Retro Review – Yangshuo Culture House, Yangshuo, China

Howdy all and again we are headed back to 2011 and this time I’m ‘retro’ reviewing a place I stayed in China, in the city of Yangshuo, near the Li River. This region is famed for being beautiful, and it certainly is. Rafting trips on the river, exploring the nearby Dragon Caves and riding a bike around the incredible mountains are three ways to spend an awesome time in this part of China. There is a mass cultural show as well which I was booked in to see (by the guest house) which sadly was cancelled as it pelted down with rain the whole day I had the ticket for. But – such is life! It’s really the most peaceful place I have ever visited in China, and it’s green and beautiful so if I had to choose a place to return to in China, it would Yangshuo and the region it is centred in.

And for a good stay, you need a good place to stay, and I can say I certainly had that! The place is called the ‘Yangshuo Culture House’, and it is run by a man dedicated to cultural sharing. The website not only describes it as a ‘best-kept secret’, but also a ‘homestay’. Honestly, it’s not would you would probably technically class as a ‘homestay’, but you certainly wouldn’t call it a ‘hotel’ either.

It sits somewhere between the two, I would probably use the term ‘guesthouse’. Their reservation system on their website isn’t working right now, and one suspects that’s because, you know, of the pandemic and the fact that China is closed as I write this (one hopes though that in a few months, when this gets published, that’s no longer the case).

When I was there in 2011 it cost 200 Yuan for a single room with a bathroom and air conditioning, which is needed in this humid and hot part of the country, although the house itself is not particularly hot. 200 Yuan is around $41AUD which in turn is about $30USD, the room was okay, quite comfortable, and this I think included two or even three meals a day. Probably two, I generally ate my lunches out but I can’t be 100% sure on that. The room wasn’t amazing, but it served more than adequately and at $41 I think it was well priced.

From the outside you see three or four levels, and it’s actually not that hard to miss. That’s because it doesn’t have a big sign or anything that suggests what it is. And perhaps that’s part of the charm. The owner and manager is well known I think and has been welcoming people since 2004 and is interested in cultural exchange, and he wants to give a positive impression of China to those who stay.

He’s kind, and there is dinner on offer each night which is usually included in the price of accommodation. This was a big plus for me as he spoke good English and I could explain about my peanut allergy. The food was you know, rice, vegetables, chicken etc but it was tasty and filling. There weren’t a lot of people staying at the time, so it was extra chilled, and there were a couple of comfortable common areas where you could read a book, write in your diary etc.

Also, there were games on hand and on that rainy day I mentioned earlier I and some other guests were taught how to play Mah-jongg and we played in for several hours which I remember quite distinctly.  All in all the décor did seem a bit dated, but I don’t mind that at all I was just, you know, thinking of something else I could reference for this post.

So. If we can get back travelling one day and if China is accessible (I wouldn’t be surprised if China isn’t one of the countries that stays shut the longest. Although probably it will open up before Australia does I would expect) and you’re looking for a friendly place in a great part of China, well Yangshuo Culture House I would highly recommend!

Andy’s Ratings:

Value for Money : 3/5

Friendliness: 4.5/5

Cleanliness: 3/5

Noise: 3.5/5

TOTAL: 14/20 [70/100]

Thanks for popping by – May the Journey Never End!

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