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Xi Jie, once a backpacker's dream with its cheap hostels and guesthouses, has grown steadily but improved little over the last 5 years. While there are always new places opening, often they show little imagination and close quite quickly again. We suggest avoiding the larger hotels along Pantao Lu -- such as the monstrous, overpriced New West Street Hotel, Xin Xi Jie Dajiudian (tel. 0773/881-8888) -- and find something more on a human scale, just on the outskirts of the town, or better yet, well outside. Some seriously offensive price gouging occurs during holidays and peak periods (summer), when rooms can cost up to four times the usual price.

Yangshuo has been in a constant state of flux for some 10 years, and some complain that the town has become crass and over-commercialized. Go to Mountain Retreat if you are looking to escape the town scene.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.