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Just up the Li River from Yangshuo sits the tiny ancient fishing village of Xingping. While Yangshuo has a lively international community of Chinese, expatriates and travelers passing through, Xingping offers a quieter, more authentic and rural Chinese experience. Nestled amidst the towering limestone karsts, the village has been inhabited since 265 AD and retains several well preserved Ming Dynasty buildings.

Apart from wandering the narrow alleys of the village, visitors can make the ten minute walk to 20 Yuan Point, a spot along the river with the view of the karsts that is depicted on the Chinese 20 yuan note; or make the challenging climb to the Bird’s View Pavilion atop a karst just outside the village.

Xingping Village is often a stopping point on boat excursions down the Li River from Yangshuo, but you can also get there by buses departing from Yangshuo throughout the day. Most visitors spend a few hours and move on, but to really explore the town, consider staying the night in one of the few local guesthouses.

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