Yangshuo Trip 2007
A Day Trip of Hill Songs and Rafting

Anna had a short Yangshuo trip this January. Please read her travel tale and see how she reports on her day trip of hill songs and rafting at Yangshuo. She also had a brief exploration of the West Street.

Yangshuo Trip 2007
Author: Anna

Dear Readers

My name is Anna and I am the author of this website. I wanted to tell you about my recent trip to Guilin and Yangshuo. Guilin is just an hour’s flight from Hong Kong. It is one of my frequent holiday destinations.

Though I enjoy the freedom of traveling on my own, I just can’t resist the attractive package price offered by China Travel Services in Hong Kong. I wonder how they can survive on a package tour price of HK$1,599 (around US$200), inclusive of air ticket, hotel, meals and entrance fees for a four-day tour. Anyway, it’s a number game. I end up spending HK$3,500 (around US$440) including tax, service fee, self-paid and optional add-on programs etc.

Last time I came to Guilin after a heavy rain, Li River was flooding. This time I came in winter, Li River was in low tide. I couldn’t even take a boat cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. I am actually pulling my own legs by suggesting people to come in spring and autumn. Well, my life is so hectic that I don’t have much choice on my holiday plans. However my Yangshuo trip at low season had a bonus. I didn’t have to compete with crowds of travelers everywhere.

A Day Trip at Yangshuo
From Guilin to Yangshuo was about 90 minutes by bus. No matter how many times I have been here, the mini Li River (Yulong River) and the hills are extremely impressive. I am never tired of coming back.

The tour guide asked us to pay ¥320 as an optional package for a bamboo raft trip, a fishing show, a late night dinner and a Song and Dance Show of Minority Ethical Groups.

With the additional package, my Yangshuo trip had three tours on the mini Li River. A boat cruise and a raft trip were included in the package and the second raft trip was part of my ¥320 investment. I love water and beautiful landscape. Yangshuo and its best hills and waters in Guilin had brought me back repeatedly.

Yangshuo Trip of Hill Songs and Rafting

Rafting is a must-do activity in Yangshuo. Bamboo rafts can hold two people or nine depending on their sizes. I was in a group tour, so I went on a 9-person raft.

The three of our bamboo rafts moved leisurely on the Yulong River among lush hills, beautiful water with reflections and blue sky. What a relaxing tour!

Singing hill songs is the custom here at Yangshuo. Anything or any topic can be sung. The rafting guide who was a young lady did most of her job by singing. The funniest part of singing hill songs is the Q&A. For example, someone asks you something by singing, and you answer in singing.

Actually we had some practice on the bus, so it all went well when the rafting guide started to ask us questions. However it became challenging when we came to the unprepared part. We were asked to sing anything we thought of.

At first, people were shy. But when I saw the old ladies from the other raft were singing, I started to sing as well.

Anna asked: “hey, a mei gei wo pai zhang zhao lei”
Rafting guide answered: “hey mei wen ti”

“hey young lady, please take a photo with me”
“hey no problem”.

See our photo below.

The singing of hill songs is very easy. It is actually a repetition of a two-sentence melody. You just fit in whatever wordings you think of. However the foreign visitors on the other mini rafts preferred to remain as observers instead of joining us to sing. Certainly they had lots of fun watching us singing. Everybody in Yangshuo sings. Even the old man who rowed the raft joint us singing.

Fishing Show
A Yangshuo trip won’t be completed without a fishing show. After singing, it’s time for the fisher birds to show off. This was also part of my ¥320 investment.

I am not new to this show, but there were a couple of new experiences here. A cormorant caught two fishes at a time. The wonderful fishing skills of the bird was really amazing. It was my first time seeing a cormorant catching two fishes at a time, so did the tour guide.

Next, the fisherman offered us to hold the bird and take photos. As there wasn’t any volunteer, the tour guide nominated me. It wasn’t an easy job as the bird was quite heavy, I guess at least 4-5 kg, and weather was cold. However it was very funny.

Wandering Along the West Street, Yangshuo
After we went back on land, we had lunch at the Yangshuo Good View Hotel which was just five minutes walk from the world famous West Street. This is certainly a good place to stay at if you want to keep close to the West Street and do not want to put up with the noise when going to bed.

West Street is another must-go place for a Yangshuo trip. It is a little quite during day time. Though the bars and coffee shops all had their tables set up, there weren’t many customers. You have to wait till after dark in order to see the real busy West Street.

Don’t be surprised if you see ladies knitting while sitting on a little stool in the middle of the street. I also noticed many young guys playing cards or marble chess along the street side. However when I stopped by a coffee shop and started to read the menu which was posted outside, one of those playing guys immediate came by and was ready to provide service.

If you are going on an overnight Yangshuo trip, you can easily find a hostel along the West Street. Look for big posters saying ‘Room Available’. See photo below. Backpackers can pay as cheap as ¥20 per bed.

I was unable to explore the souvenir shops as I didn’t like sales people following me and kept selling. Hope they didn’t do this to foreigners or they’ll be scared.

Toilet facilities are generally clean and tidy at Yangshuo. Ridiculously, I found a paid toilet on West Street. After all, I had a little snack at KFC and used their clean and tidy toilet. I am sure they’ll let you use it even if you don’t buy from them.

My Yangshuo trip ended at the West Street. Unfortunately I didn’t stay overnight this time and I missed the Liu Sanjie show and a biking tour.

To have a real Yangshuo trip, please do stay at least a couple of days here. Otherwise, you just don’t have enough time to relax and to explore this beautiful little town.

Here's the end of my Yangshuo trip.
Return to my Yangshuo page.

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