August 26, 2009

Yangshuo is a county in Guilin. Surrounded by karst peaks and bordered on one side by the Li River , it is easily accessible by bus or by boat from nearby Guilin. Over the years, it has become popular with foreign backpackers.
  Situated in the center of Yangshuo County, West Street is the oldest street in Yangshuo with a history of more than 1,400 years. Over the last 20-some years, West Street has become a meeting place for eastern and western cultures, 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 as part of 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 traditional southern China street. It is greatly admired by foreigners for its simplistic style and courtyard-like atmosphere. There is a saying about West Street that ‘half is village while the other half is stores’.
Since being opened up to the outside world in 1978, West Street has received countless international travelers from all around the globe, and it has been reputed as the “Earth Village in China”.
  Today, the 2000-meter long street is filled with stores, bars, cafes and hotels. Nearly all the inhabitants, old and young, in the street can speak simple English, and the street is regarded as the largest foreign language corner in China.

 

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