A former market town on the Yong River (邕江, Yōng Jiāng), Yangmei was founded a millennium ago and flourished in the 17th century, earning the nickname 'Little Nanning'. Spend a couple of hours wandering the cobbled streets, munching on fried fish (from ¥4), steamed rice rolls (¥4) and local starfruit (¥5 per catty) as you walk. The pace is slow and you’re free to peep into the designated Ming and Qing dynasty homes.

For lunch head to the boats moored on the riverfront that cook up local fish in a setting that offers a distinct Southeast Asian flavour.

Most of Yangmei's early inhabitants were migrants from Shandong, with a small percentage from Guangdong. Hybridity is reflected in its buildings, which feature both the sturdy solemnity of Shandong vernacular architecture, and the penchant for embellishment of the softer southern style.

Buses for Yangmei leave from West Bus Station near the corner of Daxue Lu (大学路) and Luban Lu (鲁班路) in the northeast of town; take metro Line 1. Departures and returns are from 8.30am to 6pm (¥17, two hours, every 50 minutes). The last bus back from Yangmei leaves at 4pm, but can get packed so arrive early for a seat.

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