Liuzhou and Hechi, south west of Guilin

South of Guilin lies the city Liuzhou. Some claim it’s as beautiful as Guilin but that is too much honor. Many travelers skip the city. It’s not completely fair.

On the way to Liuzhou
On the way to LiuzhouAs for Hechi, even fewer people ever go there. And people who take theroad direct east out of Guilin to Shoucheng, well, I haven’t met anyone who did that (except myself)

But what if you go south to Nanning and Vietnam? Isn’t it worth to have a stop in Liuzhou and spend a day or two in Hechi?

If you have limited time, you may not want to consider this option. On the other hand, if you do have the time, it’s not a bad overnight stop while the surrounding of Hechi is almost as spectacular as Yangshuo is.

Few people visit Liuzhou and even fewer go to Hechi. This is a but a shame as the surrounding of Hechi is every bit as good as the Yangshuo-Guilin area and in fact much nicer then Liuzhou.

You may want to have a bus from Yangshuo to Liuzhou, usually old type sleeper busses do this journey of around 200 km.They do not pass Guilin but take the small road to Lipu, 50 km south of Yangshuo and turn there west. This road crosses a mountain rangeand has some spectacular views over the area. The journey will take about 6 hours.

Yufengshan Park in Liuzhou
Yufengshan Park in LiuzhouHechi is even further west. You will need to take a bus from Liuzhou. The journey goes over excellent motorways. Around Hechi there are small villages to be visited. The limestone mountains here are a bit higher and rougher then Yangshuo and there are no local tour guides available to bring you around. That is why it is useful to letJessie arrange this journey for you.

Going around Hechi is best done by car. For years every once in while cyclist do pass Hechi and those who did find the city pleasant enough for a day or two (and much nicer then Liuzhou).

LiuzhouThere is direct bus transport to Guiyang, Liuzhou and Nanning available so you are not ending up at the end of a trail.

The question of course is if it worth the effort to go there. But as I said, it depends on time you have available. A journey from, let’s say Guilin to Kunming could very well through this area and make it a worthwhile journey. And I have to admit, I absolutely enjoyed this part of China. Many very friendly people, beautiful sceneries but I was maybe lucky I was on bicycle. Hechi and the surrounding are worth the effort. If you have the time, do it.

And if you decide to go to Guiyang but want to skipLongsheng, Sanjiang and Zhaoxing, you may consider Liuzhou and Hechi as alternatives to move to Guiyang.

Liuzhou city centerYou may even consider another rare option. Leave Guilin west to Shoucheng. Here’s a beautiful nature reserve to visit before you go up in the mountains. Shoucheng is a small town with bus connections to Liuzhou and Rongshui.

Here you can travel north to Sanjiang or further west to Yizhou and Hechi. Both roads are worth to do. If you are not interested in Hechi but do not want to travel the same road Longsheng – Sanjiang – Zhaoxing double, this may be an excellent option. But I admit, few people, apart of cyclist, ever do this road.

Accommodation in Liuzhou

HechiFinding a cheap hotel in Liuzhou is not easy. Most of the hotels are 3 or 4 star hotels. This too makes Liuzhou less interesting for travelers who have a bit more time to spend. Despite this, we have found some decent priced and good hotels.

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Getting to Liuzhou

Liuzhou is easy accessible from many directions. There is a direct bus from Yangshuo but we recommend to go to Guilin first and take the express from here as it saves a lot of time.

Here’s more about traveling from Liuzhou to Yangshuo. I did this journey of 200 km by bicycle which is for this road really nice to do.

Liuzhou has no airport. That said, the Guilin Liang Jiang International Airport is connected with Liuzhou with an express way, 180km away.

Liuzhou is accessible by train but buses to Guilin and Nanning are faster and more regular leaving the whole day from the main bus station in town..