Bangkok Airways) fly frequently to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport | an hour or so by car from Yangshuo. Arrange transfers before you travel as there’s no airport express services. Flights between Chinese cities have a somewhat loose notion of timetabling | so double-check flight times where possible.
  • Boats

    If you’ve got a bit of time to spare, hop on a scenic Li River cruise which will take you from Guilin to Yangshuo in approximately four hours or longer. Avoid if you have luggage or are prone to boredom.
  • Automobiles

    The main strip of Yangshuo | West Street | is easily travelled on foot | but if you want to explore the region in depth | arrange a hire car with your hotel – there are no rental offices at the airport. Locals tend to go by bike or scooter – available to rent by the day at various stalls along the street.
  • Taxis

    Cabs are thin on the ground in this town, and most often take the form of three-passenger motor-tricycles, which you can – if you’re lucky – flag down in the street. They’re available to hire for around CNY20 for a single trip, or CNY80 for the whole day.