Li River is what makes Guilin one of the most famous and attractive tourist destination and is considered to be a pure river with clear water due to its self cleansing ability. The uniqueness of the Li River is felt not only due to its crystal clear water where one can see the bottom of the river but from the grandiose natural surrounding that includes karst peaks, rice paddies, old villages on the shore and bamboo groves.
It is well known that the region between Yangdi to Xingping town is by far the most spectacular region in the river as the scenic beauty and the lavish greenery can be best experienced the best. Therefore, rather than taking a Li river cruise a tourist can also opt for Bamboo boat cruise. This activity is comparatively longer by 2-3 hours than the previous one but if one is looking for a side time for a two-some or wants to be aloof and experience the calm and tranquility of Li River, bamboo boat cruises is the best option.
One thing that a tourist should keep in mind is that the bamboo boat cruises are not allowed to take passengers back to the starting point. This makes it an awesome opportunity to have a peaceful walk along the river bank on the way back and also experience the typical lifestyle of the local and have look around the old houses built by Song dynasty. Another advice for the tourist is that these trips need to be arranged in advance and could change at any time. Cruise starts in the morning from the Bamboo Wharf just outside of Guilin around sunrise. This is also considered to be the most suitable time to cruise around the river as day to day activities starts to begin in the river afterwards thereby making it crowded.
Available River tours and Cruises:
- Yangti to Xingping
Trip takes around 1.5-2 hours. It’s downstream on the river, more peaceful and a good option for taking pictures. The best way to enjoy the Li River.
- Xingping to Yangti
It will take around 2 hours. It’s upstream, requires a motorized bamboo boat. Might a little bit noisy. It’s a cheaper option if you can’t do it as part of a guided tour.
- Xingping — 9 Horses mountain — Xingping
Round trip. It will take around 70 minutes. You can enjoy the view of the 20 Yuan bill and many nice Karst mountains along the river. But this part of the Li river is always a little bit crowded as a lot of tourists (Chinese groups) arrange trips on this part of the river. (Price a little bit cheaper than the Yangti to Xingping.)
- Xinggong Hill — Li River — Xingping — Xinggong Hill
It’s a round trip on the Li river, that takes around 1.5 hours. Nice scenery of the river includes the view of the 20 Yuan bill in Xingping. You will go through a nice local path and less touristic road to the Xianggong Hill and climb to the top of the hill for an amazing view, visit the Tea Farm and visit the Ancient Stone village on the way as well. You can spend a whole day to do this day trip if you like more the countryside and the mountains. (Ask me for help! You need me to guide you for this.)
- Yangshuo — Fuli — Yangshuo
It is a different location on the Li River. It’s south of Yangshuo and close to the town. You can walk from town to get on the boat. It will take around 70 minutes. But this part of the river is also a little bit crowded because of the Chinese tourists and there are less mountains along the way. To do this trip, you need to choose a good time. Noon time or late afternoon.
- Yangshuo — Fuli — LiuGong village — Yangshuo
It will take around 2.5-3 hours for the round trip. From Fuli to LiuGong village it is less touristic (more peaceful). But there are very few mountains along the way. But the Ancient LiuGong village is very nice and interesting to walk around. The nice option for this trip is : You can take the bike with you on the boat, from Yangshuo to Liugong village, then enjoy the village and finally cycme back to Yangshuo. The riverside scenery along the way back is very beautiful.
- Guilin — Yangshuo
It will take around 4.5 – 5 hours. You will need to join with a boat of more than 100 people. You’ll need to spend the night in Guilin, because the boat starts early in the morning like 8:30am and 9:30am from Guilin. It’s a little bit expensive for this trip and touristic.