July 05, 2010


One of the most frequently asked but hardest questions to answer for women in China is "Why don't you shave your armpits?". For me, that question has been "What is your favourite place that you have visited in China?". Usually I mutter a list that includes some of the recent places I have visited, but ostensibly it includes Yangshuo. The limestone paradise is located in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Reachable from Guilin via road or river, Yangshuo is extremely popular among travelers but not overwhelmed by them. From spectacular scenery to hot air ballooning to tai chi lessons to 18 year old Chinese girls who want to practice their "Business English", the tourist haven of Yangshuo has something for everyone. Skirting the Li River, Yangshuo is surrounded by unique karst formations. Many people rent a bicycle and take a ride to the neighbouring villages. I took a bus.

Weather permitting, a folk musical is performed on the river every night. The water show is the brainchild of world renowned director Zhang Yimou, the man behind Hero and the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. I spent almost four days in  Yangshuo, but the water level was too high for the performance to take place safely.


"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." ~ Dr. Suess