Jun 15, 2015

Yangshuo hidden trekking area from Putao to Shikou

This nice trekking area near Yangshuo start in Putao village. This is a hidden Yangshuo"s trek area with awesome old villages far away of tourustic activity. This hike invites you to discover authentic villages whose lives seem immuable for century. You can meet farmers working in their fields in a stunning place, surrounded by limestone karst hills.

Trekking area near Yangshuo
trekking area near Yangshuo

Not far from Yangshuo, discover karst hills Putao's landscape without tourists congregate. Sure you will not see others tourists all around you. This trekking area leads you in the Tortoise river country.

Yangshuo > Putao > Cuiping > Zhouzhai > Yangshan > Shikou > Lingtoushang > Cuiping > Putao > Yangshuo

Walking during 3 hours. Acces and returm to Yangshuo time 
and trip on a full day
Getting There

Access from Yangshuo to Putao village
Download the map to see more details
Start your trek from Yangshuo 
North bus station. Take the bus to Guilin (20 yuan) ask the driver to stop at Putao vikkage . From the bus stop in Putao situated at crossroads of National road G321 and 098 county road (point A on the map) turn left onto the 098 road.
Ib Putao, ask a moto taxi (¥ 5) to going Elementary school of Cuiping.
Or walk this distance on foot by joining first Putao Old Village (1.2 km) (point B). From this point, take the road on the left to lead to the south in the Putao plain. After walk 2 km, you  arrive at the Cuiping School (Elementary school of Zhouzhai) (point C).

Putao street
Street in Putao Old village

Equipment :
Next the Cuiping School, there is a grocery store. There after, it will not possible to buy water, drink or food. Have on you a compass to better follow this treck guidelines. A small note book and pencil to write on paper chinese characters indicated on this page.

1 - From Cuiping to Zhouzhai

detailed map for trail from Cuiping to Zhouzhai
Since Cuiping School continue the main road in south direction. At 250 meters road approches a small river where a wash basin is located. Just after it, a  crossroad.  Take the road on the right. 500 m further an other crossroad. Take on the right (West) towards Zhouzhai village situated at 1 km. You arrive in the entrance of Zhouzhai village on a bridge named Wangfu bridge over the tortoise river.
Zhouzhai bridge named Wanfu bridge
Old Wanfu bridge in Zhouzhai

2 - From  Zhouzhai to Yangshan

Detailed map of trail From Zhouzhai to Yangshan

From The Zhouzhai Bridge (point D), come back on 50 m to take a small path on the right (south east) (point E) going in plantation fields towards a small hamlet: Jinglong. Take the time to explore this small hamlet and then, continue by road (East) which joins the main road. Take it on the right to reach Yangshan village surrounded by impressive limestone Karst hills. Go through the main street's village and see the fine Shikou bridge. On the other side of the river, it is Shikou village. Take time to discover this two well preserved villages. 
Yangshan village
Main street in Yangshan

3 - From Shikou to Lingtoushang

Detailed map of trail From Shikou to Lingtoushang
Cross Shikou village (South). You cannot get lost: on West the route is surrounded by impassable hills and on East by the tortoise river. The path goes close abig hill and round it to comes near the tortoise river. here, we arrive in Lingtoushang hamlet. Very few tourists was arriving here. 

At this point, we could choice to go back to Putao by the same ride.

But it's more interesting to go round the huge hill that is just in front on the other side of the river. It's only 600 meters more for the whole trip. For this, let'get closer to the river and reach a little river dam
shikou bridge
From Shikou, The bridge and Yangshan village

4 - Turn of the hill and crossing farm fields

trail arround Ma Shan Hill
Trail arround the Ma Shan Hill
Cross the river on the little dam (F point) and follow the path to the East along the big hill. Dont take trail on the right going in fields, but always stay on the foot of the hill (Mashan hill). The path turns North direction and cross a small pass between two hills.

Now a detailed description, but it's finally very easy and obvious. :-)

Further an intersection on the path.The left path continues around the hill and returns to Yangshan village. Take the right one that joins a main path going West to East (point G). Turn on right (go to East) and only 20 m further turn left into a small footpath leading down to farm fields. From this point we follow towards the North a very nice ancient paved path. A beautiful and ancient bridge cross a little river at point H. Finally the path reach the main Yangshan/ Putao road. Follow the road to reach the Cuiping school.

5 - From Cuiping go back to Yangshuo

At cuiping Grocery, near le Cuiping school, ask the woman who holds the shop to call a taxi bike or walk back to Putao (4 km). Then, join G321 road in Putao and take the bus to Yangshuo 阳朔

6 - Usefull chinese words for asking the way

  • Yangshuo North bus station 阳朔汽车北站
  • Putao 葡萄
  • Cuiping school 翠屏 周寨小学
  • Zhouzhai village 周寨
  • Jinglong 景隆
  • Yangshan village 羊山寨 
  • Shikou village 石口
  • Lingtoushang hamlet 岭头上
  • Mashan hill  马山
  • Yangshuo 阳朔


  1. Hello Daniel,

    Congratulation for your blog and the very detailed trekking routes around Yangshuo. They are realy well documented and the photos are great ! I think that the photo on the right bar is taken from Shikou village or around (Is it from Mashan Mt. ?) that you describe in this trek. Is the acces to the top easy ?

    Hopefully we can meet in Yangshuo next time you visit. It would be a pleasure to share our experiences.

    All the best,

    1. Hi Serge,
      Photo on the right is from Wuzhi Shan, the hill just up to Cuiping.
      I would advertise your business with hikers on social networks
      I would be very happy to meet you


  2. Hi Daniel, thanks for the informative article. I'm interested in climbing up Wuzhi Shan tomorrow or the next day as I'm in Yangshuo currently. Do you have any details regarding the path up to the top/viewpoint from Cuiping?

    Thanks so much in advance,

  3. Hi, the path start from the small Cuiping village. On the main road before, you can ask at the little market, just side the school. The lady knows that or can find a guide for you. (only chinese speaking).

  4. Hi Daniel, Just returned from Cuiping Hill. It was very beautiful, thanks for the tips. I wanted to ask, do you know where this image was captured?

    it looks very similar but the perspective and landscape is a bit different. If you have any idea I'd very much appreciate any input you might be able to share!

    1. @mcl I have spent a considerable amount of time studying Trey Ratcliff's photo of Guilin. It is not real. He took two photos and merged them into one. He then inverted the final image. The photos were taken from the Cuiping Hill area, but they are not one image. He even inserted the tall mountain into the middle background.

    2. #treyratcliff The famous photo by Trey Ratcliff on the Li River in the Guilin area of China is faked. Or I should say that it is a composite. He took photos from two locations that were close to each other and merged them together into one image in Photoshop. I am the first to say that the result is stunning. I was drawn to this photo from the first time I saw it, but it would have been nice to know that the photo is a composite and the actual location does not exist. I was very disappointed when I discovered this.

  5. Great, I would like to see your photos. Now, it's not the best season for this spot. I will be there again in May.

    The photograph you show dont exist. it's a photoshop collage of 2 photos. But they are both from the top of Cuiping hill.

    1. wow, knowing that in advance would have saved me a lot of time. :) I had a feeling that something was weird when I got to the top of the hill.

      Anyways, thanks so much for your tips!