Yangshuo West Street
Yangshuo West Street is the beating heart of Yangshuo town. The history of West Street as a tourist center in Yangshuo goes all the way back to the early 1980’s when the street was not even paved.
When I first arrived in Yangshuo there was not much activity in the further part of Yangshuo. Around the entrance of the Yangshuo Paradise there were a few restaurants but the hostels were mostly located on the main street.
In the late 1990’s West Street turned into a bustling street with plenty of guest houses and western styled cafes. All along from the entrance of West Street, opposite of the Yangshuo Post office to the Li River and the entrance to the Yangshuo park is now “tourist town”.
But when I first arrived in Yangshuo, the restaurants served pancake pizza’s, no ATM and not that many local guides wandering around. The shops in Yangshuo West Street were at that time still selling mostly for locals. How different is it today!
When you walk on to West Street these days, you will find plenty of stalls selling all kinds of tourist stuff (at night only). Walking further into West Street it becomes clear why it such a popular street. Plenty of little restaurants and hostels offering local Chinese and good western food.
Yangshuo West Street is nowadays the main shopping area. There are many little shops selling anything from local produced paintings, T-shirts, souvenirs and other local curiosa. There are some internet cafe’s too but you might want to use the Internet services away from West Street as there are cheaper available.
You can rent bicycles and motorbikes and it is unlikely you walk on West Street not to be approached by one of the many local tour guides. You can find material for outdoor activities like rock climbing, even camping gear and quality sunglasses.
Some restaurants and hotels are for many years stationed in West Street. Regular travelers recognize names as the legendary Drifters Cafe, the 7th Heaven Cafe, Green Lotus Cafe, Buffalo Bar and China Cafe. Cloud 9 is since a few years one of the best restaurant for local Chinese food.
At Yangshuo West Street you will find plenty of small tourist information shops. Here you book local and international flights, organize your train and bus tickets and even get help to find information about other tourist attractions in China. Some are better and more helpful then others, reports are mixed but there’s no doubt you can get what you want.
Me in front of the old 7th Heaven Cafe in Yangshuo West Street with my friend TomWhen you come close to the river side you will find a series of souvenir stalls at the exit of the river cruise boats near the entrance of the Green Lotus Park.
At night West Street comes really to life. In the middle of West Street local hawkers sell more small souvenirs, the cafes have their terrace full with eating and drinking people. Over the years West Street became legendary with local Chinese tourists. Some special to West Street to see foreigners, eat at local western styled restaurants western food and apple crumble.
With the opening of China, western food is now almost everywhere available but West Street has not lost its charm for locals and foreigners.
The shops are usually open around 8 to 9 am though bicycle/motorbike rental is possible from 8am on. Shops will stay open to about 10pm but the cafe only close when the last guest leaves.
A few years ago, New West Street was build. It starts from the entrance of West Street and goes parallel on Pantao Street all the way to the bu station. New West Street lacks a little the specific atmosphere West Street has but here too you find plenty of shops and restaurants. Some travelers arrive by bus in Yangshuo, wander into West Street, find a guest house/hotel and only leave there when they leave the town.