Xingping is one delightful little village in Guangxi, China. The minute I stepped off the bamboo boat which had transported me along the magical scenery of Li River, I felt like a traveller in an adventure candy shop. I knew that scrumptious food, beautiful tiny art shops, a chilled local vibe and old school architecture awaited me: thank you China! Ultimately though, those hills were calling my name incessantly: ‘Hey Teacake! Get your ass up here! We got some seriously cool stuff to show you‘. So, after wandering the streets of Xingping aimlessly and loving every minute of it, I knew it was time to hike! Where can I hike in Xingping? I’ll show you Two Hikes In Xingping China You Cannot Miss!
1. Laozhai Mountain: a short but intense hike
How long does the Laozhai mountain hike take?
This hike only takes 30 minutes but it definitely packs a punch. Going uphill continuously with a mixture of 1159 stone stairs and nearly vertical ladders, it’s a workout Jillian Michaels would take great joy in subjecting you to. Nonetheless, the reward at the top was one of my best travel experiences in all of my five years of travelling Asia. Now that’s not bad for thirty minutes of intense bootcamp!
Where does the Laozhai mountain hike start?
It starts right near the Li River where all the boats dock in Xingping. If you’re walking along the main road that follows the river here, you will find a white circular entrance in the wall. Enter and let the hiking thrill begin!
Is the hiking route clear?
The whole hike is signposted. Just keep putting one foot in the front of the other and grab on to those ladders. You’ll be basking in your hiking glory at the top soon enough!
What particularly made it so special was hanging out higher than anyone else on the peak, pretending to be the Queen of Xingping as the sun set.
If you come here before the crack of dawn or as the day ends, you’ll be one happy hiker.
2. Xingping Fishing Village (Bill Clinton’s secret spot)
If you’re looking for something even more hidden and genuine than Xingping, this is it. Bill Clinton visited Guilin in 1998 and asked to see the ‘real’ China. Xingping Fishing Village is what he got and the Chinese were spot on.
How long does the fishing village hike take?
It takes about two hours but time will truly fly by. The route is steady and not too tiresome.
Is the hiking route clear?
Follow these instructions and you’ll be just fine. I started from This Old Place Hostel. Turn left out of the hostel’s main entrance and walk straight until you hit the first crossroads. Turn right, keep walking straight and you will pass the social square of Xingping that I loved so much in the evenings.
Nip down between these houses and keep walking straight on the flat road past the big and beautiful pomelo and orange orchards. You will soon see a pond on your left: there will be a small path to your right with some stone steps. Go up these!
Soldier on up this path and you will come to a peaceful flat clearing (pictured at the top of this post). From here, turn right when you reach a fork in the path and follow the stones on the floor directing you to the fishing village. You will soon start to see the Li River. Continue walking down the path and you will eventually reach your destination :) Make sure to take your time exploring and track down Bill Clinton.
How can I get back to Xingping?
After your epic hike to this beautiful spot, you can walk back or return on a boat along the Li River: a much more fulfilling, cheaper and relaxing experience than the Bamboo Raft Tour from Guilin! With a group of four you can haggle a price of 160 yuan altogether but they will try and push for 50 each. If you are travelling solo, it may be harder to negotiate that price. They charge around 100 yuan for one person.