Ida Thuesen Pedersen, her husband Rasmus Sten Mortensen, their daughter Fiona (6) and son Theodor (3). Their friends: Peter Lav, his wife Zosia, their son Villads (5) and daughter Ida (3), also came along for the trip.
Airplane tickets for a family of four (two adults and two children) came to RMB 11,200. Accommodation for six nights (including breakfast) cost RMB 8,000. Other expenses (including a guide, entrance fees, rental of a minibus for the two families and bicycle rental) cost approximately RMB 2,500 per family. The total cost of the week-long vacation came to RMB 21,700 per family.
The family arranged the trip themselves, flying Air China from Beijing to Guilin. They hired a local guide, who met them at the airport. After a bus ride to Yangshuo, they arrived at the eco-hotel Yangshuo Mountain Retreat.
The guide arranged all of the following activities: bamboo rafting along the Yulong River, private rafting on Li River from Yangdi to Xingping,watching cormorants fishing at night, the Liu Sanjie Light Show and cycling in the countryside.
The Best Part
For these two city-dwelling families, the best part was getting back to nature and taking in the spectacular scenery of the region.
The Worst Part
The families traveled during peak tourist season. The crowds were difficult, with many situations bordering on chaotic.
Most Unexpected Event
While biking in the countryside, Fiona wounded her knee. The local guide suggested a traditional Chinese doctor, whose "office" was located on the side of a road. The doctor prescribed a cream, which helped heal Fiona’s wound quite nicely.
Picky eaters can choose between Western and Chinese food. Fun activities include bamboo rafting and biking. There is a nice, varied selection of cozy hotels and restaurants with friendly English-speaking staff. Yangshuo Mountain Retreat is quaint with a pleasant lawn in front for the kids to run around and a ping-pong table. The two families got rooms next to each other and were even able to talk to one another from the balcony, giving their stay a "homey" feel.
Avoid the holiday seasons. When the families traveled during the October holiday, it was very crowded and they found themselves waiting in line for everything. Be sure to go with the proper vaccinations and bring mosquito repellent.