The Li River winding its way through the Karst peaks is one of the most iconic images of China. Any visitor to the Guilin/Yangshuo region will visit the Li River during their stay here.
There are several ways that you can experience this beautiful watercourse.
On A Cruise
Cruises depart each morning from the boat docks just outside of Guilin. The cruise goes past the towns of Yangdi and Xingping before arriving in Yangshuo in the early afternoon. These cruises include a simple lunch and have on observation deeck on the top of the boat.
The best way to book these cruises is at your Guilin hotel or any Guilin travel agency. You can also have these arranged by a Yangshuo hotel or as part of a complete tour through any good Yangshuo agency or tour guide.
On A Raft
You can do the following motorised raft trips:-
- Yangdi to Xingping. By far the best raft trip on the Li River.
- Yangdi to Nine Horse Fresco Hill. A shorter version of the Yangdi to Xingping trip. An option for those on a budget
- Xingping to Nine Horse Fresco Hill. Another excellent short cruise
- Short trips out of Xingping. Good for those who just want to see the spot depicted on the back of the 20 Yuan bank note.
- Yangshuo to Fuli. A popular option for the domestic tour group market.
You can walk between Xingping and Yangdi. The hike takes about 5 hours and you get to walk through small villages, rice fields as well as along the banks of the Li River. This is a really beautiful hike.
To do this hike, just go to Xingping, and walk upstream (North), follow the Li River as much as you can and once the path ends at the river, take the local ferry across. Keep doing the same until you run out of path again and you will need to find (or they will find you) a farmer with a bamboo raft to take you across the river. Finally you will come to the end of the hike once you reach the Li River at Yangdi. You will need to cross the Li River to reach Yangdi. You can explore Yangdi before jumping on a local bus to Yangshuo.
On A Bike Ride
Yangshuo to Liugong is our favourite ride along the Li River. This ride takes you past the entrance to the Liu San Jie Sound and Light show. You then go through small villages like Mushan and end up at the scenic old village of Liugong which is intersting for being comprised of many old homes. After visiting Liugong, you can ride back the same way or contibue a circuler route through other small villages to Moon Hill and then back to Yangshuo.
The Yangshuo Li River Resort is a great place to stay and take in this beautiful scenery.