Oh man, I freaking love this town! I feel like I am cheating a little bit because it is so Westernized, but I guess I can’t change who I am. It is located in Guangxi Province and only 90 minutes South of Guilin by bus. We haven’t traveled very far, but it is still quite different from Guilin.
The town is snuggled between karst mountains and rivers. As a whole, the city is very touristy, clean, and quiet (all by Chinese standards, of course). I definitely get the feeling that it is the Aspen of China.
The main part of the city is squeezed between two major roads with a pedestrian-only area in between. The sidewalks are packed full of cute shops, foreign restaurants, cafes, and tourist side shows similar to what I’ve seen in Vegas (3D rides, ice bars, etc).
We’ve already enjoyed dinner at a Thai restaurant, a lunch at McDonalds, and an amazing dinner at an Indian restaurant. We are hoping to save up some money for an evening at The Brew, a well-known Western restaurant with steaks and burgers, and also a stop at a great-looking German restaurant owned and run by a German expat.
Outside of the main area, it is a little more akin to the rest of China, with small shops, crumpled sidewalks, and honking traffic. We even spotted a fun KFC ripoff.
It looks like we will have no lack of things to do here in Yangshuo. We have plans for places to eat, shops to explore, people to meet, and sights to see. We are still unsure whether we will stay here for two weeks or three, but I like that we have the freedom to decide as it suits us. Until then, I will enjoy every moment in Yangshuo.