Kempinski Blog Article
Millions of people from every corner of the world choose to visit China each year, enjoying a unique trip to this East Asian nation and the numerous sights and experiences it offers. However, for those wanting to enjoy a feeling of complete relaxation and serenity, the crowds, traffic and smog can make this difficult.
A trip to the county of Yángshuò in the Guangxi region avoids almost all of this. Popular with tourists but not overcrowded with sightseers, the area is a beautiful place, and one that shows the natural side of China that many people dream of seeing.
The focus of the county and an excellent place from which to go out and explore the surrounding scenery, the town of Yángshuò is rural China at its finest. Its streets feature a variety of craft and souvenir shops, delicious restaurants, hotels and hostels, and in the area surrounding the town, visitors can enjoy rock climbing, rafting and inexpensive cycling along the tracks that run through the flat farmlands and mountain valleys.
If you want to explore Yángshuò town in the best, safest way possible, hire the services of a licenced tour guide from the blue and white travel agency offices located throughout the town.
Towering karst cliffs
Karst limestone rock formations are a symbol of the Yángshuò area and the reason most people visit this serene corner of China. Best seen by bike, raft or boat, the near-vertical hills, covered in thick, lush vegetation, roll off into the distance, making for beautiful vistas.
The Yangdi-Xingping scenic area is one of the best-known places to see the karst formations, with a tourist industry based on providing river cruises via boat or raft having developed along the shores. Further along the river, Xingping is a truly ancient town, with a past stretching back to around 265 AD. Its Old Street is famous for its traditional architecture and the surrounding landscape is featured on the back of the 20 Yuan note.
This particular area of China was separate to the rest of the mainland for millennia, mainly due to the Nan Mountains. Because of this it has taken on a character of its own, in terms of culture, cuisine and its citizens' outlook on life.
All across this classic countryside region, a calmer, quieter way of life is normal, far more so than the rest of China. You won't find manic traffic queues and the hustle and bustle here – instead, you will be greeted, waited on and made to feel very welcome indeed.
One of the reasons that people love Yángshuò is because of its mysterious character. From the winding streets to the thousands of foggy, cloud-submerged peaks, there is a magic in the air, and to get a perfect taste of this, try to catch a glimpse of the traditional fisherman that amazingly use teams of cormorants to land their catch.
For many travellers, one of the main attractions of a location is the cuisine that is found there, and Yángshuò certainly doesn't disappoint in this. The area has a particular cuisine, with beer fish, streaky pork kourou and the Niang form of cooking – a traditional means of stuffing that has around 32 varieties of dish.
All of these foods and more can be found in the restaurants that line the Li River's course, and certainly should be sampled by travellers in order to acquire a true taste of the region.
Yángshuò is a dream-like place, and one that definitely should be seen by those who enjoy pretty scenery, charming people and delightful food. The area can be travelled to via Guilin, which is on the Guiyang to Guangzhou train line - perfect for guests staying at the Kempinski Hotel Guiyang and the Kempinski Hotel Shenzhen.