The list of villages below offers an excellent glimpse into the rural side of China offering an authentic experience and a chance to soak up the local culture. Don't forget to check out the market days also listed below.
Yucun (The Fishing Village)
Lying on the east bank of the Li River upstream from Yangshuo, ancient Xingping fishing village was founded during the Ming Dynasty in 1506.
48 traditional houses have been very well preserved and the special features of the houses make the Fishing Village a very interesting place to visit. Surrounded by karst formations the Yucun is only accessible by walking a narrow path or by boat. Bill Clinton made this place very popular as he paid it a visit in 1998 during his China trip. He expressed his admiration of the simple and authentic features of the village. The Yucun got its name from what the farmers do to earn a living: they fish. Their fishing techniques are very special as they use bamboo rafts instead of wooden boats and they use cormorants to catch the fish.
Local Market days
- Yangshuo & Xingping: 3, 6, 9, 13, 16, 19, 23, 26 and 29 of every month
- Fuli: 2, 5, 8, 12, 15, 18, 22, 25 & 28 of every month
- Baisha: 1, 4, 7, 11, 14, 17, 21, 24 & 27 of every month
- Pomeloes: First introduced to this area around three hundred years ago at the end of the Ming Dynasty, this highly visible fruit is slightly larger than a western grapefruit. In addition it peels very easily and is much sweeter than you might expect. While they become ripe in October, try to choose an old tree for the very best tasting examples.
- Oranges: A local variety, favored in and around Baisha town, look for glowing colors and shiny rinds, especially when they come into season in November.
- Horse Chestnuts: Anybody visiting Jin Bao Town during October is in for a very special surprise. Try them fresh, roasted in charcoal or perhaps stuffed into a succulent duck's breast.
- Persimmon: Westerners might find this fruit sickly sweet if eaten fresh. Alternatively wait until winter when your can try the pressed, sun-dried version which is much tastier. Also popular in traditional Chinese medicine as a natural cure for indigestion.
- Fans: Hand-painted, decorative fans are one of the most popular souvenirs to take home, especially for those visiting Fan Street in Fuli, where many local artisans specialize in this ancient art.
- Chinese Landscape Painting: Yangshuo has always been a magnet for painters and a very definitive style has evolved over the years. Who could head home without at least a couple of delicately brushed scrolls in their case to liven up the office wall?
- Embroidered Decorative Balls: Hugely popular in Japan where they are known as Temari, these delicate balls of thread actually originated in China. Sometimes made for ornamentation, the Zhuang people usually used them as love tokens
For more great pictures of local villages go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/yangshuomountainretreat/sets/72157603685475420/