This is the view from a guesthouse I stayed at in Yangshuo, China. It was a wonderful place, and I also hired the owner as my guide. Sadly while I was staying there a big 5 star hotel rented out all the guest rooms here for the next year to house their staff.
It was a wonderful place to stay. I ate dinner with the family one night. Her son was the driver when we needed a car. I used a bike for some exploring and a guided trip with Amy. I also talked with her high school daughter though I don’t speak Chinese and the daughter’s english wasn’t so strong. We used Google translate to help 🙂
You still can hire Amy as a tour guide. I recommend Amy, I don’t usually get guides but for China I figured it made sense and I was glad I did, as doing things yourself is just much more of a hassle than elsewhere (Shanghai I didn’t bother with a guide and didn’t need one but elsewhere it was helpful).
Yangshuo (near Guilin) is definitely a nice place to visit, I would recommend including several days in Yangshuo in your itinerary also (or 1 to 2 days if you are in a hurry). A raft trip down the river was the highlight for me (in fact I did another the next day).
Related: Pink lotus flower in Yangshuo, China – Traditional Chinese Raincoat in Yangshuo – View from Mesa Trail, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Great picture. The way rows of mountains fade in the mist in Chinese landscape art is not a convention. They do in real life.
By the way, a karst is always limestone, by definition, and has numerous caves. Did you explore any?
I had to look up a name to learn it was karst, I figured in the headline if I just said karst many people wouldn’t know what it was while with “limestone karst” more would then figure out the basic idea.
I only went to one cave there – it was hideous: fluorescent colored light displays everywhere. I’ll post some pictures at some point.
Marble Mountain (which is also largely limestone – even with that name and described as a karst) had some cool caves and one very impressive one, seen in this photo (in Da nang, Vietnam).
It is better to visit caves that haven’t been set up for tourists, but you need to be an experienced spelunker, unafraid of dangling on a thin rope in a dark pit, or of crawling in narrow galleries. I dabbled in that 40 years ago in France, with a friend who still does it, and specializes in exploring caves no one has visited before. He does it mostly in Mexico these days, and never mentioned China. I will ask him about Yangshao.
According to my spelunking friend, this kind of formation is called “tower karsts,” which sounds descriptive. China is known for them, but they are found also in Vietnam, the best known being Halong Bay.
My preference for caves is for those setup for tourists as the USA National Park system does. Nice paths and handles and a bit of lighting but mainly you get to see nature. I have taken numerous ranger led hikes in this way, for example Timpanogos Cave National Monument in Utah and the Wind and Jewel caves in South Dakota.
I love hiking outdoors. But hiking through narrow passages with very low ceilings or through water in caves doesn’t appeal to me.
In the Da Nang, Vietnam area the Marble Mountain karst is almost along (there are not a huge number of karsts so I can image it isn’t known for them).
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