Xianrentai is without a doubt my favourite viewpoint in Yangshuo. It's the best view I've come across in my lifetime.
Everything aligns perfectly for this viewpoint, which is perched on the edge of a cliffside.
Between you and the Li River, 400 meters below, is a sheer vertical drop off. It's so vertical that the sides of Xianrentai viewpoint cannot be seen whilst stood upon it.
In Chinese, Xianren（仙人）is a celestial deity and tai (台) here means a stage or a pedestal. There is no direct translation. Fairy Stage is the name given by some, but I don't think this accurately represents the magnitude of the beauty on offer here. Perhaps Fairyland pedestal? Even this doesn't quite ring true.
One thing is certain. It is a viewpoint fit for the gods. A throne-like no other, from which to appreciate the glory on display.
It has to be seen to be believed and of all the places on this website, this is the destination I would most recommend.
It's a view to win hearts, change minds, end conflicts and create peace. If looking out from this viewpoint doesn't move you, nothing will.
When I came to China, I set out to find views like this one. I knew they were out there. We all have the potential to experience incredible things. This spot is nature in perfect harmony.
Left and right, as far as the eye can see, mountains stretch ever on. One after the other. Layer upon layer.
Each is unique, but together they are one. Like a wolfpack howling at the sun, they raise their heads in unison. Gazes fixed eternally towards the sky.
Words & Photography: Scott Norris (@radventuresofficial) // Summer 2019
The approach to Xianrentai can begin from two points.
The first is a layby and abandoned viewpoint on the way to Husband Mountain (相公山). You will need a scooter and be able to navigate confidently to reach this point as it is a long way out of Yangshuo town.
The second is a pathway behind the Husband Mountain (相公山) car park. Tour operators and taxi drivers are all familiar with Husband Mountain (相公山 - pronounced shian gong shan in Chinese).
If approaching from Husband Mountain, locate the trail behind the car park.
Follow the trail for less than a kilometer. Look out for a small dirt trail on your left leading downwards. If you reach a fork (the left descending and the right going upwards), you've gone too far. (skip to direction no.6)
If approaching from the abandoned viewpoint, follow the track as it winds down.
Exit the track and pass alongside an old house. At the t-junction turn left.
Views open up on the right and then you are returned on to a forested track. Look out for a small dirt path on your right leading downwards.
Once you've found the dirt trail leading downwards, follow it to the bottom of the valley where the path then begins climbing.
You will soon come to a section where you must scramble vertically up a rockface. The scramble is easy, but take care as there aren't many who know about this path!
The way then passes through a bamboo thicket and along a cliffside pass which leads to Xianrentai viewpoint.
Retrace your steps to your chosen starting point.