Yangshuo is a popular tourist town near Guilin, although personally I found the town itself a little grimy and uninteresting. However, our hostel was able to lend us bikes and recommended a lovely cycling route along the Li River.

Although the area is well-known for its sharp, steep hills, around the bases of these hills the ground is incredibly flat – particularly if you follow the river path. To encourage tourism and cycling, the local government has paved the perfect route – mostly sticking to the river but occasionally meandering off into nearby fields and villages.

We cycled along this route for several hours, stopping at a local restaurant for delicious soup and noodles before heading back to the hostel.

I have to say, I don’t think Yangshuo as a town is all that exciting to visit for most tourists. There are no major museums or ancient sites to visit, and instead they have made tourist attractions out of strange geological features such as a large banyan tree or a hole in a hill (which they now charge you to look at). It feels a little fake… However, the scenery is absolutely beautiful and it was nice to spend a day cycling around the area.

If you’re pressed for time however, I would recommend sticking to Guilin and perhaps doing a trip down the Li River to Xingping, a smaller village with lovely hiking trails.

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