Yangshuo town is the heart of the local area, and normally the setting out point for all excursions to the surrounding villages and towns. Yangshuo was once just a small fishing village. Has become a hub of tourist activities developing into a sprawling town offering something for all tastes.
There is a local saying ‘Guilin landscape in the most beautiful in china’ Yangshuo is the most beautiful place in Guilin’ This is certainly the case the town is nestled in among a cluster of Carste mountains and its impossible to turn without seeing the stunning landscape surrounding you. It also sits along the Li-river which in itself is an exceptionally beautiful thing. And is still enjoyed by locals and guests along the the docks than run the length of the town.
The town itself is still based around the old streets that where laid centuries ago, Many of the rustic old building still stand, but over time have largely disappeared under a veneer of bright neon signs, hotel names and shop fronts. Though just looking up and you can quickly glimpse some of the facades of the older times.
Yangshuo offers up a rich cultural heritage with over 1400 years of history, And hosts a large amount of ethnic minorities which have integrated themselves into the town leaving a unique blended charm of styles and character not found in many other places
The renowned West Street has retained its reputation as the heart of town entertainments. Though rather than an eclectic mix of small bars and cafes, it has developed into a myriad of large clubs and bars intermingled with small novelty tourist shops, and snack stands. During the day the street still has some of the feel and old charm it once offered, but at night it becomes a bustling mass of sightseers and club music which batters the senses. Yet, despite all this it’s still defiantly worth seeing… As whilst it may not be the relaxing stroll of old, it’s taken on a new stage of its life and its luster is no less grand, a visit is a memorable experience in itself and one not to be missed.
Away from this central area things have changed a great deal, a lot of the side street areas are still relatively quiet, the main riverside road is a bit brighter than it once was, but the old harbour paths leading along the riverside are still a real pleasure to wander. And at night the local BBQ’s offer a great place to try some of the local snacks whilst taking in the atmosphere of the river side. The road leading to the central government building is also very calm and a great spot for an afternoon coffee, And with the large investments to the town, the government has also recently increased the size of the central park, giving it a great new lease of life, and it still remains a great spot to observe the locals relaxing, exercising, playing chess, doing tai chi and in the evening dancing on mass to a mixture of country music and traditional Chinese music in the park square.
Yangshuo is also fortunate to host one of the most enticing shows in china, Liu Samnjie. Based on a local legend the show features over 600 performers on one of the lkargest outdoor stages in the world, with the vast majority of the show taking place on the water itself, with the carst mountains lit up as a background, its certainly a spectacle ot behold and was directed by Zhang Yimou (Beijing Olympic opening ceremony) The show is performed strictly at night and performance take place almost all year.
The tastes of yangshuo town are varied and interesting, the town is littered by restaurants of all sizes and price ranges, from mom and pop shops offering fried noodles to exquisite cuisines from India, Thailand and Europe. The most famous dish of the town without a doubt is ‘Beer Fish’ and those looking for a local taste should certainly try.