The Hobbit Trail through the Lost World
The landscape around Yangshuo Outside Inn is spellbinding with the Yulong River snaking through the rice fields flanked by the surreal karst mountains. Even with the yearly growing number of tourists visiting, it is still very peaceful with plenty of quiet corners.
What not many people realize though, is that behind these mountains are many desolated fields and pastures, once used for farming, but now mostly left unused and therefore like a lost world, just a stone's throw away from the main river valley. Many old trails wind through these mountains and fields and if you want to get away from it all, just to be surrounded by nature, walk up on one of those many trails.
The Lost World
Just outside our village, 10 minutes walk from our Inn, such a path climbs up past some tombs to a saddle. Once you step across the saddle you will enter this "lost world" where the sounds of cultivation are suddenly gone and you only hear the birds and cicadas around you. A beautiful small valley lies ahead of you and you feel you are in a total different place. You can follow the path to the far end of the valley where it eventually seems to stop and you look down on Xiatang village. It's impossible to get down through the thick bushes on the steep slope, but just a little back there is a branch of the path on your right which first follows the slope of the mountain before it climbs to another saddle and then into a second valley. This part of the path is pretty overgrown and you have to go through your knees several times to get through a natural tunnel of bushes, but once looking down in that second valley, you know it's worth the effort. Totally locked in by the karst mountains you feel you're on a secret quest.
At the end of that second valley you get to a primitive stable where goats are kept. Just behind it is the cottage of the shepherd. Then you get into a third valley where the path eventually splits. The left trail leads to Xiatang village (this time there is a way down) and the right trail will bring you to Jiuxian village and eventually to Baisha town.