Code: GL28

Huangyao Old Town Day Trip from Guilin by Train

Guilin and its surrounding areas Yangshuo and Xingping are famous for the karst landscape, but actually the karst hills area is much larger than that. It covers almost 40% of the total land area in Guangxi Province. Hezhou is a small city located at the southeastern edges of Guangxi Karst Hills area. Compared with the hot touristy Guilin and Yangshuo, Hezhou is kind of an off the beaten path place. There are a few ancient towns and villages built among the karst hills, representing the ancient Chinese architecture and culture. Among them, Huangyao Old Town is the most prominent. 
Hezhou is easily accessible by a one-hour’s high-speed train from Guilin. The train ticket is CNY69 for the second-class seat and CNY110 for the first-class seat. Huangyao is nestled some 60 km from the urban area of Hezhou, but taxies and direct buses to Huangyao are available in the Train station. It takes one hour by taxi at CNY200 per taxi, but two hours by bus at CNY30. The entrance fee of Huangyao Old Town is CNY65 per adult. 
Huangyao Ancient Town
Huangyao Ancient Town
Huangyao Old Town was named after two common surnames – Huang and Yao. It was established more than 1000 years ago during the Song Dynasty, but flourished during the Ming and Qing Dynasty. Most of its buildings were built at that time and they remain unchanged in their architecture styles today, and turned into private houses, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. 

Located in the lower reaches of Li River, Huangyao boasts abundant water resources as streams and rivers passing through the town. Covering an area of 3.6 square kilometers, it has too much to offer. Among them, the small bridges and flowing streams, old towering banyan trees, ancient bluestone paved streets and couplet plaques are reputed as “Four Wonders of Huangyao”. Along with the surrounding karst hills, this place is said as one of the most beautiful old towns in China. 

Huangyao is also a place where multi ethic people settled. Among them, Zhuang and Yao people have been living here harmoniously for a long time. They have created a colorful mixed culture, which is reflected especially during the traditional festivals when people get together to hold lots of performances. If you happen to travel there during festivals, you will see such spectacular scene. 
Huangyao Old Town
Huangyao Town
Although now the tourism started to develop in Huangyao too, but the traditions are well preserved in terms of architecture, lifestyle, folk custom and craft. The local people still live their daily life, just enriched by running the tourist-related business. So the old town is considered as the model integrating culture with landscape. 

Walking on the narrow streets among the old house, you will find many nice places for photos. It is also beautiful around, with the karst hills rising outside the town and the rice fields between the hills. Usually one day is enough to explore this town due to its small size, but you can also stay one night there to enjoy its peaceful atmosphere and experience more its culture and hospitality. 
After touring around the town, it’s time to take the local cuisine. The most famous food here is tofu, which is exclusively made and sold in the town. You can also try the fermented black soybean, which is usually added to meat, fish and vegetables to create a distinctive flavor. Then, you can walk outside of the town and will find some local vans that go to Hezhou Train Station, where you take the speed train back Guilin. The price is only CNY40 per person. You can also take the bus, but the bus stop is a little further outside the town. 
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Yangshuo Classic Bicycle Trip: 1 day Yangshuo Bicycle Tour along Ten-Mile Gallery

Trip to Rice Terraces: 2 days independent tour to visit the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces in Longsheng