China’s Hidden Outdoor Wonderland

The Wall Street Journal published a really interesting story over the weekend about the Guangxi Autonomous Region in Southeast China, which is a gateway to a seldom visited paradise for outdoor enthusiasts looking to climb, mountain bike, or paddle their way through a remote area surrounded by stunning scenery.

The largest city in the area is Guilin, but for outside visitors coming to play, Yangshuo is the destination of choice. The small town is located on the Li River, which has carved a path through the sprawling limestone cliffs that dominate the horizon, and help to isolate the region from the majority of the tourist traffic.

Yangshuo has, in recent years, become a destination for backpackers coming to the area to whitewater raft on the Li or mountain bike in the near by mountains. The backpacker influence has meant that there are a number of cheap places to eat and sleep in the village, as well as guide and outfiter services looking to help visitors take advantage of the natural wonders at their disposal. The article offers tips for travelers planning on visiting Yangshuo, such as how to get there, and the best places to stay and eat after you’ve arrived.

For the most part, the Guangxi Region is still relatively unknown to outsiders, which makes it a wonderful opportunity for adventure travelers who want to get off the beaten path and enjoy outdoor activities in a quiet, undiscovered environment. Yanghuo is actively courting tourists though, so you may want to go before the word gets out.