Landscape from Moon Hill 1999. (Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn) Connecting Yangshuo with the Li River, West Street has existed in different forms for over 1,400 years. The Li is part of a waterway network that through history allowed a connection from the Yangzi right down south to the Pearl River Delta. The rivers were the principal means of movement through this vast area. Yangshuo, the first town of any size after Guilin, served an extensive hinterland by mule tracks or local rivers connecting with the Li. Commercial businesses associated with this trade had developed along West Street, transforming themselves into cafes, bars, guesthouses and tourist shops as the town’s economy shifted focus, particularly over the past two decades.For me, the fun of Yangshuo was simply grabbing my camera, jumping on a hired mountain bike before heading out to a pavement cafe on West Street for a leisurely breakfast. Most days I would set off in different directions to discover the wealth of spectacular countryside beyond the small urban core. Turning off main highways, I would quickly find myself alone in a world of rice cultivation, where villages literally clung to the base of circular conical peaks. Trees amazingly grew from almost vertical rocky slopes. Midsummer was hot and I would frequently stop, dismount from the cycle and sit by the track while watching hard, exhaustive work going on in the paddy fields.