Biking around the outskirts of Yangshuo and boatride to Yangdi
When you come to Yangshuo, they often recommend you to take the bike and bike around the outskirts and visit the villages and fields around the mountain areas. Since our hotel was already in the outskirts, we were kinda “halfway” already. We rented a pair of bikes and headed off towards one of the more popular sights, Yulong Bridge to get a nice view of the Yulong River Valley.We didn’t manage to get there since we left kinda late so if we did go to the Yulong bridge it would have been dark already on our way back. Since it was a long road with no lights at night where cars and buses pass by we didn’t want to risk getting run over at night… but to me, it wasn’t a must to see the bridge or the view from there. Personally I think the views we got during our ride there was good already. They sometimes say that it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that counts! We saw tons of rafts along the river who are willing to take you up and down the river for a relaxing boat ride. We’ve seen some people who went on the rafts with their bikes and continued half way on their bike or for their return trip. According to some people it’s advised that you take a guide with you because the road could get tricky at some point, but as long as you have a decent map you can figure it out for yourself. It’s pretty straightforward and you can always ask some of the local people to point you in the right direction. Either way, the bikes we rented were pretty crappy. I think my ass hurted the whole way back so be warned. When you plan to bike for a long time make sure you’ve got a decent bike with a comfy sadle. Then again, most of the (touristic) bikes that I saw around town were pretty much the same so best of luck to find a good one. Maybe my ass was too boney…. The weather wasn’t helping either, eventhough we left a bit after lunch time, the heat and humidity was killing us, I was pretty much soaked half an hour into the tour. I’m so glad that came back “earlier” so I got to take a refreshing shower before heading out to try the local delicacy: Beer fish! But more on that here.
Boat trip to Yangdi XingPing
We also booked a boat ride to Yangdi and XingPing through our hotel. According to guides, this was the most scenic part of Yangshuo & Guilin, this is where are those magnificent pictures were taken and where you could really feel you were in between all karst mountains.We tried to book the afternoon trip but sadly it was fully booked already so we were forced to go with the morning tour at 9am. But in the end we were kinda glad that we took this one since the boat itself wasn’t packed with people in comparison to other boats that we saw pass by. It even allowed us to have a whole afternoon to wander around as well afterwards. The boat ride itself took about 4 hours, it wasn’t going fast but that’s alright, it gives you more time to enjoy the scenery and really take in the view. But to be honest, eventhough the view was amazing you do get bored of it after a few hours so towards the end we were really aching to get off the boat and do something else, besides, we were starving as well. The reason why people visit Yangshuo is mainly because the scenery here is displayed on the 20 RMB note. So of course people love to visit this place and take pictures and commemorate that they’ve been here. I think it was about 2,5-3 hours into the ride when I saw a bunch of Chinese people rushing to the upper deck and that’s when I knew we’ve arrived at the place. To me it was nothing special in comparison to the other mountains but I guess it’s cool to take a picture here and have bragging rights when you tell people you’ve been there. Once you arrive in Yangdi there will be a bunch of touts offering rides back to Yangshuo, they will roughly charge or ask for 90RMB per person or so. Eventhough you’re in group and you think you get a discount, I would advise you not to do it. A bit further down there is a small public bus that can take you back for a measily 9RMB per person. And it wasn’t uncomfortable at all.