A visit to the Moon Hill should form an indispensable part of any Yangshuo tours. It is located 8 km away from the downtown Yangshuo County and just 1 km away from the legendary Banyan Tree. The hill, a miracle in nature, is a large piece of rock with a hole in its centre.
It measures 380 m in height, 410 m in length and 22 m in width and resembles the various phases of the moon from crescent to a beautiful full moon from various angles. A formidable flight of 8oo steep marble stairs needs to be climbed before reaching the top. But once there, the breathtaking beauty that unfolds all around not only compensates but justifies the effort.
People from times immemorial have woven hundreds of tales around the moon. One of them is the belief that there is a Guanghan Palace on the moon where Chang'e, the Jade Rabbit, and Wu Gang the woodcutter live. And, these ‘beings’ can be seen from the earth whenever they make appearances on the surface. Many visitors to this Moon Hill think that various portions of the formation resemble these lunar residents.
The view from the hilltop is one of the most breathtaking that anyone will ever get of the surrounding area. The beauty of the picturesque locale (which the people of the region call 'Ten-li Gallery') with rolling greens and paddy field gets a new dimension when seen from the summit. Fascinating stories of this Gallery even attracted the former US President Jimmy Carter to the place. He was so enthralled by the scenery that he decided to take a bicycle ride around instead of a car. Mountain rocks of various shapes can also be found in this area. It is said that if you have been to Yangshuo and not visited the Moon Hill, you have not seen it all.
The local government constructed a bicycle path in 1995 for the visitors to enjoy the natural scenery on their way to the hill. There are various natural formations to be witnessed along this path. These are not only astounding in their beauty but have various interesting names on the basis of their shapes such as the Flaming Mountain, Heavenly Horse Galloping in the Sky, Golden Cat Comes Out of the Hole, the Emperor Qin Shihuang Goes to the Front and the Beauty Makes Up.
Solo Adventure Tips:
Around 8 km away from downtown Yangshuo.
How to Get There?
Bus: Minibuses from Yangshuo's bus terminal would take you to Goatian. Climbers should look for these buses which leave every 15 minutes and can be found at the end of the row. You will just have to tell the driver ‘Moon Hill’ and he will stop at the destination. The ride would cost around 3 RMB each way. It is useful to carry small bills or exact change. On your way back just wait for the bus where you had been dropped off.
Bike: Riding from Yangshuo to the Moon Hill takes about 30 mins. Several places along the main street offer rentals for anything between CNY 10 and CNY 30. The rates, however, tend to be more during the peak season and such holidays as the May Day (May 1-3) and the National Day (October 1-7). It is a good idea to check the brakes and the gears before setting off
The Moon Hill rock face is ideal for rock climbing. On the rock face remain routes left by the top climbers. Several rock climbing clubs in Yangshuo offer rock climbing tours to the area.