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Karst landscape, seen from the bus

Karst landscapes

One thing that always fascinated me about China were the 'pointy mountains' of the karst landscapes around Guilin. The first moment when I saw those mountains appearing through the windscreen of the bus, I will never forget.

And (by the way) another thing I will never forget is the Chinese style of driving. Always on the left, even if the road is completely empty.

Boat trip

One of the best ways to see the karst landscape is a boat trip on the Li river. And the best place for a boat trip is Xingping near Yangshuo,  where the most spectacular pointy mountains can be found.

20 Yuan

20 Yuan landscape

This is the landscape you can see on the back of the 20 Yuan note.

Leon and Hans

Sunset on the Li river

You can't do a boat trip on the Li river without watching the cormorant fishing. I don't like cormorants, they are a real plague in the Netherlands (and they shit like cows). But even I wanted to see the fishing.

They do this at night, with bright lights on the fishing boats to attract the fish. With 10 to 15 cormorants, the fisherman can catch a full basket of fish in just half an hour.


Hot air balloon

Filling the balloon

Far out the best way to experience the beauty of the karst landscapes is by hot air balloon. There are many balloon companies in Yangshuo, so booking a flight (is that the correct word?) won't be a problem. What might be a problem is the time you have to get out of your bed; to be in the balloon at sunrise (which is the best time), we had to get up at 5:00.

Flames !

As soon as you're in the balloon, you're completely awake. Wow, this is magnificent. So beautiful!!

My travel companions try to find the best words to describe this beauty, and I hear things like "emotional" and "paradise" and more. I just keep quiet and stay focused on the landscapes.

A balloon


Balloons in the sky

View from the balloon


Moon Hill

From the balloon, we saw a strange mountain with a hole in it, the Moon Hill. You can climb the Moon Hill in about half an hour. The views from the top of the Moon Hill are very rewarding. But not as good as those from the balloon, of course.

And for those who don't want to climb the Moon Hill, there's a nice bar with cold beer and very good food at the bottom of the hill.

Moon Hill

Bamboo rafting

Another fun thing to do in Yangshuo is the bamboo rafting. I rented a bike, drove to the starting point of the rafts and found and found a Chinaman who would raft me back to Yangshuo, and take my bike with us as well.

A lot of bamboo rafts

 My bike tied to the raft

If you do this with a bike on the raft, make sure the bike is tied properly to the raft. There are little waterfalls where it gets a little shaky. After the third one, I almost had to find a way to get my bike out of the river.

The park

If you don't want boat trips, hot air balloons, mountain bikes or bamboo rafts, you can always go to the park and relax.

Old women in the park

Old men playing cards

Card games are very popular with the locals in Yangshuo. Almost everyone is the park is playing cards. Watching those old men play is fun!

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