After our difficulties with transportation and generally everything during National Week, we were happy to finally arrive in Yangshuo, China. Our plan was to stay here for about five days, and participate in all activities this destination had to offer, including rafting down the river in a bamboo boat and taking a dip in the mud caves and hot springs. In the end Yangshuo was well worth our time, and I would even say it’s possible to spend over a week here without ever becoming bored. Below are the highlights of our stay.
Monkey Jane’s Hostel
We’d read up on Monkey Jane’s hostel ahead of time and knew it was a party place. I feel like my age is starting to catch up to me, because I was slightly apprehensive about even being able to get a good night’s sleep. However, Kyle and I still participated in beer pong games each night and were pretty much the last one’s to bed anyway. Apparently when the opportunity for drinking games and the scent of beer hits my nostrils, all chances of behaving like an almost-30-year-old (as Kyle calls me) disappears.
This hostel had an amazing rooftop bar with views of picturesque surrounding mountains and, as previously mentioned, a popular beer pong table to get the night going. Many people come to Monkey Jane’s simply for beer pong, so it’s pretty easy to meet fellow travelers. Kyle and I were lucky enough to meet two Swedes on the first night, Kalle and Jacob, who we became great friends with and were sad to say goodbye to. A big part of traveling is the people you meet along the way, and these two were definitely a highlight of our stay in Yangshuo. We knew the minute Kalle started quoting Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura that we’d get along just fine.
There’s a TON of outdoor activities to do in Yangshuo: biking, rock climbing, tubing, white water rafting are just a few. We decided to do a tour on the first day with a guide who spoke English very well, and arranged everything for us. First we biked to the river and boarded a bamboo raft, which took us down the water for about two hours. Most people don’t swim but I couldn’t resist, so I hopped in to cool off at certain points. After we hit the shore again our guide met us and we proceeded to bike to the mud caves/hot springs. Following a tour through the cave you then get to jump in a pool of mud (which even has a slide), followed by relaxing in natural hot springs. We then grabbed food and biked back to town.
Yangshuo transforms from day to night: when the sun’s out you’ll find many small shops selling souvenirs and quite touristy things, but starting at about 9 p.m. bars open and music starts blasting. We enjoyed spending time at our hostel so much that we usually just opted to stay there, but it was still a great time when we hit the town and danced with the locals.
Overall Yangshuo, China, is a must-see if you’re ever in the country.