Should you visit Yangshuo in 2024?

visit Yangshuo

The last month has been an eye opening affair as I have revisited Beijing, Dandong, Yanji, Guilin and Xinping. Results have been largely OK, but this was to be my biggest test. So after I went, should you visit Yangshuo in 2024? Well there really is no easy answer to this…..

For those not in the loop Yangshuo was not only the original tourist town, but a backpacker haven and one of the most beautiful places in China. These points save the beauty have now been slowly eroded over the years. This has been for a number of factors, but principal among them is the dishonest nature of the locals.

This has led to the foreigners leaving en masse, as well as the Chinese that have money deciding not to Visit Yangshuo. This was something I got to witness in slow motion in my 5 years running The DMZ Bar.

Eating and drinking in Yangshuo in 2024

Yangshuo has always been famous for its over-priced and very poor food. This is mostly categorized by cookie cutter restaurants all serving the same bland food and in particular beer fish. This has sadly not changed at all, like at all….

So, yes there are restaurants all around West Street and beyond, but they are for want of a better turn of phrase a bit pile of wank. The only place where this is put to the test is on hospital road where you will find slightly better restaurants, as well as the dying remnants of the Yangshuo street food scene.

And what about the foreign restaurant in Yangshuo?

There are two different types of restaurant in this genre, the fake ones ran by people such as Rosewood, who dominate Xingping and actual foreign restaurants. Of the former there are still fake German places, as well as pizza joints.

A slight sub category here might be McDonalds and KFC. The old MD’s here was a legendary rouge establishment that went way off menu. This is now no longer the case. There is though still the KFC that I spent many an early morning at. I did not eat here, BUT I saw that they did have the KFC Wagyu Beef Bacon Burger.

Of the actual foreign restaurants the best is still Ganga, which has been serving Indian food for many years here, save a brief break during Covid-19.

Oh and for the brave there are still dog restaurants in Yangshuo, no matter what people might claim. Too avoid any ambiguity I am not saying you should eat dog in Yangshuo.

The Yangshuo nightlife

Nightlife in Yangshuo previously boasted Bad Panda, The DMZ Bar, Lounge and many more. These have all basically gone, along with the foreign restaurant that we used to enjoy.

What have survived are the super loud and expensive “clubs” which have now expanded from West Street to Gui Hua Road and beyond. These are the very definition of hell on earth and they do nothing but make staying in a hotel here fairly unbearable…..

This now leaves the newly opened ….. which is ran by the guys at Ganga, as well as a German – Chinese couple as pretty much the last bar standing in Yangshuo. Thankfully all of the guys involved clearly learnt a lot from the time they have spent drinking in bars and have made a really good downtown bar with an atmosphere.

What is there to do in yangshuo in 2024?

Most of the things that people used to do like boat trips, bike riding and motorbike hire are still very much live and well in Yangshuo as are shit like the light show. And Yangshuo is still very very beautiful, BUT there is one new very very ugly trend.

After one shot opened that offered Chinese girls the chance to get dressed up for model shots, this turned into an avalanche. Now every third store is offering this with more set to follow.

This has turned Yangshuo into a really bad model set where pretentious Chinese girls get to dress up in ethnic clothes while making the photographers and indeed their boyfriends lives hell. Now these stores have taken hold they are unlikely to be going anywhere at all soon.

To read about traveling from Hanoi to Nanning click here.

Beauty though is still beauty and you will never be able to take that away from Yangshuo…..

So, should you visit Yangshuo in 2024?

One strings thing about Yangshuo is that while people leave they all for the most part still end up coming back, particularly those still in China. This is something I have found myself doing, in spite of the fact I swore blind I never would.

Sadly though this is not the case for everyone, with a huge amount of those that I knew no longer able even to stay in China itself. Yet despite this and everything else the place still has such a draw.

So, should you visit Yangshuo in 2024? Yes, you probably should…