The highway from Guilin turns southward at Yangshuo and after a couple of kilometer crosses the Jingbao River. South of this river and just to the west of the highway is a limestone pinnacle with a moon-shaped hole penetrating the hill. Hence the name Moon Hill. It's one of Yangshuo's most visited sights. With an elevation of 380 meters, the hill is 230 meters in relative height and 410 meters in length. There are over 800 marble stairs leading to the cave. The stairs were completed in 1981, giving easy access to those who want to get a close view of the cave.
The cave is about 50 meters in height and width and is shaped like an archway. On a sunny day, blue sky and white clouds can be seen through the cave and on cloudy and rainy days, the "moon" is deep in mist. Viewed from different places, the moon takes on different shapes, sometimes full moon, sometimes half-moon and sometimes crescent, forming a marvelous spectacle in Yangshuo. A series of caves have been opened up not far from Moon Hill: the Black Buddha Cave, New Water Caves and Dragon Cave. If you head out to Moon Hill, you will undoubtedly be intercepted and invited to visit these other caves. Tthe villages people will always be pleased to see you and will give you a great welcome.
Climbing up to the peak of the Moon Hill Moon Hill is the most attractive and characteristic climbing spot in Yangshuo. With an elevation of 380 meters, the hill is 230 meters in relative height and 410 meters in length. The body of the hill is in northeast to southwest direction. The rock where the climbing route locates faces northwest. Here you can find fourteen bolted routes in total: eight of them are on the right rock face, two routes on the either side of the hole of the hill respectively, and the last four routes with different overhangs where the hole links to the crag.
Each route was coded in order from left side of upright rock. Route 4 and Route 6 each has two pitches. Although these routes are on the same rock face, they vary in direction, layout and size of every holds. So climbers can enjoy different challenges here. Climbing gurus may try the most difficult routes above the hole and rest on the summit enjoying the wonderful view of the whole Yangshuo. With 14 rock-climbing routes on the northwest side, Moon Hill offers sufficient challenge to both amateur and professional climbers.
Other exciting caves around the Moon Hill
A series of caves have been opened up not far from Moon Hill - the Black Buddha Cave, New Water Caves and Dragon Cave. If you head out to Moon Hill, you will undoubtedly be invited to visit these other caves.
Moon Hill Village can also be seen from Moon Hill's peak. Local villagers will offer guided tours of Moon Hill and the surrounding peaks, caves and villages for relatively reasonable prices (RMB50-100 for one day). They are quite friendly and may even offer you lunch at their home as part of the tour.
On the way to or back from Moon Hill, it is great fun to explore the nearby caves. The Black Buddha New Water Caves and the Black Dragon Caves are lots of fun for those who love a little adventure. The Black Dragon Caves tour is partly by boat and requires some wading. This expedition takes you through some great underground swimming holes so go prepared to get wet and dirty! The caves are only open in the summer and tours cost as much as RMB100, but you can bargain (especially when part of a larger group) and it is very much worth it.
Moon hill is usually part of day's sightseeing. You can ride a bicycle through smaller villages to get to Moon hill. There are several routes that you cam take to get to Moon Hill.
The original tourist route is called, "To Moon Hill the local way". This ride is nice but it is now crowded with locals selling postcards, back rubbers, tacky souvenirs or you may get a local dressed up to look like a farmer. They are just posing to try to get you to take a photo for which they will want money. Some locals put coloured ribbons on water buffalos horns to also try to get you to take photos for money. Wwe recommend that you do the bike ride late in the afternoon as many have gone home and you can avoid the hawkers.
Another route that will take you to moon hill is the "new local way". This ride is a bit longer but there are no people tring to selling you anythingon the way. This ride will give you a glimpse of the rural lifestyle. You can also take in the old village of Long tang or have lunch at the Mountain Retreat which is situated on the Yulong river and has stunning views.
If you do not have the energy for a bike ride, you can hire a motorised rickshaw to take you there. You need to negotiate the price with the driver of the rickshaw. The price will depend on the length of time you want to have access to the rickshaw.