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Yangshuo has taken center stage as Guangxi's top tourist destination. At the heart of the city is West Street, a pedestrian mall extending to the Li River. Many visitors are content to spend a few days eating, drinking, and gazing over the low-slung traditional structures facing toward the fang-shaped peaks that surround the town. Yangshuo is fast becoming a destination for adventure travel, and
the countryside is filled with opportunities for biking, hiking, rock climbing, and caving.
Keep in mind that Yangshuo isn't off the beaten path. It's part and parcel of the Southeast Asia backpacker circuit that was forged in the 1970s, and remains well-trodden to this day. The main drag throbs with the cacophony of Hong Kong canto-pop, reggae, hip-hop, and classic rock. In restaurants competing for the tourist trade you can order everything from lasagna to enchiladas to pad thai noodles.
Guilin has the good fortune of being situated in the middle of some of the world's most beautiful landscapes. This region of limestone karst...