The ugly side of Yangshuo
I was amazed that such a remote, isolated town was able to capitalize on the tourism industry as much as Yanshuo had. Arriving on a Thursday during the rainy off-season, we only got a small taste of the tourist craze– and I’m happy to say that’s all we saw.
Over the course of the two days, we encountered a few Chinese from even more remote areas of China who came to Yangshuo to practice their English with the laowai, or foreigners. We were able to bargain street vendors from 200rmb down to a measly 20rmb. We were approached left and right by locals selling their boat tours, their bicycles, postcards, and flower wreaths. I was asked if I was a tour guide for B and our friend. A tour organizer told me there is a boat which floats down the river, transporting individuals from Guilin to Yangshuo– 400rmb for foreigners, 200 for a Chinese speaker like myself.
Again, I’m just happy we were able to experience the relatively-quiet side of Yangshuo. I’d hate to think of the area clogged with flag-bearing tour group leaders, blaring instructions on their megaphones.