Facts for travelers to Yangshuo and Guilin

This page contain the main facts for travelers to Yangshuo. We included:

Banks and ATM

The first fact for travelers is about money. Although China has ATM facilities widely available through the Bank of China, I advice to bring some cash and/or Travelers Cheques. American Express is the most widely accepted through Thomas Cook does the job too. To be on the safe side, bring them in US$. You change money is the Bank of China. It is in fact the only bank that does change cash and Travelers Checks. Yangshuo has two branches. The first and oldest one is located near the entrance of West Street. There’s an ATM available.

The second branch is located at Pantao Road (incl. an ATM). If you want to change cash or TC, this may be a better option as it is usually more quiet then the one at the entrance of West Street. Go to the end of West Street and turn left. This branch does not have an ATM.

The Agricultural Bank of China does do cash advances on credit and debit cards. They charge 3% commission for each transaction. This bank can only do cash advances on Credit/debit cards and charges 3% commission for each transaction. The Agricultural Bank of China is located next to the Bank of China on West Street. Opening hours of both banks are from 09.00-17.00.

All banks have an ATM available though only the Bank Of China had a Cirrus/Maestro option. Visa/Mastercard can be used for other banks too.

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Bicycle and motorbike/scooter

See Bicycling in Yangshuo for details

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Emergency service

HotelsCombined.com - Hotel Price Comparison Facts for the visitor is not complete with some information about the emergency services. The easiest way to handle injuries is to ask assistance from the hotel where you stay. There are a few local hospitals in Yangshuo, the main one is The People’s Hospital of Yangshuo County. You find the hospital on Shenshan Road. Although some staff speak English, it’s a good idea to bring someone from your hotel to communicate.

Another good option is to consult Dr. Lily, who has a massage and acupuncture shop at Gui Hua Road, just behind West Street. Dr. Lily can help you finding a hospital and might be able to translate if necessary.More about Dr. Lily can be read here.

For more complicated injuries, you can use the hospitals in Guilin and Guangzhou, both with western standards of hygiene and quality. In case of toothache problems, the Guilin People’s Hospital has English speaking doctors and has an excellent service:

Guilin People’s Hospital

#70 Wenming Lu, Guilin, Guangxi 541002
Tel: (0773)-282-9065 Ext.
-282-3767 Ext.
-282-5116 (Emergency)

Dental problems are the best solved in the People’s Hospital in Guilin. Do NOT use the local service in Yangshuo (as I did, with some bad experiences)

You may want to bring a first aid kit. Here’s a list what you could bring

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Internet access

You would expect getting on the internet in China would be easy. In many tourist areas it still is but outside it is again difficult. China has put restrictions on the internet cafes as many locals used the cafes to play games and created a whole new generation of addicted kids.

Thus getting on the net is restricted. There are a few bigger internet bars in town, particularly behind City In City and above the Xinhua Bookstore. If you want to use these facilities, bring your passport, it costs Y3-4 an hour.

That said, in Yangshuo many cafes have wireless connections for those who bring their own laptops and have a PC usually free for use for customers.

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Language

As you already expect, most Chinese people speak Chinese (lol), Mandarin to be precise. Since many years many of the locals speak English too. In many hotels and restaurants you will find menu cards in English with western dishes.

However, when you go to the country side many people speak only Chinese. Usually they are happy to see you speaking a few words in Chinese. Hello (Ni hao) and Xie Xie (thank you) can sometimes do make people happy.

Some useful words and phrases:

English Mandarin Chinese
Yes Shi
No Bu shi
Hello Ni hao
Thank you Xie xie
Good morning Zao an
Good afternoon Wu an
Good evening Wu an
Good night Wan an
Goodbye Zai jian
My name is Wo ming jiao
How are you? Ni hao ma?
I am fine Wo hen hao
How much? Duo sao qian?
What is this? Ze shi shen me?
Me Wo
You Ni
He/she ta
We wo men
They ta men
Where Zai nali
I don’t understand Wo bu ming bai

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Laundry

Most of the hotels have a laundry service. You bring your dirty stuff in a plastic bag and you will get it back the next morning (if the weather permits).

There are a few laundry services available in and around West Street. A very good service is the “2046 laundry shop” on Chengzhong street, just a few minutes walk from West Street. Bring your laundry in the morning and collect it in the evening. Regardless how wet or cold the weather is, your laundry is clean and dry. Recommended.

Most of the hotels are not happy if you do your laundry in the hotel room so don’t do it.

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Post office and Telecommunication

Post Office and Telecommunications are to be found opposite of the entrance of West Street. The Post Office in Yangshuo is used to deal with foreigners. The service is fast and reliable. Do not pack the parcels yourself but let the staff have a look what you want to send. They will open an already closed parcel anyway. Leave it to them.

Next door is the Telecommunications Office where international calls can be made. These days you may be able to make international calls from some of the internet cafes. They may be cheaper as they use internet calling.

The Post and Telecom office opening hours are from 8am to 9pm.

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Safety

Yangshuo is a very safe place to go around. However, make sure you were a money belt with your valuables. If you go out on a bicycle ride, rock climbing or kayaking, please leave your keys and valuable at the reception of your hotel. Yangshuo is very safe but that is no reason to show your valuables to each and everyone.

Be especially aware of pickpockets at the bus station. Some operate in the buses to Guilin and Xingping. They may try to use razorblades to open your bags. The best way to protect yourself from being robbed is to keep your valuables protected, use a money belt and if you carry a bag, keep it with you all the time.

Yangshuo, and much of China is much safer then many western countries, as I speak from experience. However, there are always idiots around. Don’t give them a chance.

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Teaching in Yangshuo

Teaching is one of the activities for long time travelers to do while in Yangshuo. It’s an excellent way to learn more about China and at the same time earn money for living and save some for continuing travels after finishing the period of teaching.

Here is more about teaching in Yangshuo (China)

Tourist Information

The China Tourist Service CTS has an office near the entrance of the Yangshuo Park. I find them not very useful. Better options can be found in West Street where numerous private tourist offices offer help with staff that speak fluent English.

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Traveling with Children

No doubt Yangshuo is an excellent holiday destination for the whole family. There is plenty to keep your children excited and active.

More about Traveling with Children to Yangshuo

Weather in Yangshuo/Guilin

Yangshuo has a moderate climate. However, summers can be quite hot though winters are usually moderate. The best time of the year to visit Yangshuo are spring and autumn. April and May are usually great periods because it’s warm but not too warm and dry. June and July can be quite wet while halfway August to late October, sometimes November the weather in Yangshuo is great for outdoor activities. The weather at this moment looks like this:

Read more about the weather in Yangshuo here

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Working in Yangshuo

Another important fact for travelers who want to work in Yangshuo are the visa regulations. Most people who work in Yangshuo teach English. Usually the schools will help you out with the necessary visas. If you plan to stay for a long time, you may want to get a business visa in Hong Kong. This visa doesn’t give you the possibility to work here but it does give you time to search for a job.

More travel info at travel.yahoo.com