This quaint little village just downstream from Guilin is a fantastic base for hiking around the region as well as giving tourists a taste of rural Chinese life. In particular, it is famous for being the location of the photograph on 20 RMB notes – if you take a bamboo boat trip from Guilin to Xingping, during the minibus from the drop-off point to the village the driver will point this spot out to you! Sit on the right hand side of the minibus for the best photo opportunities 😉
The village itself does seem a little grubby it has to be said, don’t expect a clean, sterile tourist village, and there isn’t any major attractions to see. However, if you love hiking there are plenty of opportunities to climb nearby hills although at the time of writing there were no river paths available for those seeking more relaxed strolls. Our hostel did offer to hire us bikes, but I can’t imagine where you could ride them too – there are steep hills everywhere…
We stayed in Xingping for just a couple of days, taking relaxed walks around the area and spending one day hiking all the way to a nearby fishing village and back. This particular hike is highly recommended, even if the village at the end was very small and not so exciting, the path passes through beautiful valleys, forests and even a satsuma farm! The path is quite difficult to spot at times though – make sure to ask your hostel for clear guidelines and a map!
Most hostels will also provide free tourist maps showing all the best hiking spots, and we did meet a couple of people staying for as long as a week there were so many walks to do! I do feel like it would get all a bit same-y after that long though, a couple of days is the ideal length of time to visit.