From Nanning to Yangshuo, there are 400 kilometers that we decided to travel by hitchhiking! After our invalid attempt in Laos, we were motivated to do better! As our lovely host, Dan, lived not too far from the highway, we found a perfect spot just before a toll gate and we started to wave at the cars! Dan had written in Chinese “Guilin” (the main city near Yangshuo) on a piece of paper, plus a little message in Chinese on my notebook introducing us and asking for a free ride.
Hitchhiking was not so easy, but at least some people did read our “Guilin” sign. Some people were also waiting for the bus next to us and they came to us saying that we should buy a bus ticket. They tried to help us without understanding what hitchhiking was! After 1h30 and thinking that it was becoming quite late to get to Yangshuo today (which was very bad because we do not have so much time in China to waste one day), we decided to wait for the next wave of cars and go take the bus. We were so lucky because at this very moment a car stopped with a lovely couple inside. They were heading to Guilin and were so happy to take us with them! They stopped to buy us bottles of water, and they even made a detour to drop us on the road where the buses go to Yangshuo. They only spoke a few words of English, but they made us discover an account on WeChat (the equivalent of Whatsapp in China) from which you can have a conversation in English because it translates simultaneously what you write.
We arrived in Yangshuo at 8.30pm, in the night, and headed to the English School which hosted us for a few days and was 4 km far from town, in Chaoyang village. When we woke up the day after, we had the most amazing view ever. We were in the middle of karstic rocks, beautifully surrounding us. We immediately walked to the Yulong River next to the school and found a lovely path overlooking the peaceful river. We were in paradise! We spent the next few days walking around, running along the way, biking. At the school, we had free food and a bed for 2 hours per day of English conversation with the students. They were very friendly and welcomed us so well! Surely we had an amazing time in Yangshuo, far from the tourist crowds of the city.
When taking an electric bike to go West to Yulong bridge we also came by hordes of tourists!
This spot was obviously a favorite one for brides and grooms to make their photoshoot. We assisted to a strange ritual in a small park surrounded by the karstic rocks. Tens of brides were queuing to make the same picture in front of the same spot. To each bride the photograph asked to take a pose, the same pose as the bride before. And at the entrance of the park, brides were exchanging their dresses to go to the next spot for the photoshoot. So as a bride, after a day in this park, you end up with the exact same pictures, with the same poses and the same dresses, than the other brides that came in the park this day and certainly than the thousands of brides that came there before!
We also visited Yangshuo for a few hours, just to see a very touristic city with lots of Western bars, but also to try the specialty of the city: the beer battered fish! The whole fish is cut in pieces and cooked in a sauce with beer and tomatoes, it was delicious! (we tried Lucy’s one for 88 Y) Going South of Yangshuo, we climbed the Moon Hill (because of the hole in the rock) under the mist…
Our stay outside of Yangshuo was so relaxing, we can only recommend you to do the same, there was a (rather Western) guesthouse next to our school called Wada Hostel (the one of Chaoyang village, not Yangshuo) that looked very peaceful. And from there you can enjoy Yangshuo area without the crowds!