- The Hike from Yangdi to Xingping Adventure
- Explore Yangshuo
- Setting Off from Yangshuo
- The Yangdi to Xingping Hike
- Calling the Ferry
- Scenery along the Route
- Arrival at Xingping
- Hiking Tips
- Weather Considerations and Best Season
- Wrapping Up the Journey: Reflections on Yangdi to Xingping Hike
The Hike from Yangdi to Xingping Adventure
Discover the hidden gems of China’s Guangxi province as you embark on a day hike from Yangdi (杨堤) to Xingping (兴坪). This easy yet rewarding hike offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the breathtaking karst landscapes, away from the usual tourist trails.
To access my recorded tour from Yangdi to Xingping, please follow this Komoot link.
Together, Yangdi and Xingping form a gateway to the traditional soul of Guangxi, inviting modern explorers to tread the same paths once travelled by ancient traders, poets and visionaries. As you embark on the trek from Yangdi to Xingping, the echoes of China’s past reverberate through the landscapes, adding a sense of deep connection with the region’s rich heritage to the journey.
Before you start the hike from Yangdi to Xingping, you should enjoy the lively atmosphere of Yangshuo. Nestled between karst peaks, the town seamlessly blends traditional Chinese culture with the lifestyle of the bohemian scene. Explore the lively markets where local flavours mingle with handmade handicrafts. With its dynamic mix of locals and travellers, Yangshuo’s atmosphere, especially during peak season, promises an eclectic prelude to the adventure ahead along the Li River.
Setting Off from Yangshuo
Your escapade starts in the vibrant town of Yangshuo (阳朔). To reach Yangdi (杨堤), you can take a taxi or bus from Yangshuo bus station directly to the Yangdi ferry. The bus ride takes approximately 1.5 hours, offering a budget-friendly alternative to a taxi.
I selected a hotel located outside the bustling city centre and chose to use a DiDi. During the winter season, I could have opted for a hotel closer to the city centre, but I preferred the delightful sunrises, sunsets over the mountains, and the amazing breakfast at the chosen location.
The Yangdi to Xingping Hike
Upon reaching Yangdi, ignore the signs for boat or tour tickets. Instead, you’ll board the first of three local ferries bringing you across the Li River. As of the end of 2023, the short river crossing costs 10 RMB per person/tourist and you have to bypass a sign saying tourists return. Remember to bring cash if you don’t have WeChat Pay, as only the last ferry accepts both Alipay and WeChat Pay.
The hike from Yangdi to Xingping spans approximately 25 km and takes around 4 – 6 hours to complete. The path is simple to follow, just keep the river on your side. Along the way, you’ll pass through quaint local villages where you can buy fruits or drinks. You’ll also witness the amazing views of the Li River and the surrounding karst landscapes.
In my case, the second ferry required a call to the helmsman. Despite the sign indicating a lunch break between 11:30 and 12:30, my experience was that the helmsman was willing to cross the river to pick me up.
The final stretch of the hike gets a little more crowded as you approach the more famous scenic area and the spot featured on the 20 RMB note. I’m guessing you’ll also snap one or another picture of this very beautiful natural landscape.
Calling the Ferry
“Wǒ zài duì’àn, kěyǐ guòlai ma?”
“I am on the other side. Can you come over?”
Don’t be hesitant to make the call! The ferry operators are accustomed to assisting travellers, and a simple, polite request like ‘I am on the other side. Can you come over?’ is perfectly fine. They are there to help ensure a smooth river crossing experience for you, so feel free to reach out and make the call with confidence.
Scenery along the Route
The hike from Yangdi to Xingping offers a fascinating journey through the picturesque landscapes of Guangxi Province. The trail twists and turns along the gorgeous Li River, offering panoramic views of the iconic karst limestone peaks that have inspired Chinese art for ages.
As you travel the route, you’ll be immersed in a scene reminiscent of an ancient Chinese watercolour, with dramatic stone formations, lush greenery and the peaceful flow of the river creating a truly breathtaking atmosphere. You can choose to overlook the many bamboo boats and cruisers on the river or integrate them into the picturesque scenery
Arrival at Xingping
By mid-afternoon, you should reach the ancient town of Xingping. As you stroll through the cobbled streets of Xingping, you will come across well-preserved architecture that whispers stories from centuries past. The city’s timeless ambience is complemented by the karst limestone peaks backdrop, creating a visual symphony that has inspired artists and poets throughout history.
Amid this historical charm, I took the opportunity to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet over a milk coffee. While Xingping is charming, there are no cafes along the trail, so this brief coffee break was a welcome refreshment. Find a quiet spot to reflect on your hike, or explore the local markets where the echoes of daily life blend seamlessly with the rich historical image of the town.
From Xingping, you can catch a bus back to Yangshuo or hail a taxi / DiDi.
- Pack some snacks as there are limited restaurants along the way.
- Bring a map or a hiking app like Komoot to guide you.
- Carry cash for the ferry transfers.
- Bring mosquito repellent
- Bring sunscreen
- And as always enough water 🙂
Weather Considerations and Best Season
Before embarking on the hike from Yangdi to Xingping, be sure to consider the weather conditions in the region. The best time for this adventure is spring (March to May) and fall (September to November), when the weather is mild and the landscapes are adorned with lush greenery or vibrant fall hues.
Summer (June to August) can be hot and humid, which can affect the hiking experience. The crowds are also bigger at this time of year. Winter (December to February) brings cooler temperatures, but the landscapes are not as colourful as in the other seasons.
In my personal experience at the very end of November, the air was warm and sunny during this time, which created a pleasant atmosphere for the hike. It got slightly cooler in the evening, but it was still nice to sit outside and enjoy the picturesque surroundings or an outside dinner. Plan your trip for late fall to enjoy pleasant temperatures and fascinating views. Always check the latest weather forecast before venturing out on this picturesque adventure.
Wrapping Up the Journey: Reflections on Yangdi to Xingping Hike
In conclusion, the day hike from Yangdi to Xingping offers a remarkable opportunity to explore the hidden gems of China’s Guangxi province. The trail, spanning approximately 17 km, leads hikers through breathtaking karst landscapes, picturesque villages, and alongside the enchanting Li River. As the journey unfolds, hikers are treated to panoramic views of iconic limestone peaks and lush greenery, creating a scene reminiscent of an ancient Chinese watercolour painting.
Upon reaching the ancient town of Xingping, you can take a moment to rest and reflect on your adventure before heading back to Yangshuo. The hike, which takes around 4 – 6 hours to complete, is a fantastic way to experience the natural beauty of the region and immerse oneself in the local culture. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a casual walker, this trail offers a unique blend of scenic views, cultural immersion, and physical activity, making it an ideal adventure for nature enthusiasts and explorers.
So, lace up your hiking “boots” (normal shoes are good enough) and get ready for an adventure that takes you off the beaten track and into the heart of China’s breathtaking landscapes.
Here is again the Komoot link to my recorded tour from Yangdi to Xingping.
A big thank you to David who left a great description for this lovely walk/hike on medium.com.