The Li River is one of the top sights on any journey through southern China and understandably so, with it’s iconic landscape of stunning karst peaks and a calm river flowing through them. The scene is even captured on the back of the 20 Yuan note. Located near the city of Guilin and running to the town of Yangshuo, a trip down the Li River on a bamboo raft is something to check off any bucket list.
The river springs from the Mao’er Mountains and flows south to Guilin and eventually down to Yangshuo. A typical Li River cruise lasts approximately five hours, but shorter trips are also available depending on each traveler’s preference.
The main section of the Li River is around 83 kilometers (52 miles). The journey usually begins at the Liberation Bridge in downtown Guilin and departs at 9:30 a.m and arriving in Yangshuo around 2 p.m, leaving plenty of time to explore some Yangshuo sightsÂ and shopping on the West Street. Hotel pick-up can be arranged for 8 or 8:30 and an overnight stay in Guilin is usually required. Some cruises also begin about an hours drive from Guilin at the Bamboo River or Millstone Hill Dock at the most scenic part of the Li River.
The first section of the Li River includes the Elephant Trunk Hill, Pagoda Hill with a pagoda dating back to the Ming Dynasty, the Ox Gorge and Daxu Ancient Town. The middle stretch between Xingping and Yangdi can be done by electric raft as opposed to cruise ship. This doesn’t provide any shelter from sun or rain. The small cruise ship option is seemingly more pleasant and the vastness of the mountains remains despite a larger ship. Different cruise ships are available to traveler’s according to size and class.
Our guides will point you in the right direction of an authentic Li River tour with no tourist traps and shops but only beautiful scenery and a peaceful ride down the river. U China Travel will work hard to provide any traveler with the best option available, catering to each individual’s needs.