Our journey began at 12:20 PM at the bus stop in front of the Melody Hotel located in the heart of old Xi’ An, which is across the street from the Drum Tower and very near the Bell Tower. The bus to the airport leaves every hour on the hour throughout the day. I don’t know when the first or last bus is, but if the bus is full, chances are there will be another bus waiting to get filled up. That was the case for us, the first bus was full by the time we got there, since we were having a quick lunch at the Star Ferry Restaurant (good reasonably priced food), which is right in front of the bus station too. The cost of the ride was 25 Yuan per/person and took about 40 minutes to get to Xi’ An airport. Alternatively, there are plenty of taxis trying to get your business at the bus stop. If you have 4 people it is probably a cheaper way to go since they charge a flat 50 Yuan rate for up to 4 people. However, they might also charge you for the many tolls that you cross on the way to the airport.
We arrived in Guilin at 5 pm and the flight took about 1.5 hours. We hurried with our luggage to the waiting bus that leaves when it is full. Buses are usually waiting to take passengers into town where they stop first near the train station then terminate in front of some hotel farther down. In our case, we were hoping to get into town before 6pm so we could catch the last express bus into Yangshuo, our final destination. Unfortunately, it was raining and traffic hour so it wasn’t until after 6pm that we arrived at the first stop. Also, we got a little confused and didn’t get off the bus until the next stop! Since we missed our stop we had to get a taxi (10 yuan) to take us back to the train station where we could catch a bus from Guilin to Yangshuo.
Luckily, there is a different bus that runs regularly between Guilin and Yangshuo and we were able to catch that bus. We are told the cost of the express bus and this regular bus is the same, so try and catch the express bus if you get there before 6 pm. You must purchase your express bus tickets from the bus station office, which is located a little farther up the same road. Also, we were told that there is a scam running where the driver will try to get you to get off the bus before Yangshuo, releasing you into a crowd of scamming touts who will insist that you are in Yangshuo (before you get there) and charge you more money to take you there! Lucky for us, it was late and raining so we didn’t have any issues and our bus arrived in Yangshuo around 8 pm, about 1.5 hours later. I think the express bus, which doesn’t stop to pick up and let off passengers (like the regular bus) would take a little less than an hour.
At 9 PM we finally arrived at our final destination, Yangshuo Outside Inn, located 4.5 km from the town of Yangshuo. It’s dark now, so we will have to wait until tomorrow to see what it looks like outside. We expect it to be beautiful!
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