Code: GL30

5 Less-touristy Old Villages around Guilin and Yangshuo

Guilin area is well known for its stunning karst landform and countryside scene. There is a handful of old towns and villages to enjoy its beauty and see its history and culture. However, if you want to discover beyond the popular tourist places such as Yangshuo and Xingping, there are many to choose from, such as Xiong Village, Jiangtou Village, Langzi Village, Jiuxian Village and Stone Village, which are less touristy. 
1. Xiong Village
Xiong Village
Xiong Village
Xiong Village is located in Lingchuan County, some less 30 km east of Guilin, near the famous Daxu Ancient Town. It was established during the Song Dynasty, having a history of more than 2,000 years. Once it was a busy transport hub in old times, but now it is abandoned with only few old people living here. Luckily, most of buildings and houses in the village remain pristine and unchanged. When you wander in the village, you could find slogans during Chinese Cultural Revolution. Spend a lazy afternoon here to see its unique architecture layout and experience its historical atmosphere. 

This village is free to explore all year round. If you are going for the historical factor, add Xiong Village to your trip. Just take the bus to Daxu from Guilin Bus station and then transfer to a local tuk- tuk to Xiongcun for around CNY10.
2. Jiangtou Village
An elderly villager making Zongzi (rice dumpling)
Jiangtou Village is situated on the beautiful Hulong River, a tributary of Li River, in Lingchuan County. Mountains surrounding the village on three sides, along with the vast amount of farm fields make the village more appealing. Like Xiongcun, it also has a long history and plenty of old buildings and houses with wooden structure, blue bricks and grey tiles, which are well-preserved. The huge size of its architecture complex endows this village with a lot of historical and cultural relics. 

Most of villagers share the same family name, Zhou, as they believed themselves as the descendants of Dunyi Zhou, a famous writer and philosopher in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Zhou’s philosophy has great influence on the villagers’ life even today. This village was once famous for producing many top academics in old times. Nowadays, villagers still pay much importance to their children’s study. 

There is no entrance fees to visit the village but the transportation is not very convenient. If you take bus, you need to take the bus 306 from Guilin North Bus station and transfer to 309 at Lingchuan County, then get off at Jiuwu Bus station, finally walk around 1.3 km to reach Jiangtou. It may take about two hours if traffic jam, while taxi takes shorter, about one hour. 
3. Langzi Village
Located about 22km from Yangshuo, Langzi Village is another typical ancient village full of old buildings. If your trip includes Yangshuo and you are into history and architecture, this village is a good choice. There is more than 60 well-preserved big ancient residential complexes and also an artillery battery. All the buildings boast many different kinds of wood carvings and fineness characters on the walls and ceilings. 

As it is less touristy, the local traditional culture and history have been preserved better than in other old villages. With slow life pace, antique architectures and simple life attitude, a visit to Langzi Village is worthwhile. 

There is no public buses between Yangshuo and Langzi, so you can rent a scooter and travel to Langzi in around 1.5 hours or you just choose taxi with a shorter time of 30 minutes. 
4. Jiuxian Village
Jiu Village
An old bridge in Jiuxian Village
This is a small ancient village with traditional style buildings and beautiful surroundings as it nestled in between a karst mountain ridge in the east and the Yulong River, a tributary of the Li River, in the west. A visit to this village can be easily combined with a Bamboo raft tour on Yulong River. End the bamboo raft at Jiuxian and then start to bike through the countryside along the lower part of the river. 

You can ride your bike or just walk around the village. Enjoy the quiet atmosphere and find ops for very nice pictures. There are several beautiful hidden little boutique hotels and restaurants, where you can enjoy a nice meal, to rest from the agitation of the tourist spots. 
5. Stone Village
Stone Village
Stone Village
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track adventure, the Stone Village in Putao Town makes a great trip. It is an abandoned little village with stone buildings, located about 25km away from Yangshuo. Entering the village is like stepping back in time. All the stone houses are decrepit and abandoned, which makes for very nice photos. Villagers build new houses with bricks and modern features next to the ancient village. It is a wonderful contrast to see the modern farm houses with the ancient stone structures. You need climb up the hill for 30 to 50 minutes from the new village to the old one. Spend a couple of hours exploring and photographing this ancient village with almost no other travelers. 

To get here from Yangshuo, a scooter is better. Combined with the amazing Xianggong Mountain, you can drive by the Stone Village and pay a visit, which is a nice arrangement. Or you can choose to take any Guilin bound bus to Putao Town from where a motorbike taxi will take you to reach the village for CNY25. If you need locals to show you around the stone ruins, you have to pay about CNY30. 
If your goal is to avoid tourist crowds and have an off-the-beaten path kind of cultural and scenic trip, those five amazing old villages are worth to discover. You don’t have to go each village, just choose one or two of them and combine them with the nearby attractions.
 More Related Packages:

Li River Hiking Tour: 1 day Hiking along the Li River

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