Formerly a sleepy fishing village along the Li River, Xingping town (or Xingping village) is now a popular visitor destination for its rural landscape and well-preserved ancient architecture. Hiking and biking are popular ways to soak in the scenery, and Xingping is also the starting point of many river cruises as it’s on an especially beautiful stretch of the Li River.
Wander along Xingping Old Street and marvel at architecture from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Nearby Xingping Fishing Village features nearly 50 well-preserved residences with distinctive blue brick, black tiles, and stone pillars. Stop by the old banyan tree, planted in the Tang dynasty, that keeps “eating” Buddha statues and large rocks. Just outside of Xingping (about a 10-minute walk) is the landscape that’s featured on the back of the 20 Yuan note.
The best way to experience Xingping is by boat, bicycle, or on foot. Many day tours from Guilin and Yangshuo combine a visit to Xingping with a boat cruise along the Li River, or a hike or a bike ride alongside the Li River. Photographers delight in capturing fishermen fishing using cormorants, an experience best viewed at sunrise and sunset.
Things to Know Before You Go
- It’s about 1.3-miles (2-kilometers) from Xingping Ancient Town to Xingping Fishing Village.
- All the boats and rafts along the Li River are motorized.
- Those who ride a bicycle to Xingping should note that the Fuli route is mostly flat, while the tea plantation route features hills and is suitable for more experienced cyclists.
- If you plan to hike from Xingping to Yangdi, bring sun protection and water as there is very little shade.
How to Get There
Xingping is located about 16 miles (25 kilometers) north of Yangshuo, along the banks of the Li River. Buses depart for Xingping from Yangshuo Bus Station regularly and take about an hour. Yangshuo Train Station is also near Xingping. An alternative is to take a motorized bamboo raft from Yangdi (1.5 hours). Another popular way to visit Xingping from Yangshuo is to ride a bicycle or motorbike.
When to Get There
Xingping is a popular attraction and many tour groups stop here. Local market days can be lively time to visit, but expect large crowds. Crowds swell during the May and October national holidays, the height of the local tourist season. Sunrise and sunsets are the best times for taking photos of fisherman with cormorant.
The Many Hills Near Xingping
The many hills near Xingping have names reflecting what they are said to resemble. Take a look around and see if you can spot Five Finger Hill, Snail Hill, Liyu (Carp) Hill, Bijia (Pen Holder) Hill, Daojian (Knife and Sword) Hill, or Tablet Hill.