Mar 11

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.

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