A trip to GuiLin 桂林 and YangShuo 阳朔, GuangXi province

A lovely film.


Includes bamboo rafting on the Li River, hot-air ballooning, cycling through the countryside, hiking at the LongSheng rice terraces and the evening show Impressions of YangShuo, set on the water.


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Yangshuo, situated in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, is renowned for its breathtaking karst landscapes, serene rivers, and vibrant local culture. Here's a guide for visitors to Yangshuo:

Natural Beauty:
Karst Mountains: Yangshuo is famous for its iconic karst mountains, which rise sharply from the surrounding plains, creating a dramatic and picturesque landscape. Visitors can explore these unique limestone formations by hiking, biking, or taking boat cruises along the Li River.

Li River: The Li River, one of China's most scenic waterways, meanders through the karst mountains of Yangshuo, offering stunning vistas at every turn. A leisurely boat cruise along the Li River is a must-do activity for visitors, providing opportunities to admire the breathtaking scenery and capture iconic views of the karst peaks reflected in the water.

Yulong River: The Yulong River, a tributary of the Li River, is another picturesque waterway that flows through Yangshuo's countryside. Visitors can enjoy bamboo rafting or kayaking on the Yulong River, passing through idyllic villages, rice paddies, and bamboo groves along the way.

Outdoor Activities:
Cycling: Yangshuo is a cyclist's paradise, with scenic countryside roads and trails that wind through rice fields, orchards, and traditional villages. Renting a bicycle and exploring the surrounding countryside at a leisurely pace is a popular activity for visitors.

Rock Climbing: With its towering karst cliffs and limestone peaks, Yangshuo is a premier rock climbing destination in China. Experienced climbers and beginners alike can find suitable routes and climbing spots in the area, with options for guided tours and equipment rental available.

Cultural Experiences:
West Street: West Street (Xi Jie) is the main thoroughfare in Yangshuo's town center and a hub of activity for tourists and locals alike. Lined with shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars, West Street offers a vibrant atmosphere and is a great place to shop for souvenirs, sample local cuisine, and soak in the town's unique charm.

Impression Sanjie Liu: Directed by renowned filmmaker Zhang Yimou, Impression Sanjie Liu is a spectacular outdoor performance staged on the Li River. Featuring a cast of hundreds of performers, including local fishermen and farmers, the show combines music, dance, and light effects to showcase the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the area.

Practical Tips:
Weather: Yangshuo has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers. The best time to visit is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is most pleasant and the landscapes are lush and green.

Accommodation: Yangshuo offers a range of accommodation options, including guesthouses, boutique hotels, and hostels catering to various budgets and preferences. Staying in the town center allows visitors to easily access attractions, restaurants, and transportation options.

Local Cuisine: Don't miss the opportunity to sample Yangshuo's delicious local cuisine, which includes specialties such as beer fish and Guilin rice noodles. Many restaurants in Yangshuo offer outdoor seating with panoramic views of the surrounding karst landscape.

Yangshuo's stunning natural scenery, outdoor activities, and vibrant cultural scene make it a popular destination for travelers seeking to explore the beauty of southern China. Whether cruising along the Li River, cycling through the countryside, or immersing oneself in the town's bustling street life, Yangshuo offers unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages and interests.

GuangXi map

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With Stef Hoffer : Here’s a brief overview of some of the places visited in this video. After a short introduction, we begin this journey near the spectacular rice terraces of Yuanyang, before moving on to the captivating Buddhist temples of Dali. Via the peculiar Shilin Stone Forest and the ‘Rainbow Mountains’ of Zhangye, we arrive in Guangzhou (Canton), one of China’s largest cities. After the Yellow Mountains national park, and the intriguing ‘tulou’ buildings, we visit the Great Wall and the Leshan Giant Buddha, the largest such statue in the world. After flying through the ice and snow city of Harbin, where people enjoy a unique Winter event, we take a brief look at the imposing Yellow River, Hukou waterfall, Zhengzhou and Changsha cities, before stopping at the breathtaking Jiuzhaigou national park, filled with crystal clear blue lakes. The next place is the countryside in between rural Yangshuo and urban Guilin, easily one of the most popular tourist destinations in China, where the Li river meanders through bizarre karst scenery. For more diversity, we travel to Dunhuang to visit the arid Gobi Desert. We also have a look at a solar panel field and windmill park, before we fly over some heavy industry, including a steel factory, coal mine, oil refinery, concrete dam, shipyard, an oil rig, and a massive bridge. Hong Kong is our next destinations, before moving on to several places along the Yangtze river (or its distributaries), including Tiger Leaping Gorge, Chongqing, and Wuhan. On Hainan island we see the ‘tropical’ side of China, while in Xiahe and Tibet we visit the country’s highlands. From the frozen cities of Jilin and Xining we arrive in Qingdao, with its German colonial architecture and coastal vibe. In Macau we fly over the famous casinos, but also visit the Portuguese quarters, and after the rice fields of Longji (Dragon’s Backbone), we increase our altitude in the Yulong national park. After Hangzhou and Shenyang, we briefly look at one of China’s many ‘ghost towns’ and construction sites, before flying on to the surreal pillars of Zhangjiajie, and the (perhaps) equally stunning skyline of Shanghai. After showing the modern part of the city and the port (harbor), we also explore some of the disappearing neighborhoods, destroyed factories, and the strange looking ‘bicycle graveyard’. From the freezing ‘Xuexiang’ village and walled city of Pingyao we continue our journey in Xian, Shenzhen, Suzhou, and Changzhou. Finally, we take a look at the mesmerizing Yuanmou ‘Earth Forest’, Kunming city, and Lijiang, one of China’s most famous historic towns. Video chapters / timestamps: 0:00 Introduction 3:29 Yuangyang rice terraces 4:59 Chengkan 5:17 Dali 6:08 Shilin stone forest 6:50 Zhangye national park 7:55 Guangzhou 10:22 Huangshan national park 11:24 Fujian ‘tulou’ 12:03 The Great Wall 12:33 Leshan 12:55 Harbin 15:00 Yellow River 15:28 Hukou waterfall 15:50 Zhengzhou 16:20 Changsha 16:31 Jiuzhaigou national park 17:26 Yangshuo 20:25 Dunhuang 21:42 Qinghuangdao 21:58 Guazhou 22:47 Benxi, Fushun, Guangzhou, Hainan 24:19 Danjiangkou 25:12 Aizhai bridge 25:39 Hong Kong 29:19 Tiger Leaping Gorge 29:44 Chonqging 31:45 Yangtze River 33:03 Wuhan 35:41 Hainan island 38:02 Xiahe 38:51 Tibet 40:26 Jilin 40:44 Xining 41:25 Linxia 41:51 Qingdao 48:22 Macau 49:34 Longji rice terraces 49:59 Shexian 50:21 Yulong national park 51:42 Hangzhou 53:06 Shenyang 53:32 Shenfu ‘ghost town’ 54:26 Chengdu 54:46 Zhangjiajie national park 56:12 Shanghai 1:04:26 Xuexiang 1:05:49 Pingyao 1:06:28 Shenzhen 1:06:54 Xian 1:07:12 Suzhou 1:10:05 Changzhou 1:10:44 Yuangmou Earth forest 1:11:23 Kunming 1:12:43 Lijiang
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