To get to Yangshuo from Zhangjiajie, we first had to get an overnight train to Luizhou. We arrived at 5:15am but the lovely train warden thought we needed half an hour to prepare, so woke everyone up at 4:45!! We then had a four hour wait before getting an onward train to Guilin. We spent one (very rainy!) night in Guilin before heading to Yangshuo by bus, which took around an hour and half. We had planned to go by boat, but as we were in the off season, they weren’t running the early boat so we wouldn’t have had enough tim in Yangshuo to do everything we wanted. Plus, the weather forecast wasn’t looking great, so we skipped it. I didn’t mind as I’d actually done the boat ride eight years ago on my previous trip, but Gary was rather sad to be missing out!
We stayed just outside of the main area, in the very cosy Sudder Street Guesthouse. It was a bit of a walk to get there, but once we saw the views of the hostel gardens and Yangshuo’s famous karst mountains, we knew it was worth it! It was actually really nice to be out of the centre as we could retire to our little countryside getaway if the hustle and bustle got too much. They also had a pool (although it was too cold for us to use it!) and the cutest dog, so we were pretty happy there!
The hostel offered scooter hire, but had unfortunately hired all their bikes out by the time we got there, so we walked into the centre where we picked up a Union Jack motorbike! It wasn’t because we were feeling patriotic – it was either that or a pink leopard print bike which we thought was less our style…
We used the scooter to get to Moon Hill, via a beautiful, winding scenic road through towering limestone mountains and over sparkling rivers. It was only about 20 minutes to reach Moon Hill then a 40 minute round trip to get up to the peak and back down again. It wasn’t anything spectacular – in fact, I think the drive there was much more beautiful, but it was good to stretch our legs.
In the evening, we went to the famous Liu San Jie Impression Light Show. We’d managed to grab some last minute tickets through our hostel, which provided us with a return transfer to the arena. Having heard lots of great things about the show, we were really excited. The arena is completely open – the outdoor theatre encircles a chunk of the river, which is surrounded (like most of Yangshuo!) with those jagged limestone karst mountains. The mountains around the river were lit up, which created an eerie effect as they reflected back on to the water.
The show was good, although rather underwhelming. Some parts were better than others – at one point, they had rows of boats on the water, with people inside holding on to massive lines of red silk. The way they moved the silk up and down created some fantastic visual effects. However, the remainder of the show was sadly a little ‘meh’. It was still an enjoyable evening out, and nice to do something different.
The next day we got a bus back to Guilin for one night before catching an early morning train to Shenzhen. We only spent one day there, and it really wasn’t worth writing about! So the next post will be about our time in Hong Kong 🙂