West Street is the oldest street in Yangshuo
with a history of more than 1,400 years. Situated at
the center of Yangshuo County, West Street has become,
since the 1980's, a window of eastern and western culture
and the biggest 'foreign language center' in China.
West Street is the most prosperous district in Yangshuo,
and, each year, approximately 100,000 foreigners come
here on their travels or to attend advanced studies.
Visitors are attracted to West Street by its unique
mix of cultures.
West Street is 517 meters (1,696 feet) long
and 8 meters (26 feet) wide, meandering in an 'S' along
its length. Being completely paved with marble it is
a typical example of a southern China street. It is
greatly admired by foreigners for its simple style and
courtyard-like setting. There is a saying about West
Street that 'half is village while the other half is
Because, at times, foreigners outnumber
Chinese, West Street is also called 'foreigners' street'.
Don't be surprised if you hear English words spoken
by elderly Chinese women, for West Street is called
'the global village'. Besides the local accent of Yangshuo,
English has become the language for daily use. West
Street is modern and fashionable, nearly every store
has bilingual shop signs, and more than 20 stores have
been opened by foreigners who have settled here.
Whether you are Chinese or a foreigner,
West Street is a terrific place to take a rest, both
physical and psychological. West Street will drive all
of your pressures and burdens away, and give you a calmer
view of life. It shows different faces at different
times: calm and peaceful in the morning, while trendy
and modern in the evening. Traveling to West Street
is an experience to be with the landscape, with the
people, with the soul, and with yourself.
Visiting West Street, you will be surrounded
by an array of traditional folk and amazing international
elements. Various shops, craftworks shops, painting
and calligraphy stores, backpack shops, cafes, and Chinese
Kung Fu academies jostle for attention. You may see
a multitude of items, from embroidered silk cloth, wax-painted
weaving, to tiny shoes worn by women before the liberation
of the People's Republic of China in 1949. In addition,
elsewhere on the street you may find bars and cafes,
some run by foreigners, decorated with bamboo rafts,
fish baskets, wax-painted tablecloths, and so on.
West Street does not only satisfy you visually.
You will be tempted by foods from all over the world:
ciba (a kind of Chinese rice cake) and rice noodle of
Yangshuo, authentic Italian coffee, banana cake, Western
style food, etc. So now, choose a cafe, ask for a cup
of coffee and let the pretty scenery and dulcet music
take you to a fantastic world.