Yangshuo was once a magnet for backpackers because of its cheap prices and laid-back atmosphere, but today it draws all sorts of travelers to enjoy its scenic beauty. Because Yangshuo caters to travelers, it is cleaner than many Chinese cities and does not suffer from the heavy traffic and air pollution that plague other places.
Yangshuo makes a good base to take day trips throughout the area. A favorite activity is to take a boat between Yangshuo and Guilin for a leisurely trip on the Li River, known for its beautiful scenery and karst mountains that have been made famous by photographers and painters all over the world. Many travelers choose to rent bicycles for the trip back, since the route is relatively flat and gives them the opportunity to view farmers toiling in their fields.
Others may prefer to take a night cruise so they can see cormorants diving into the water to catch fish for fishermen who remain in their boats. Still more travelers may want to travel the Li River on a bamboo raft.
Yangshuo’s other famous sites include Moon Hill, so called because a huge hole in the hill resembles a moon; Assembling Dragon Cave, named after the dragon-shaped peaks that surround it, and taking a class in Chinese from one of Yangshuo’s many language schools.