The laid back atmosphere and wide range of activities available in Yangshuo attract a wide variety of people. The beautiful Li River provides a great focal point for everything from long pleasure cruises to a lazy trip down the river on a bamboo raft. It is also a great place to swim in spring, summer and autumn. We can help organize many other activities here such as: rock climbing, kayaking, cycling, caving, bamboo rafting, an internationally famous evening river light show and many more.
All the activities are only about a ten-minute drive from your hotel. This means we won’t spend too much time commuting and it will be easy to get back to the hotel quickly for rests and dinner.
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrains. At Karst, we design our hiking trips to suit the group’s fitness and skill level. Experienced instructors provide lessons in planning, navigation and safety. We also provide insight into local geology, flora and fauna, culture and history.
Hiking with Karst in Yangshuo,you will have the chance to experience the local villagers' daily life and interact with the magical limestone landscape freely. It certainly can bring you to a few difficult to reach places and spectacular areas that few people have the chance to visit. We will have professional guides with First Aid Certification with you to ensure your safety at all times.
The classic hiking route in Yangshuo is Yangdi to Xingping along the Li River. This hike takes you along the most beautiful and least inhabited section of the Li River.
The hike will let you experience the Li River from a different perspective and immerses you in the peacefulness of the stunning limestone (karst) mountain scenery. The hike takes around 6 hours. The path takes you through small local villages, fields, bamboo forests and along the shores of the clear Li River where there are very few visitors. You can be one with the mountains, the water and the villages; up close and personal.
The Karst orienteering course teaches students how to read maps. This includes understanding map keys and other symbology, direction and scale. We then teach students how to apply these in an outdoor setting. Students will learn how to use a compass and compare the geographical features around them to points on a map. They will work together to plot the most efficient course to each checkpoint in our orienteering course. Once familiar with basic orienteering, students can move on to more advanced courses.
Orienteering in Yangshuo will be an exciting rural orienteering challenge. The orienteering course area is centered near the Twin Gate rock climbing area surrounded by fields of vegetables, paddies of rice, small lanes, quaint little cottages, various hills, karst towers and beautiful countryside vistas. Follow the map and the paths, work together with your partner to make a plan to find all the checkpoints in the mountains and have loads of fun!
Bamboo raft building at Karst is a lot of fun! Bamboo Raft building can be used to develop interpersonal skills and team work. Or you can just do it to have fun! It involves teams of people building rafts, from long bamboo poles and barrels. The rafts come in all shapes and size. Your only limits are your own imagination and creativity.
Once equipped with buoyancy aids and paddles, teams are given a short time to design their raft from a limited supply of materials. Once the raft is assembled, teams hoist their flags and set sail to race against each other for the raft building title.
Yangshuo is surrounded by rivers and the water is calm and clean. You will find it ideal for conducting such water competitions.
In Yangshuo, Karst has partnered with China’s first Chinese Cooking School for travelers and tourists, to provide students with a first-hand experience with Chinese cuisine.
Students will cook local food in a traditional setting, overlooking the Li River and karst mountains of Yangshuo. Smaller groups will be taken shopping in local markets and taught about local ingredients including where and how vegetables are grown in Yangshuo. The cooks will be rewarded with a meal enjoyed together, discussing Chinese customs and culture
The Li river is one of the cleanest rivers in China, lined with bamboo groves on either side. In Yangshuo, there are two shows that take place on the water. One is a spectacular evening light show. But the other is a display of the ancient art of cormorant fishing which was once the primary means by which locals caught fish.
Cormorant fishing is a very interesting activity and for many years cormorant fishing has been one of the must-see events in Yangshuo. You can see cormorant fishing in person. Fishermen give performances for riverside audiences, both by daylight and by torchlight at night. After receiving a signal from the fisherman, the well-trained cormorants will dive into the water to hunt for fish. These birds are able to stay submerged under water without taking a breath for a long period of time. When they succeed in catching a fish, they proudly swim back to the raft and show off to the fisherman. The fisherman usually rewards them with one or two very small fish to encourage them. A band is fastened around the cormorant’s slender neck so that decent-sized fish cannot be swallowed. The birds are fed and housed by their owners. A well-trained bird, still a valuable asset today, can catch enough fish to feed a family.
Rural School Community Service
The Karst Community Service program has been designed to dovetail with the IB CAS curriculum requirements and is coordinated by local Karst staff who have thorough knowledge of the communities in which we work.
Community Service program participants are billeted with local families in rural environments and become immersed in the daily lives of host communities through involvement in some current local project. For example, participants may help renovate a school building. The experience encourages interaction with local people and examines different values, responsibilities and lifestyle.
Moon Hill is about 8km south of Yangshuo (on the road to Wuzhou). It is probably the most popular scenic spot south of town. It is common for visitors to rent a bicycle in town and then ride out for a pleasant morning hike up the hill. The main attraction is a massive arch at the top of the hill that forms a huge hole in the shape of a half-moon. The hills here can be climbed for spectacular views from the top. It is not an incredibly long trek to the top but the gradient and strange angle of the steps can strain your legs on the way down. The Moon Hill Cafe at the base of the hill sells decent food at outrageous prices but you may need a bite after the trek up and down.
Alternatively there are a few other places to choose from in the nearby Moon Hill Village. There are also plenty of street vendors selling cool drinks. If it is a slow day, don't be surprised if a local follows you up the mountain with small cooler to make a sale once you get thirsty for a chilled beverage.
Yangshuo TV Tower
Hiking to the top of the TV Tower in the middle of downtown Yangshuo is one of those activities many people skip. Start hiking early in the morning and catch a breathtaking sunrise above the towers and clouds. It takes about 30-40 minutes to walk to the top depending on how fit you are and how much time you need to take photos. It is quite a climb but it's not a difficult climb up. The path has large well-constructed stone stairs and the views of the town are worth every sweaty step.