Secret Garden – Southern China
China is not an ordinary place. It is the most dynamic country that I have ever been to and one of the most exciting places that I have seen. Well, this inevitably makes such China a little challenging as well since challenge and excitement usually walk hand in hand. It is a great challenge to find a quite corner in China, it is in most cases impossible to get a cab and it is very hard to communicate with people unless you can speak Chinese (which is not the case for me). Secret Garden right outside of Yangshuo is an exception to all of this and gives you the break you may occasionally need while traveling in China: all of Secren Garden’s staff speak English, the hotel sits in a very quite corner in a rural area and you can have access to all sorts of transportation easily including a bike or a ride to the airport.
Secret Garden is located in the country side and is about thirty minutes of bike ride from Yangshuo. If you are in the Yangshuo area mainly to enjoy its beautiful nature – staying in Secret Garden may a better option for you as the town itself can quite busy and noisy. Secret Garden is nicely decorated in a Chinese style – I am actually not a fan of Chinese style decoration but I think rooms and the common areas in Secret Garden are tastefully decorated with such the right amount of the Chinese touch. The hotel has its own restaurant and you quickly make friends as there are limited number of rooms (11 in total) in the hotel and the evening activities are limited as you are in a rural area in every sense of the word with very limited outside lighting. There are both indoor and outdoor dining areas and you may “get” to use the indoor area at least once during your stay as rain in Yangshuo is not an unusual event and that’s where all the greenery comes from. I should warn you though, when it rains – it rains really hard.
Secret Garden is more expensive than the other options in Yangshuo but it is still very affordable with rates around USD 60-70 a night per room. If you choose to stay in Secret Garden, I also highly recommend that you rent a bike from one of the various renting spots in Yangshuo and enjoy the region by bike. Having a bike added so much to my stay in Southern China.