This region became part of the Imperial China when Qin dynasty (221-206 BC) defeated the State of Nanyue in Guangdong, but until the Jin Dynasty (265-420AD) there was not administrative units in Yangshuo County. So generally, the history of Yangshuo as an administrative center begins with Jin Dynasty. However, during the Sui Dynasty in 590, the county seat was moved to its today’s location, the town of Yangshuo, from the original one. Yangshuo region was in the line of some of the most important roads, and with the fertile valleys, it was used for economic prosperity. Over the centuries, Yangshuo was largely overshadowed by the much bigger nearby Guilin, so the greater political events did not affect it directly. During the history, it remained little town, surrounded by beautiful nature and developed agriculture. Until 1949, Yangshuo County was under the jurisdiction of the Guilin, when it was allowed to build its own government out of local people. It lasted up to 1981, when Yangshuo County was again put back into the administrative control of Guilin.
With its rich and diverse history that lasts for around 1400 years, this region has its characteristic and traditional culture. It include a lot of different ethnic groups, which make this region so diverse and interesting. Some of those minority groups in the region are Yao, Hui, and Zhuang; and they all have specific festivals, food, fashion and other things that make them unique and different. Architecture of the buildings is also quite typical and the cultural influence is obvious even by looking at them. Souvenirs also hold a lot of tradition, and they are quite appealing to tourists. Among other traditional things, some of the most interesting and most famous are drum, dragon and lion dance, Cai Diao opera, ancient bridges and other architecture and cultural landmarks.
Yangshuo County today covers an area of 1,428 square km and has 20,000 hectares of land used for agriculture. It is one of the most important tourist destination, and especially appealing for bikers and climbers, due to many biking trails and possibilities for rock climbing. Regarding tourism, 80s are probably the most significant years for Yangshuo, since during these years the tourist development of the area started, with more and more tourists that were to enjoy the beautiful nature of Yangshuo, that today it is already a serious economic sector in this area. In addition to economic development, it is important to mention that agriculture is also a significant factor in the local economy. The most famous West Street in Yangshuo is as old as the town itself, and that its significance did not change during the history, while back than it had few shops, today it is the main streets with restaurants and markets. Yangshuo is one of the first counties to be marked as a national tourism area, and around 1.5 million tourists come to Yangshuo every year, to experience marvelous things it offers.