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Explore Guangxi, the region of sublime scenery

Guangxi is a blessed with natural beauty and remains undeveloped, making it a gem to discover in Southern China.  While the cities of Guangxi aren’t phenomenally interesting, the true allure of this Southern province lies in its sublime karst forms, blue-green rivers, and dreamy, ethereal landscapes. Travellers short on time may be tempted to bypass Guangxi in favour of its more renowned cousin, Yunnan, which is a pity but that just means that you have less crowds to battle with. For those seeking an extended adventure, Guangxi is also the gateway to Vietnam and Southeast Asia. 

Yangshuo

Yangshuo is one of the poster locations of Guangxi, and was even made the backdrop of Star Wars Episode 3. The karst formations of Yangshuo are incredibly unique, and you’d feel like you’ve just stepped into a delicate Chinese painting.  

The best way to immerse yourself in this beauty is to get on a raft on the Li River (life jackets are provided). If that’s too tranquil for your tastes, explore the scenery of Yangshuo’s quaint little villages with a bike. Or better still, face the rocks head on by rock climbing. Yangshuo is China’s rock climbing hotspot and has routes for every level of difficulty, as well as trusted operators and good equipment.


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Image Credit: Kevin Poh, Flickr

Longji Rice Terraces 

The Longji Rice Terraces (Dragon Backbone’s Rice Terraces) are a sight to behold. Construction of the terraces began in the Yuan Dynasty (13th and 14th century), and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (17th to 20th century). 

Rice terraces are an ingenious way to maximize the limited arable land and water resources in mountainous regions, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they are gorgeous to look at, whichever season you visit. Hiking is one of the best ways to take in the beauty of the terraces, as well as to catch a glimpse of the Zhuang and Yao ethnic minority groups.

Detian Waterfall

There are few things in this world that are cooler than a waterfall that stretches across borders. The Detian Waterfall is a transnational waterfall that straddles China and Vietnam. It’s a majestic force to behold and its roars can be heard kilometres away. While it’s year-round waterfall that doesn’t really dry up, the best time to visit is in summer when the water flow is at its greatest.

The waterfall is divided into three layers and there are walking tracks that make this an easy tour.

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Image Credit: Reddit 

Bajiaozhai Geography Park 

The Guangxi province isn’t just about the karst formations. Visit the Bajiaozhai Geography Park and feast your eyes and Instagram account with the unique Danxia landforms. These massive peaks and formations are believed to have been formed during the Cretaceous era, a jaw-dropping 140 to 67 million years ago. 

Bajiaozhai literally means the ‘octagon village’, and it’s not that hard to see why. There are eight peaks in this park that are poetically dressed with fog, adding an air of surrealism. Walk along the narrow stone steps that wind around the mountains and have your breath taken away. 

Huashan Cliff Murals 

The Huashan Cliff Murals are 2000-year old rock paintings on vertical cliff faces. These red murals, said to be painted by the ancestors of the Zhuang people, an ethnic minority of China. The paintings show both people and a variety of animals in silhouette form, and seem to depict celebrations. There are about 1900 distinct drawings in varying heights, with one image reaching 3 metres. 

Tonglin Grand Canyon 

The Tonglin Grand Canyon looks like a scene right out of a martial arts film where the master emerges from the cave fully enlightened and ready to save the world. In fact, Tonglin means ‘connected to the spirit world’ in Chinese. 

As you descend over 800 steps, you’d find yourself in this grand canyon that actually comprises of multiple gorges, with each having its own unique scenery, such as waterfalls, underground rivers, streams, caves, stalactites, and lush vegetation. One of the waterfalls measures 188m, and is a humbling sight to behold.

Tonglin isn’t that far from the Detian Waterfalls, and is surprisingly undeveloped. Go now, for it won’t be long till the crowds arrive.

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Tilda is a happy sufferer of chronic wanderlust. When she isn't spending a disproportionate amount of time Googling about places and cultures, she's writing, dancing, and navigating a massive career change. She shares stories and photography on Wanderful People, and shares her coffee with no one.

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