During a trip to China, sooner or later everyone will have it in their hands: the karst landscape of Yangshuo in the south of China. The well-known landscape around Yangshuo with its bizarre karst formations is so well-known that it has even made it onto the 20RMB banknote of the Chinese central bank. On this journey we will take you to the fairytale landscape of Yangshuo and the fascinating rice terraces of Longsheng in the north of the Guangxi province. You will also make a detour to Hunan Province, where there are still numerous idyllic "wind and rain bridges" to admire. The ideal China trip both for the more sportive traveler, as well as for the connoisseur, who would rather dive into the rather relaxed atmosphere and way of life of South China.

Your host, Adrian Stalder

Adrian Stalder

A Swiss National, passionate traveler and outdoor expert. He graduated from the Swiss business school of commerce and was supposed to start a banking career soon after. More out of curiosity he took an interim job as a tour guide for one of the leading tour operators in Switzerland and that is when he discovered his love and affection for foreign countries and their fascinating cultures and history. In between his assignments he shouldered his backpack and started to explore the remotest corners of the Asian continent. After one year in Thailand he then moved to neighboring Myanmar where he worked as the country manager for a German tour operator for almost 5 years.

He then decided to move on to Kunming, where he realized a long time dream by starting his own travel company, and to share with others his extensive travel experience and profound knowledge about China and South-East Asia. Chinese is just one of 5 languages he speaks fluently. In his spare time he is practicing Tai Ji and studies the Chinese history.

Tour Information

Travel to Yangshuo in Guangxi Province China: A fairytale landscape

Even the Central Bank of China was inspired by the landscape around Yuangshuo

Undoubtedly one of the most spectacular and famous landscapes of China can be found in the northern Guangxi province near Yangshuo.

The small town of Yangshuo is located in the middle of an enchanting landscape in southern China, where the idyllic "Jade Dragon River" flows into the Li River. Yangshuo is surrounded by impressive limestone rocks that rise steeply into the sky from the surrounding emerald green rice fields.

The beauty of the landscape around Yangshuo is described in numerous Chinese folk songs, and also various well-known painters and poets were inspired by the bizarre karst hills around Yangshuo. Even the Central Bank of China was so impressed by the beauty of the karst landscape around Yangshuo that it has been adorning the back of the 20 RMB banknote for some time.

Even though the city of Yangshuo has developed in recent years into a tourist mecca with noisy bars, inexpensive guest houses and numerous restaurants it still has its charm. You can easily escape the hustle and bustle of Yangshuo by staying in a hotel just outside the town the surrounding villages. From there you can easily explore the beautiful surroundings of Yangshuo by bike.

A popular bicycle tour in Yangshuo leads to the Moon Mountain. The moon mountain takes its name from a moon-shaped hole in its summit. If you like it a little less sporty, you can drift down the Yulong River at leisurely pace on a bamboo raft.

The fascinating light show Liu San Jie of Zhang Yi Mou in Yangshuo

What you should not miss in Yangshuo is the cultural show "Liu San Jie". This impressive light show was choreographed by the famous director Zhang Yimou, who was also responsible for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing. The show with over 500 participants takes place on the Li River and the surrounding karst hills serve as a natural backdrop. The show takes place every evening, depending on the season there are sometimes even two shows daily. 

Hiking the fascinating rice terraces of Longsheng near Ping'An and Dazhai

Journey to Guangxi: The rice terraces near Dazhai

From the fascinating karst landscape of Yangshuo your journey continues through Guangxi Province northwards to the impressive Longsheng rice terraces.

"Longji" is what the locals call their rice terraces. The name Longji literally means "dragon back" and refers to the countless rice terraces that meander through the landscape like a dragon.

From Dazhai you hike uphill to Tiantouzhai, where you will stay overnight in an idyllic guesthouse. The guesthouse is located in the middle of the beautiful rice terraces. As an alternative there is also a cable car which connects Dazhai with the rice terraces a little further away.

From Tiantouzhai you undertake a wonderful hike through beautiful countryside and rice terraces to Ping'An the next day. The car-free mountain village of Ping'An is home to the Zhuang ethnic minority. During the hike to Ping'An, with a bit of luck,  you will meet the women of the Yao ethnic minority. The Yao women are known for their beautiful and long hair. That is why the Yao women around the village of Zhongliu are also called the "Longhair-Yao". There are many guesthouses around Ping'An where you can spend the night.

Journey from Guangxi to Hunan: To the "Wind and Rain Bridges" and through the "Valley of the Dong Villages".

Characteristic for the provinces of Guangxi and Hunan: The Wind and Rain Bridges

From Sanjiang you continue your journey north along small side roads and across the provincial border into Hunan Province.

The Hunan province is rather rural and is one of China's largest rice producers. The lovely landscape contrasts with the karst hills of Yangshuo further south.

The southern part of Hunan Province is little visited by tourists. While the focus of Hunan Province is mainly on well-known sights such as Zhangjiajie, Wulingyuan, Tianzishan or Fenghuang, the south of Hunan Province has a rather unknown existence.

This part of Hunan Province has numerous, albeit small treasures, which only become visible at second glance. Time and again you will come across the characteristic "wind and rain bridges" in this beautiful landscape. These "wind and rain bridges", built entirely of wood, are in part real works of art with artistic woodcarvings, little towers and windows. The deeply sunken roofs of these "wind and rain bridges" serve as perfect protection against the often-unstable weather in the region.

The journey through this part of Hunan Province will inspire you!        


Tour Map


Tour Itinerary


Your journey to Guangxi Province starts with the arrival in Guilin at the airport or train station. Pick up by your guide and transfer to your hotel in Guilin. Today’s program depends on your time of arrival.


China Trip to Guangxi: rice terraces near Dazhai, Longsheng rice terraces, China

Drive north via Hepingxiang to Dazhai. Dazhai is the starting point to the impressive rice terraces of Longsheng and is home to the Zhuang ethnic minority.

Longji "The backbone of the dragon" is what the locals call the rice terraces because the terraced rice fields meander through the landscape like a dragon.

Afterwards you hike through the wonderful rice terraces from Dazhai up to Tiantouzhai village, which is located high above the Dazhai valley.

Check-in at the guesthouse. In the afternoon you have free time for a walk on your own through the extensive rice terraces. Overnight in Tiantouzhai amidst the rice terraces.


Journey to Guangxi: The village Ping'An in the Longji rice terraces

Simple breakfast local style. From Tiantouzhai you hike through the beautiful landscape towards Ping'An. 

In Zhongliu you will have lunch with a local Yao ethnic minority family. The Yao women are known for their long hair. Traditionally, Yao women cut their hair only once in their lives, when they reach the age of 16. The length of Yao women's hair has even earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.

You reach Ping' An in the early afternoon. Time for a walk through the car-free mountain village.

At the parking lot of Ping'An your driver is waiting for you for the 1.5 hours drive to Sanjiang. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight stay in Sanjiang.


In the morning short drive to Chengyang. Here you will visit the well-preserved Wind and Rain Bridge and walk through the villages of the Dong minority.

Guangxi Trip: No nail is used to build a drum tower

Drive north across the provincial border into Hunan Province. You conintue your journey through the Guangxi Province in China and drive along a small country road through the beautiful countryside of rural Hunan province. Numerous typical "Wind and Rain Bridges" invite to photo stops.

You make a first stop at the village Zhongbu which we enter over the Wenxing bridge. You will visit the small Buddhist temple and the drum tower. In most villages the drum towers are still used today for village meetings or weddings.

Continue to the village of Pingtan, which also has a beautiful "Wind and Rain Bridge" and a drum tower.

In the village of Huangdu stands Puxiu Bridge, probably the most beautiful and impressive "Wind and Rain Bridge" in the region. The Puxiu Bridge was built in 1865. The Puxiu Bridge is best known because it was crossed by Mao Zedong in 1934 during the Long March. This episode has become known in Chinese history as "Tongdao Crossing".

Return to Sanjiang via the motorway. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight stay in Sanjiang.


Guangxi Province: home of the Dong ethnic minority

Drive south over the motorway to Guilin and on to Yangshuo, where you arrive around noon. Your hotel is located in a quiet area just outside Yangshuo town.

From your hotel you cycle through the beautiful landscape, partly along the Yulong River to Moon Mountain.

Numerous photo opportunities await you on the way.

The Moon-Mountain takes its name from the circular hole in its summit, which resembles a full moon. Over approx. 800 steps you climb up to the summit of the Moon Mountain, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding karst landscape. Afterwards you cycle back to your hotel in about 45 minutes. Overnight accommodation at Yangshuo.


The beautiful karst landscape around Yangshuo

Drive to Xianggongshan. A well-maintained footpath takes about 15 minutes to climb Xianggongshan, from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Li River and the surrounding karst landscape. Afterwards, a hike through beautiful countryside brings you to Xingping.

You will take a tour through the old town of Xingping. In Xingping you board a motorized "raft" and cruise up the Li river at a leisurely pace through the wonderful karst landscape.

The unique landscape around Xingping even serves as a motif on the 20RMB note. After about 2 hours you will reach Yangdi. Return to your hotel in Yangshuo.

Optional for the evening: In the evening you can visit the show "Liu San Jie" of the director of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, Zhang Yimou. The impressive open-air show with over 500 participants and the karst hill landscape as a backdrop is a unique spectacle and highly recommended. (To pay extra)


The Yulong River near Yangshuo, Guangxi trip

Not far from your hotel is the small Yulong River.

On a bamboo raft you let yourself drift down the Yulong River through the wonderful karst landscape. Numerous photo opportunities arise on the way.

Your driver will wait for you at the bridge and drive you back to the hotel.

Afterwards check-out from your hotel transfer to the airport or train station of Guilin for your onward journey.

End of your journey through the Guangxi Province in China.




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Journey to Yangshuo: The fairytale landscape of Guangxi Province

6-8 days
The comprehensive tour of the Guangxi Province in China
Tour Type:
Active Tours, China Tour, Family Tours, Private Tours