Yangshuo village tours from Mountain Retreat
See the best of Yangshuo village life with an English guide
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.
Fuli is known as the village of the fans. Watch the intricate paper fans being made and hand painted in this sleepy old town set on the banks of the Li River. Fuli also has an interesting local market. You can take a local bus or bike here. The old town street offers beautiful views of the Li River.
Liu Gong Village is situated right on the bank of the Li River between Fuli and Puyi, it has over 800 years of history and some unique, old buildings including the Moon Pavilion and Home of Senators. Nestled among the beautiful karst hills, with many footpaths between farmers' fields there are lots of walks that can be done from this sleepy riverside village. Near the village are also the famous three-color ponds. The level of water in the ponds always remains equal throughout the year regardless of the water level of the Li River. As the name suggests the ponds have three different colors giving rise to many a local folk story about their supernatural existence.
Jiuxian is located very near to the Dragon River but is still a very quiet and not greatly visited village as it is not on the main Yangshuo to Moon Hill bike route. It is located on the Yangshuo to the Yulong (Dragon River) bridge route and makes a nice break along the way. Walk around this tranquil village and feel the peacefulness of this rural area.
This village is near the Snow-Lion Hill in Fuli town. The official Chinese name is Mushan Village although in the local dialect it is called Bagua. Fuli Town has a history of over 1000 years and has become a popular place to buy handmade fans which are produced and painted there. As everywhere in Yangshuo county Fuli and Mushan are surrounded by spectacular karst hills and the waters of the Li River.
This town is actually made up of 3 villages: Yima, Chao Yang and Chao Long. They are on the newly paved road between the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat and the Yu Long Bridge. The houses are made from mud bricks and villagers live their lives as they have done for hundreds of years. Although only a short distance from Yangshuo it often seems as time stands still in these small rural villages. This area can be seen easily on a bike ride or walk starting from our hotel incorporated with a course at the local cooking school (link to blog page with local vendors) or a bamboo raft ride on the river.
The Stone Village
The Stone Village is located North of Yangshuo about a 20 minute drive up the mountains. Its main feature is that all of the houses in this remote village are not made from traditional mud or ash brick but from locally quarried stone. Many of the houses are still in good condition, while there are also abandoned properties in various state of disrepair. There are only a couple of dozen families still left here, so it's an interesting look at how villages adapt and maintain their traditional life.
Yangdi is an old small village between Guilin and Yangshuo on the shores of the Li River. It takes about 1hr 15 min to get there by bus. Yangdi is interesting on its own but is also the starting point of a beautiful hike to Xingping.
Xingping is a small town which you can explore in about 1 hour. It has a long history and many buildings date back to the Qing and Ming dynasties. On market days the town comes to life and can get quiet busy with locals from the surrounding villages coming to buy and sell produce. The scenery around Xingping is magnificent and you can take a walk out of town on a nice path which crosses a tributary of the Li River and takes you onto a smaller road that runs along the river. After about a 45 min walk you will reach the spot where you can see the picture which is printed on a 20 RMB note. If you continue on this path you will get to the tiny village Langshi. There are boats nearby to bring you to Yangdi or Xing Ping from where you can take a bus back to Yangshuo.
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/