What used to be sleepy riverside village, Xingping village has actually grown to Xingping town of which the old center can easily be explored in about 1 hour. Xingping has a long history and many buildings date back to the Qing and Ming dynasties. On local market days the town comes to life and can get quite busy with locals from the surrounding villages coming to buy and sell their produce. Restaurants and coffee shops sell the local specialty, beer fish, and local handicrafts which range from really cheap handmade jewellery, to joints of pork carved from local stone to crystalline honey which beekeepers will chip straight from the hive for you!
Xingping to Yangdi, magnificent scenery
Xingping is the major starting point for the most scenic stretch of the Li River, which runs north and upstream to the small town of Yangdi. The scenery around Xingping is magnificent and you can take a walk out of town on a nice path which crosses a tributary of the Li River and takes you onto a smaller road that runs along the river. After about a 30 min walk from Xingping you will reach the spot where you can see the scenery immortalised on the national 20 RMB note. If you continue along this path you will get to the tiny village of Langshi. There you can board one of our small motorised rafts for a Li-river bamboo cruise up to Yangdi (1.5-2hrs) from where you can take a bus back to Yangshuo or continue to Guilin.
Alternatively you can hike all the way from Xingping along the Li river to Yangdi. The hike along the river is great. It’s about 18km with 3 river crossings in between. The first crossing is with an official ferry that takes scooters as well (5Ypp, 20Y for a scooter), the rest is rather tricky as it will be the mood and appetite of the local that decides upon a reasonable fare (5Y) or not (10Y+). Along the way there are several outlets to replenish on water and food. Once in Yangdi you can either take the bus back to Yangshuo (1h10min, every 40min, 7.30-17.30) or on to Guilin (1hr, every 40min, 08.00-18.00). Or we can organise either a raft back to Xingping to enjoy spectacular views of the river from a different point of view or a taxi straight from Yangdi to Yangshuo or Guilin.
A great alternative to reach Xingping from Yangshuo is by scooter. Leave Yangshuo along the County Hospital road in the north uphill direction passed the tea plantation and some splendid scenic points (for directions see our cycling in Yangshuo page) and return from Xingping passed Fuli town, take the ferry across to Dutou village and then back through small villages, rice paddies and great Li-river views to Yangshuo. These are quiet and scenic secondary routes hence a bit tricky to find on yourself so hiring a local guide on a motorbike would be particularly useful here.
While the tea plantation route (30km) to Xingping is for seasoned cyclists because of its hilly character, the Fuli route (25km) is nearly flat and highly enjoyable per bike too. Also these directions are explained in detail on our cycling the countryside of Yangshuo page. This page also details a very scenic off road trail from the Li-river near Shibanqiao village to Fuli town.
Good to know:
Be aware that the last bus from Xingping to Yangshuo leaves at about 6.30pm. Later than that you will need a taxi, preferably arranged by us in advance to get you here directly for a reasonable price.
Be aware of the few drawbacks of Xingping that may not make it enjoyable for everyone. Many are annoyed by the local touts that harass tourists in groups from anywhere between the bus station, the old town centre and the bamboo port. Best advice is to stay calm and show your receipt (while holding firm onto it) of the rafting trip you wisely arranged from beforehand. During high season many big tourist groups will cross the centre once or twice a day, arriving by boat or bus, but after a couple of hours the town returns quiet again.
The hike from Xingping to Yangdi offers little shade so on a sunny day bring sun lotion, a head cover or walk the local way carrying an umbrella. Might look a bit weird but does the job 😉
As a general guideline in China, try to avoid Xingping during the May or October National Holidays unless you would like to know what the Bison migration must have looked like 😉
Many travellers would argue if Xingping is worth an overnight. In our opinion Xingping can easily be enjoyed in a day trip from Yangshuo as the authentic centre of Xingping itself can easily be covered in about an hour. A very nice alternative to Xingping is Jiuxian village.
|Getting There: By bus (60min; 10Y) or taxi (30min; 100-150Y).|
|Times/Duration: This village can be explored in about 1-2hrs.|
|Booking Information: Contact us at Yangshuo Insider to arrange transportation / tickets or guides in advance.|
More ancient villages & towns near Yangshuo
More old villages and towns near Yangshuo worth checking out are Jiuxian Village, Stone Village or Fuli Town. The most ancient of all towns here in the area, albeit located 2 hours from Yangshuo, is HuangYao Town.
Authentic Guided Village Tours
If you join one of our private guided tours in Yangshuo, our guides will introduce you to charming little villages along the way, that are not described anywhere online and still barely visited by tourists. They will invite you to their home, a unique experience.