Yangshuo Backpacking Guide + Map (2024)

Author Carina Klein
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Travel guide on how to visit Yangshuo, China, on a budget.

Yangshuo was our first stop in China and we instantly fell in love. We created this Yangshuo backpacking guide to help you have the best time in Yangshuo – on a budget.

Our Yangshuo Travel Guide

Before you go to Yangshuo:

Is Yangshuo Worth Visiting?

Yangshuo is 100% worth a visit. In fact, it was our favourite stop in China (don’t tell the other cities).

We loved our accommodation, the town centre around West Street – especially the street food – and the stunning scenery full of karst mountains and rice paddies.

Picture of Yangshuo West Street
Yangshuo West Street

Yangshuo Map

How to Get to Yangshuo

The nearest airport is in Guilin.

Of course, you can also take the train. Personally, we took the train from Hong Kong.

Yangshuo Train Station

Yangshuo railway station is actually closer to Xingping than Yangshuo. Once you arrive, go to the small bus ticket office next to the station. Don’t worry, there were signs in English and people were super helpful. Buy a bus ticket for 20 RMB (WeChat, Alipay or cash) and follow the (English) signage to the bus.

The ride takes around 1 hour. You’ll get dropped off at Yangshuo Tourist Transportation Center. From there, you can walk to West Street or take a DiDi.

Bucketlist2life tip: If you want to take a DiDi to Yangshuo Sudder Street Guesthouse type in “dongyuanmixiang”.

Yangshuo Guilin Bus

In case you want to travel from Yangshuo to Guilin, Yangshuo Sudder Street Guesthouse (yes, we rave about them a lot) can organise a shared direct transfer for you. For 50 RMB, you’ll get picked up at the guest house and driven to stops like Guilin North Train Station. Transfers leave eight times per day from 8:00 am to 5:35 pm and take around 2 hours.

Picture of Bus to Yangshuo from Yangshuo train station
Bus to Yangshuo from Yangshuo train station

How to Get Around Yangshuo

You have 4 options to travel around Yangshuo:

  1. The town centre around West Street is walkable.
  2. Our favourite mode of transport was renting a bicycle.
  3. Of course, you can take DiDis like everywhere in China.
  4. The main touristy points of interest are connected by shared golf cart looking thingies.
Picture of Cycling around Yangshuo
Cycling around Yangshuo

Where To Stay in Yangshuo

We stayed at Yangshuo Sudder Street Guesthouse which turned out to be our favourite accommodation in China. The location is a bit out of the city centre but it’s stunning among the karst mountains and rice paddies. You can rent bicycles for 10 RMB per day – and for free in the evening.

The staff speaks perfect English and is beyond helpful. The dorms and bathrooms are clean. The beds have curtains, power outlets, and lights. You can use washing machines for free. Last but not least, there’s a swimming pool.

Picture of View from Yangshuo Sudder Street Guesthouse
View from Yangshuo Sudder Street Guesthouse

Where to Eat in Yangshuo

If you’re staying at Yangshuo Sudder Street Guesthouse you’ll find a great restaurant with an English menu and lovely English-speaking staff just opposite of the guesthouse.

Of course, you can find loads of food options around West Street – everything from chicken feet to McDonald’s. In the evening, the area gets filled with street food from skewers over oysters to charred durian. We ate some of our favourite street food in China here.

Bucketlist2life tip: Try Guilin rice noodles!
Picture of Street food in Yangshuo West Street
Street food in Yangshuo West Street

Yangshuo Things to Do

Our Favourite Yangshuo Attractions and Things to Do

Yangshuo Bamboo Rafting

The main highlight of Yangshuo is going on a bamboo raft. Many tourists will choose the Li River as it’s easier to reach and more famous. We suggest to head to Yulong River instead. It’s much less crowded and quieter because the bamboo rafts don’t have motors.

We have written a whole blog post about taking a bamboo raft on the Yulong River.

Picture of Yangshuo Bamboo Rafting
Yangshuo Bamboo Rafting

Cycling around Yangshuo

Cycling in Yangshuo is not only a means of getting from A to B but also a great experience in itself. We loved riding through the rice paddies and karst mountains.

Most travellers chose to ride along the Ten Mile Gallery but we also enjoyed the other direction towards Yulong Bridge.

Picture of Yulong Bridge Yangshuo
Yulong Bridge Yangshuo

Hiking in Yangshuo

Of course, there are some amazing hikes in an area full of karst mountains. Moon Hill might be the most famous one but if you’re looking for an easy hike, you can climb “Man Hill” (Xilang Shan) in Yangshuo Park.

Bucketlist2life tip: Yangshuo Park is worth a visit in itself. We enjoyed seeing the locals dance, play, and exercise.
Picture of Man Hill in Yangshuo Park
Man Hill in Yangshuo Park

Yangshuo China Climbing

Of course, the many karst mountains around Yangshuo invite you to climb them! When it comes to rock climbing in Yangshuo, you have two options:

  1. Proper rock climbing.
  2. A via Ferrata. The via Ferrata we have marked on the map costs 258 RMB including your equipment. The staff spoke great English when we were there. In the end, you’ll not only be rewarded with views but also with a zipline.
Bucketlist2life tip: If you’re a proper climbing aficionado you might want to base yourself at Climbers Inn Yangshuo .
Picture of Via Ferrata in Yangshuo
Via Ferrata in Yangshuo

Yangshuo West Street

West Street is the heart of Yangshuo. You can find countless shops as well as cafes, bars, and restaurants. This is also the place where you can find your Western chains like McDonald's. It’s also the place to look for massage parlours and cooking schools. Walking down the main street, you’ll be bombarded with free samples.

In the evening, it gets even more lively. Street food stalls pop up everywhere and you can also find some street performers. Additionally, everything is lit up with beautiful lanterns.

Yes, this street is tacky. In fact, the street was even called "foreigner's street" before COVID-19 – a fact which we cannot confirm. We still think it’s worth a visit and a great hub for literally all of your touristy needs.

Picture of Yangshuo West Street at night
Yangshuo West Street at night

Other Yangshuo Things to Do

Tea Plantation & Tea Ceremony

Another popular day trip from Yangshuo is visiting Seven Fairies Peak Tea Plantation and having a tea ceremony there.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for this as we are huge suckers for tea.

Impression Sanjie Liu Show

The Impression Sanjie Liu Show is highly recommended by locals and other tourists alike. For this show, the Li River serves as the stage for 600 people performing a spectacular singing and dancing show on the water.

Guilin Romance Park

When we cycled through the Yangshuo countryside, we stumbled upon Guilin Romance Park. Apparently, they have two daily “Romantic Show of Guilin” but the timing didn’t work out for us.

Yangshuo Caves

Where there are karst mountains, there are caves. Most caves in China are quite tacky with loads of colourful artificial lighting. We found this tour that claims to “visit 100% primitive cave”.

There are no reviews yet. If you opt for this tour, we would love to read your review in our comments!

Day Trip from Yangshuo


Xingping is the quintessential day trip from Yangshuo.

An easy bus ride away, it rewards you with a beautiful ancient town and a stunning scenery of karst mountains along the Li River.

Don’t miss the spot which inspired the 20 Yuan note!

We have written a complete blog post about our day trip to Xingping.

Longji Rice Terraces

We didn’t do this ourselves but the Longji Rice Terraces & Minority Villages are another quintessential day trip from Yangshuo.

How Many Days Do You Need in Yangshuo?

We loved Yangshuo and think two days here is the bare minimum, especially if you want to go on a day trip.

We spent three days in Yangshuo and could have easily spent more time exploring the area on our rental bicycles and doing more day trips.

Yangshuo Itinerary

Yangshuo Day 1

Start your day by bamboo rafting on the Yulong River.

In our opinion, the best way to reach the dock is by renting a bicycle.

Cycling further along the Yulong River is absolutely stunning. Most tourists choose to cycle the 10 Mile Gallery. If you want more peace and quiet, head in the direction of Yulong Bridge instead.

In the afternoon, climb one of the karst mountains to check out the scenery. Many tourists choose Moon Hill. You can also climb “Man Hill” (Xilang Shan) in Yangshuo Park for an easier hike.

In the evening, head to the city centre around West Street. It’s full of tourist infrastructure with shops and restaurants – and even more street food in the evening. A Chinese massage can help your weary muscles relax after a long day of cycling and hiking.

At night, the Impression Sanjie Liu Show is a highlight.

Yangshuo Day 2

Today, we recommend you go on a day trip to Xingping.

Yangshuo Budget

Yangshuo was our cheapest stop in China. We only paid an average of 30€ per person and day.

Picture of 20 Yuan note view point in Xingping
20 Yuan note view point in Xingping

Is Yangshuo Safe?

Like everywhere in China, we felt perfectly safe.

Just be careful in case you’re riding around on a bicycle because some of the other drivers can be pretty reckless.

What is the Best Time to Visit Yangshuo?

The best times to visit Yangshou are spring and autumn.

We happened to visit during a traditional Zhuang ethnic minority festival in April. Per tradition, the Zhuang steam five-coloured rice, dance the bamboo flogging dance, eat a long-table feast, and sing love songs. It was amazing to partake as the only foreigners.

Picture of Zhuang festival in Yangshuo
Zhuang festival in Yangshuo

Is there an ATM in Yangshuo

There are countless ATMs in Yangshuo but we could only withdraw money from the ICBC one. We have marked the location on our map.

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