Weekend in Yangshuo

Picturesque Guangxi, Yangshuo

My husband and I just got back from our three-year anniversary weekend in Yangshuo, a picturesque, touristy town in our region, just southeast of Guilin. We’ve been wanting to go for quite awhile, and because we were a bit under the weather, we enjoyed lounging about, rather than rafting or rock climbing, both of which are plentiful along the beautiful Li or Yulong Rivers or up on the karsts. So, if you’re looking for a lazy weekend in Yangshuo, here were our highlights:

We flew into Guilin, and taxied to Yangshuo to save time. The drive in was lovely. We stayed at a gorgeous, albeit very noisy hotel just off of rocking West Street, named The Magnolia Hotel. The decor inside was something out of a Buddhist retreat, the bed was soft, very soft by Chinese standards, and so it was a nice respite from all the crowds out on West Street, the main drag.

Best bath tub in China

With all the foreign tourists, English spoken, and Western food, Evan and I decided Yangshuo is kind of like “China lite.” On Saturday evening, we had dinner at an authentic Indian restaurant, great garlic nan, lentils, curry, Indian pickles, pakora, only the palak paneer was a little disappointing, strangely lacking salt.  After an early dinner on the street, we went out and caught the Impressions of Liu San Jie light show on the Li River, which lived up to its reputation, and was truly magical and spectacular.

Evan and I in front of the “stage” for the Impressions of Liu San Jie show on the Li River

We spent some time on Sunday afternoon in St. Rossi coffee shop, which despite the rather steep prices for China, was a welcome air conditioned haven, with good coffee, and a Hong Kong (I suspect it’s an HK chain) vibe. They also had English magazines and travel guides, so we had reading material.

Evan planning the next trip at St. Rossi coffee

Speaking of reading material, we were a bit let down to find that the more prominent book swap shop in Yangshuo had mostly trashy romance novels. However, on our way out of town on Sunday evening we stumbled upon a much more sparsely stacked store on a side street with Harry Potter, a slew of Bertrand Russells, Life of Pi, and other eclectic selections still in plastic. The girl at the counter mentioned her “supplier,” and we signed up for a mailing list for upcoming titles that they say they can ship all over China. Here’s hoping!

All in all, it was a great, relaxing weekend. I leave you with these photos of cute girls playing down by the river on a Saturday afternoon, trying to catch fish and splashing each other. It was lovely to watch.

Girls playing by the Li River on a Saturday afternoon
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