• Must try Guilin rice noodles (桂林米粉), it’s so good!
If you have Sis Chu (朱姐) be your tour guide, ask her to bring you to 瘦子桂林米粉. It is the best out of the several shops that we have tried.
• Negotiate everything – You will almost always get a better deal (need to have the time and patience though).
• Bring a pair of sandals. You will find it handy.
• The managers in the hostels are usually very informative. Ask them first if there is any question regarding local transportation, sightseeing arrangement and such.
• It is cheap to eat in Guanxi, around RMB 20-30 per person in a restaurant.
• Sister Chu’s contact number: 138-7837-5610. Price depends greatly on number of people, season, etc. For us, Sis Chu charged us $40 for two for one day. We also paid for her transportation and meals. Sis Chu is very nice and responsible. Highly recommended
• If the weather is cold, I would recommend you to put on gloves when biking. We got charged $5 for a pair, definitely got ripped off, for we could get this type of labor gloves cheaper in Hong Kong. But since we didn’t want to waste our precious sight-seeing time, we took those $5 labor gloves.
• Yulong River (遇龍河) is a must-see scene! In fact, I like it more than the famous Li River.
• We had our bamboo rafting ride on Yulong River for RMB 60 per head (can sit in two) and on Li River (漓江) for RMB 150 per raft (can sit in three).
• If you want to walk a bit and see the scenery from a different angle, you can ask to make a stop somewhere along the riverside when you do bamboo rafting on Yulong River or Li River. They can either wait for you at the drop-off spot, or wait for your call for pick-up arrangement.
• With its beautiful scenery and as many as 300 climbing routes at various difficulty levels, Yangshuo is one of the top destinations for many rock climbers.
• The ticket for the limestone cave we went in Yangshuo wasn’t cheap at all, costing RMB 80 per head. It took us around 1 hour. Ask the tour guide of the limestone cave to turn off the colorful lighting and use torches instead. It is more fun to walk in the dark and see the limestone in its original colors.
• Huangyao Village (黄姚古镇) is a place worth checking out. We are told that the ticket price will rise to RMB 70 next year (current price is RMB 30).
• If you are hungry and want to have an authentic farmer meal in the village, you can go to the Kus. Mrs. Ku will cook and let you eat at her dining room. CY and I had our brunch there, RMB 15 for two.
• Give yourself 3-4 hours to take things slowly and enjoy the village, especially if you like photo taking.
Dragon Back Mountain Longji Village (龍脊梯田)
• Different seasons have very different scenery. For those who want to take photos of water filled fields, go in May.
• Join a local tour only if you have limited time and/or budget. Else one can go to Longji Village by bus. There has no bus directly going to Longji Village from Guilin, so one will have to make a transit at Pingan Village (和平鄉). It takes around 3-4 hours to get there. If you can read Chinese, here is some information on the bus route that you may find helpful – http://www.sozhen.com/default/townarticlecon_27_502.html
• Due to our tight schedule, we had to do it the fast food style – local tour. There are many travel agents at the bus station, trying to sell their travel packages to you. Go ahead and ask them for information. Their prices are quite competitive. Nevertheless, one better takes time to consider different opinions and negotiate on price for a better deal. This is what we paid for our Longji Village day trip:
Local Tour from Guilin to Longji Village – RMB100 per person
(includes entrance ticket, tourguide, transport; from 8am – 6pm)
Shuttle bus inside Longji Village — RMB 10 per person
Longhair Women performance – RMB 50 per person
• Unless you have much time on hand and find no way to spend it, else, don’t waste your time and money on the Longhair Women performance. It is just another generic show for the tourists.
• If time allows, I would recommend staying overnight and taking things slowly. There are many hostels in the village, hence, no need to worry about room availability.