“Guilin has the best scenery in the world, and the landscape in Yangshuo only tops Guilin,” goes an old local saying.
Located in northeastern part of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Yangshuo lies 63 kilometers south of the region’s capital city Guilin and is one of the earliest tourist attractions appraised as a “Scenic Spot on the National Level.” As a city with a history of more than 1,400 years, Yangshuo annually attracts 1.5 million tourists from home and abroad. West Street, located in the very center of the city, is 2,000 meters long, and eight meters wide. The road is covered with marble, and boasts various buildings with strong ethnic flavor on both sides. The street is a gathering place for various souvenir and snack shops. The exotic nightscape also adds extra glamour.
Yangshuo not only boasts picturesque landscapes, but also rich cultural heritage. Ancient construction, bridges, and stone carvings can be spotted in the beautiful natural scenery. West Street gathers a lot of foreigners, with more than 20 shops run by people from outside China, and it has helped give the area a “global town” image.
A special feature on the street is the communication and interchange of Chinese and foreign cultures. Foreigners can learn Chinese, calligraphy, Taiji, cooking, and Chinese chess, while passing international languages and culture to Chinese in bars, shops, or schools.
Many foreign tourists usually come to the street after their trips in Guilin and to the Lijiang River, and many are say they are overwhelmed by the area’s beauty, and then decide to stay. It is reported that the rate of inter-country marriages in Yangshuo is the highest in the nation. Many of the buildings along the street also follow Western styles. Most of the houses are three- or four-stories tall, with bell towers and castle-like tops.