Book China Travel

Xingping Village

Yangshuo, China

Xingping is a famous small town along the east bank of the illustrious Li River in Guangxi. It is a little way away from Yangdi Village on the west side and between the two runs the most exquisite part of the Li River scenery. It is the main course of the whole meal that is the river and karst scenery of this particular landscape. The village has had the honor to receive dignitaries like Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Zhou Enlai and even the American President, Bill Clinton and this has helped put it on the map for the rest of the world too.

Long-distance buses from Guilin and Yangshuo are the primary connections into town and take about an hour. However, there is always the option of getting a cruise (Guilin) or a bamboo raft (Yangshuo) to the town which will cost a lot more but is way more picturesque. Avoid the May and October long weekend holidays if you don’t want exaggerated prices and crazy crowds. Bring cash because small towns rarely have lots of ATMs and the nearest one will be at Yangshuo (an hours drive away). The bamboo raft ride costs RMB216 per adult and kids between 3.9 to 4.9 feet are allowed free. Kids under 3.9 feet, senior citizens above 70 and expecting women are not allowed on board rafts. Wear life jackets and be careful not to lose your things or get them wet while on the rafts.

The highlight of a trip to Xingping is the Yellow Cloth Shoal, which is the same scene as on the RMB20 note. If you catch it on a breezeless day at sunset or sunrise (specially in a selfie!), you can get the most precious souvenir possible from here. The other views that have caught traveler’s attention are Mural Hill, Camel Hill, Arhat Hill and Carp Hill along with various others which sound like the product of the local’s creative imagination! They even have legends and folklore attached to different names, making for interesting stories on the bamboo raft!

But Xingping is not totally without its own flavor. Though the town is compact, and you can cover it on foot within minutes but there are some fascinating age-old buildings (like the Guandi Temple and the houses along Old Street) that lend character to the place. With the influx of tourists, new inns and cafes have also started popping up and the place has found new life in the booming tourist trade.

The town also prides itself on being the first to come up with Cormorant Fishing. The fishermen train their pet bird to catch fish and then deposit it with the fisherman. The relation between a man and his pet is interesting to note and capturing it on record gives you a real winner during conversations back home. Of course, be ready to compensate the fisherman for putting on the show for your benefit. Tourism and fishing are the main source of livelihood for this small village after all.

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