Once in a while, city dwellers long to escape from life’s hustle and bustle, traffic jams and pollution. If there is only one place where city folks have time for, visit Yangshuo, a small rustic city surrounded by scenic mountains, rivers and caves.
The best way to see the precinct is by cycling along the country roads. Start the journey from Yangshuo city and cycle for 20 minutes to “meet the dragon” – the literal meaning of Yulong River in Chinese. Along the river, one can spot women washing clothes, ducks swimming and people on bamboo rafts.
For the more adventurous, cycle further for about 1 km to the famous rock climbing site of Moon Hill. The limestone pinnacle got its name because of a moon-shaped hole at the foot of the hill.
The Moon Village is not far away and it provides hostels for visitors who wish to rest a night. In fact, from the village, the Moon Hill looks even more magnificent.
A short distance away lies Yan Village, where visitors could immerse themselves with more of nature’s stunning mountains, crystal water, bridges and caves.
From there, head down to Tianjia River which is one of China’s largest rivers. It is an ideal place to get off the bicycle to soak in the splendid view of the panoramic vicinity until the sun goes down.
Recommended cycling routes: Yang Shuo – Gongnong Bridge – Big Banyan – Moon Hill – Moon Village – Fushan Temple – Yan Village – Tianjia River – Yang Shuo
Estimated duration: Four hours of cycling, not including rest time in between.
Best time for cycling: May to October.
Bicycle rental: Yangshuo has many bicycle rental shops. A refundable deposit of 200-500 yuan ($32-79) is required when renting a bicycle.
The price for ordinary bicycle rental service is 5 yuan per day, 10 yuan for tandem bike and variable speed bike with shock absorber.
Reminder: During peak holiday periods, rental of bicycle could increase to between 25 and 35 yuan.
Xi Jie and Xianqian Jie are pedestrian-only streets where vehicles are forbidden.
If you plan to go Yangshuo in May, bring sunscreen and an extra coat.