West Street (Xi Jie) is the heart of Yangshuo, teeming with shops and cafes where you can start your visit with a cup of tea and a fresh banana crepe: the local breakfast specialty. Take a stroll down West Street toward Yangshuo Park, where locals come to play cards, practice tai chi and play traditional Chinese instruments in impromptu jam sessions for all to see.
Exploring the rice paddies, bamboo forests and small villages set along the rivers of Guilin County is one of the highlights of any trip to Yangshuo. Armed with a map and a bike, head out of town and upriver to catch a bamboo raft down the Yulong River (you can take your bike on the boat or have the boatmen transport it downriver for you). Alternately, take a motorized boat down the Li River for a glimpse of the view immortalized on China’s 20 yuan note.
The rocky formations surrounding Yangshuo are an outdoorsman’s playground and many of the karsts can be explored inside and out.