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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

8-Days Travel Itinerary in Guangxi, China. HuangYao - An Unknown Ancient Town (Part 2)

To begin with, we really did not plan for this trip because initially we wanted to travel to Luang Prabang but due to unrecommended weather condition in Laos for the month of Aug & Sept, we decided to put on hold the trip. And then, we found a good deal of AirAsia promo fares for flights to Guilin, China for RM119, and so we chose Guilin.  

So many things happened prior to our trip and there is too much stuff to write here and this post gonna be real loonngg! (i) my beloved Goldie (English cocker spaniel) left us on the day of my departure to Guilin (15 August 2014, 2.30p.m.), (ii) 15 August 2014 was also the day I bid farewell to my bestie, Marmon leaving Penang for UNESCO Jakarta (iii) my iPhone 5 got stolen without my knowledge  on the 5th day of our trip (19 August 2014)  when I was on my way from 0773 hotel to Xicheng Pedestrian Street Night Market in Guilin

Ok, let’s forget about things that had happened!

We planned this trip 2 months ahead and did some research prior to our trip and saw countless beautiful photos of Guilin, which we have heard so much about the beauty of it, yet never been there. I have to admit that the place itself is overwhelming and, too touristy. 

The month of August is still summer in China, thus the weather was pretty humid when we were there. Everywhere was jam-packed and crowded with people particularly at tourist sites and entrance tickets easily sold out! (so, please avoid travelling to China during summer break). 

We arrived at the brand new KLIA 2 for the first time on 15 August 2014 and was impressed with the structure and the comfortable waiting lounge. After a smooth 4 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, we arrived at Guilin Liangjiang International Airport and so began our journey in Guangxi.

For this trip, we (myself and Camel) took Air Asia X flight from Penang  Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) Guilin (approx. 4 hours in the sky) –and here’s our 8-days Travelogue: (15 August 2014 – 23 August 2014) in Guangxi, China: 
<Guilin Yangshuo Huangyao (Hezhou) Longsheng   Guilin>

Day 1: 15 August 2014
PENANG Kuala Lumpur (KLIA 2)
Depart from Penang – Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA 2)

Day 2: 16August 2014 
GUILIN (Liangjiang International Airport KWL) → YANGSHUO
Depart from Guilin Liangjiang International Airport to Yangshuo country town - Silver Cave – Yangshuo Lotus Farm - West Street Night Market

Day 3: 17 August 2014
Depart from Yangshuo at 8.30a.m. (approx. 1.5hr from Yangshuo) – Explore HuangYao Ancient Town (big banyan tree, ancient brick houses, jumping stone bridge, SIMA mansion, Guo’s family mansion, ancient well, dragon bridge) – Return from HuangYao to Yangshuo at 4.00p.m. – Cormorant Fishing at Li River Bank 

Day 4: 18 August 2014
Li Jiang River Cruise (approx. 2.5 hr) – West Street Night Market

Day 5: 19 August 2014
Depart from Yangshuo to Guilin (approx. 1.5 hr) - Elephant Trunk Hill – Sun and Moon Pagoda – Statue of Wangzhenggong – Lijiang Waterfall Hotel – Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (Sangsui food street)

Day 6: 20 August 2014
Depart from Guilin South Train Station to Longsheng County Town (1.5hour) -  Arrived ticket office of Longji Terraced Fields – Hike through Jinzhu Zhuang Village (due to landslide, roads were closed for reconstruction) – took another bus up to cable car main station (final stop/station for bus) (approx. 45 minutes) – took cable car to Golden Buddha Peak (18 minutes) – final hike to the peak and Longji Panorama House Hotel passing through West Hill Music, Large-Scale Thousand Layer Terraces, Dazhai Village, Xinzhai Village (approx. 3hr) – Arrived Longji Panorama House Hotel at 4.45p.m.

Day 7: 21August 2014
Depart from Longsheng to Guilin - Bao Shu Tang - Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (Sangsui food street) - Guilin night cruise (Two-Rivers-Four-Lakes)

Day 8: 22 August 2014
Depart from Guilin to Yangshuo - Yulong River Bamboo Rafting -  600 year old Yulong Bridge  - Yangshuo (West Street Market) – Return to Guilin (by express bus) - Liusanjie Landscape Garden – Guilin Xicheng Pedestrian Street Night Market - Guilin Department Store 

Day 9: 23 August 2014
Depart from Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) →Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) Penang 

Huangyao was our second stop for this trip.  We hired Xiao Wan, our local driver (which we contacted earlier via our search on cari.com.my website) to Huangyao Ancient Town, 200km away from Guilin and well-known for over 1000 years history with beautiful aged banyan trees, towering peaks, crystal clear waters, elegant old houses made of blue bricks and black tiles and old streets are paved in rocks.  
The town is surrounded by limestone karst hills
The town is surrounded by limestone karst hills
A 800-year-old Banyan tree, also known as the Dragon’s Paw
The famous jumping stone bridge, built during the Qing Dynasty
Xiao Wan picked us up at our hotel in Yangshuo at 8.30a.m. Along the way, we saw tons of mountains and stumbled across a beautiful lotus farm. The journey to Huangyao took us approx. 1.5 hour and we arrived at the town around 11.00a.m. We were told that we would get a mere 4 hour to explore the place.  Due to time constraints, we just walk through, hurried shooting some of the scenery.
With bright pink flowers and huge green leaves
With bright pink flowers and huge green leaves
Here’s a bit of history about this ancient town. Huang Yao Ancient Town is located in northern Guangxi, Hezhou Zhaoping Country, which was originated from Song Dynasty (960-1279), built during the Wanli Period (1573-1620) in the Ming Dynasty and boomed during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) of the Qing Dynasty.  

Most people in the town surnamed Huang and Yao, so the town has the name as “Huang Yao Town”.  This ancient town has been relatively unknown until Hollywood filmed “The Painted Veil” a few years ago.
Propaganda poster spotted in HuangYao. 
Many Chinese revolution movies including Hollywood flick The Painted
Veil were filmed here
Houses are lined with grey bricks and terracotta tiles on their roof
Streets are paved with black marble and houses are lined with grey bricks
Red is a symbol of luck and prosperity
Chinese calligraphy in front of house entrance
Huangyao, with an area of 3.6 sq km is nestled in the mountains with picturesque view resembling a Chinese painting. 

The breathtaking landscape simply knocks your socks off
We spent our afternoon walking slowly along the stone road in every attraction such as the famous big banyan tree, ancient brick houses, and the dragon bridge and followed by a home-cooked lunch in one of those local farmhouses. We also tried the local soya beancurd which was extremely tender. 
Local staples
The local live as they did in old times – the old people sit chatting on their doorsteps; young women wash vegetables or clothes by the riverside ancient well; and children were seen running around. Here are some of the left over photos from Huangyao, hope they’ll give you a good glimpse of China’s typical ancient town.
The well-known Dragon Bridge
One for the album
A town surrounded by hills, rivers and verdant greenery
Along the narrow streets and brick-laid houses with giant marble paving the walkways

This old town is not that huge and we finished our visit within 3-4 hours. At 3.00p.m., we gathered in front of Huangyao Ancient Town post office where he picked us up back to Yangshuo.
The ancient town post office
Owing to its isolated location – and surrounded by mountains and the inconvenient transportation, Huangyao always keep its half-closed condition. Thus, it makes the ancient houses and cultural relics in this old town well-preserved. 

The Huangyao Ancient Town is really ancient with a high level of craftsmanship and I just loved them.  The 4-hours visit we had wasn't quite enough, but anyway its time to bid farewell to this peaceful place.

Air Itinerary Details: 
Air Asia X: Penang - Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) – Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) /Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL)  - Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) - Penang 
Local Transportation: 
Mr. Xiao Wan (for airport pick-up, trip to Yangshuo and HuangYao)
Mobile: 0086  159 7736 1716
e-mail: yangshuowanyi88@aliyun.com
(i)Guilin - Starway Grand 0773 Hotel Guilin
(** 3minutes walk/ 0.2km to Elephant Trunk Hill)
Address: No. 31, Wenming Road, City Center - River Area, Guilin, China 541002

(ii)Yangshuo - YangShuo River View Hotel  
(**2-3 minutes walk to West Street night market, facing river)
Address: 19# BingJiang Road  YangShuo Town. Guilin.GuangXi, China
Tel:  086-0773-8822688
e-mail: service@riverview.com.cn

(iii) Longsheng – Longji Panorama House Hotel
(**located at the highest peak in Longsheng, need stamina to hike up the cobblestone path
Tiantou Zhai, Da Zhai Cun, Heping Township
Guilin, 541701 China

Places of Interest / Entrance Tickets: 
  • Silver Limestone Cave (Yangshuo) – 65RMB/pax
  • Elephant trunk hill (symbol of Guilin) – 75RMB/pax
  • Lijiang River Cruise for 2.5hr – 250RMB/pax
  • Bao Shu Tang (Guilin)
  • Night cruise in Guilin - Two-Rivers-Four-Lakes (Guilin) 190RMB/pax
  • Cruise along LiangJiang Si Hu  (Yangshuo)
  • Cormorant Fishing  (Yangshuo) 3RMB/pax
  • Liusanjie Landscape Garden (Guilin)- FOC
  • Longji Rice Terraced Fields a.k.a Dragon Back Terrace (Longsheng)- 100RMB/pax
  • HuangYao Ancient Town (Hezhou) 100RMB/pax  for entry pass
  • Black hair (hong yao) woman luggage carrying service – 60RMB/way/basket
Must Try / Eat:  
  • Authentic Guilin Rice Noodles  (Guilin/Yangshuo)
  • Guilin Beer Fish  (Guilin/Yangshuo)
  • Bamboo rice + bamboo chicken (Longsheng)
  • Roasted goose at Chun Ji Restaurant (Guilin)
  • BBQ squid stick (Guilin)
  • Mango juice at Mango Mango (Yangshuo) 
Read more about our travel experiences @ Guangxi, China:   

 “A wise man travels to discover himself”- James Russell Lowell

Welcome to Small World! This blog is not a travel agency, but rather a personal site which allows me to share my past travel experiences in a straightforward and far-reaching way. I often made great use of other peoples travel blogs and sites every time I plan for my travel itinerary as they often contained most updated information and invaluable resources from their past travel experiences.  I hope that you will find every piece of information & images contained within my blog handy and useful. Thank you very much for reading my post(s) and feel free to leave a comment/testimonial or click "Like/Share" if you love reading them all. xoxo The writer is a passionate traveler who enjoys speaking to young keen travelers about the freedom to get cultured and to taste the fullness of life. Feel free to contact the writer if you need any travel advice, guidance or tips or if you have any burning questions with regards to your upcoming trip(s)/ journey 
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1 comment:

  1. Best post!!!!!beijing has many historical attractions, and shanghai has lots of good food and attractions, and if you want you can stop by in hong kong, but a tour is really stressful, especially for a schedule as packed as a tour to china.....you can go buy travel books.Thanks :)