This last weekend we went to Yangshuo in Guangxi Province. For longtime readers of this blog, you might recall that we began our China journey in Yangshuo almost seven years ago. Yangshuo was where we went for our TESOL training before we were sent to Lixian for our first teaching assignment. We have been in love with YS ever since that first visit. We went back in 2012 for an anniversary trip, but that was five years ago!
So much had changed in that time!
Sadly, many of the traditional artisans are gone. It looked like West Street had been majorly updated, so it is missing a lot of the authenticity it had before. There are still some artisans, but not nearly as many as before and there are no antique dealers, which was sad. However, I have heard that there are still some traditional villages outside of YS, so I am hoping to visit some of those places in the future.
There was also a whole new addition to West Street that wasn’t there before. Along with a ton of new Western and international restaurants! When we were there before, there was only one Western restaurant, and it was expensive and not very good. Now, there are tons of Western restaurants and cafes. There are German, Italian, Thai, and Indian restaurants – and they are all AMAZING! The food was so good, and so affordable. The Indian restaurant was about half the price of the Indian restaurants here in Shenzhen and the German restaurant was quite affordable as well. The restaurants also had surprisingly good cocktail menus, with cocktails for only 35RMB. They are also getting a Starbucks!
The mountains are still beautiful, but there is so much light pollution from West Street, you can’t see them very well at night.
All in all, it was a really nice weekend away and because Yangshuo is now accessible by the fast train, we will probably be visiting there with a bit more regularity.