Li River, Guilin

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Guilin can be regarded as 'Paradise on Earth' in view of its fascinating natural beauty. It is famous for its picturesque Karst landscape, which the Li River cruise highlights. A leisurely trip through the countryside of Yangshuo adds a different flavor. From cruising to hiking, our private Guilin tours offer clients the possibility to travel in a variety of ways.
How to plan my Guilin trip?
3 Days
Li River Cruise & Guilin City

4-5 Days
+Yangshuo Countryside
+Rice Terraces in Longsheng
+Daxu Ancient Town

6 Days or more
+More time in Yangshuo
+Extension to Sanjiang

Best Guilin Tours

Tailor Your Guilin Private Tour

Guilin Tour Planning

When is the best time to visit Guilin?

In general, Guilin is a good place for a vacation in all seasons as its year-round average temperature is 19 C (66 F).

Best time to visit the area: April to October. In this timeframe, the charming scenery of green hills and clear waters are most impressive for visitors.

Travel from November to March the next year: The tour prices are cheaper. At the same time, one can enjoy sightseeing without interference by massive crowds.

Time to avoid: Try to steer clear of the Chinese National Day Holiday from October 1st to 7th, when people are hustling and bustling everywhere.

Will my guide be with me on the cruise ship? What is the luggage arrangement?

Yes, in your private tour packages your guide will escort you on the Li River cruise journey. He/she will tell you interesting descriptive names and legendary stories of those major attractions along the river when on board. Let your imagination merge with the guide's explanation. You will find the mystical peaks become lifelike.

If you are scheduled to stay overnight in Yangshuo, your luggage will be delivered to Yangshuo by your driver who goes to Yangshuo overland.

What kind of boat will we take for the Li River Cruise tour?

There are both 3-star and 4-star boats available for the Li River Cruise tour. We usually recommend the 3-star boat since it is favored by the majority. But if you are interested in the 4-star boat, we are also ready to book it for you. Below are key features of the two kinds of boats.

The 3-star boat has a capacity of 98-110 people. All the seats are priced the same reasonably, and the ticket fee includes a simple lunch box with free tea. As you will spend most of the time sightseeing on the top deck of the boat, we believe the 3-star one is quite adequate for a short 4-hour journey.

The 4-star boat has a capacity of 75-80 people with a bit more spacious seats. The ticket price varies according to the seats, which is about USD30 to USD50 per person higher than that of the 3-star. A Chinese buffet lunch is served. Clients who demand for better facilities may consider this kind of boat.

Can I take a bamboo raft on the Li River?

Frankly speaking, we do not recommend the Li River bamboo rafting to our clients in Guilin itinerary for the following reasons.

First of all, the bamboo rafts are not operated under standardized management, so the service of the boatmen cannot be guaranteed. Secondly, the raft is not poled by the boatman in the traditional way, but driven by an outboard motor, which is a bit noisy. Thirdly, it is usually quite small, without a restroom, not to mention food, drinks or air-conditioning on board. Fourthly, when the weather is not good, the bamboo rafting is easily subject to cancellation at very short notice. Therefore, we suggest you take the river cruise instead of bamboo rafting for a smooth and safe trip.

Can I apply for the 72-hour visa-free or 144-hour visa-free transit for a Guilin tour?

Yes, you can apply for the 72-hour visa-free transit for a basic Guilin tour as long as you are qualified to the relevant prerequisites. You can click here to read more details.

Tour groups from 10 ASEAN countries can be granted a visa-free stay up to 144 hours. They should be received at Guilin Liangjiang Airport by local travel agencies. During the six days, all members cannot leave the city. In addition, tour groups using this visa exemption policy shall exit from Liangjiang Airport only.

When is the best time to visit the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces?

Generally speaking, May, June, September and October are the best months to visit the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces.

From May to June, you can see the terraced fields filled with water glistening like mirrors in the sunlight, and see traditional farmers busily transplanting rice seedlings.

When the autumn harvest season comes in end of September and the beginning of October, everywhere you look are terraces with golden rice undulating in the breeze. As it is too crowded during the National Holiday, the end of September is considered to be the best time to visit the rice terraces.

In other months of the year, the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces still offer spectacular scenery and unique ethnic customs.

Can I stay overnight in Longsheng to explore the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces in more depth? How are accommodations there?

Yes, you are able to stay overnight at Ping'an Zhuang Village in Longsheng. Since it is in the mountainous area, there are mainly guesthouses with basic necessities for travelers. We usually book the well-regarded Ping An Guesthouse for clients. For those looking for better accommodations, the only luxury boutique Li An Lodge can meet your requirements, but its room rate is a bit higher.
  • Customer Reviews
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    4.863 Reviews
    Posted on November 25, 2019
    Tour guide Rose was highly recommended! With the guide Rose, we had a great time in Guilin and our heart was full of happiness and joy. She was very considerate almost in every aspect, especially about meals and accommodation. What we ate and where we stayed satisfied us a lot. When we visited a place, we had a chance to taste delicious local food. On the way to Villages of Zhuang Minority, our guide Rose told us about national minorities’ customs which made us know more about Chinese national minorities. The wonderful introduction from Rose kept tiredness away from me. I was so lucky to be accompanied by her on the whole trip. Surely, we also visited Rice Terraces, Villages of Zhuang Minority, Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park, and Elephant Trunk Hill. I would express my sincere gratitude to her! ... More
    Craig Bell
    Posted on November 21, 2019
    Our tour operator Samantha and Driver were fantastic going the extra mile to make our wonderful stay even better. Samantha was very knowledgeable and imparted just the right amount of history etc to make the tour informative but not like a lecture.
    The accommodation was first class and met all our needs. The tour covered all the highlights of beautiful Guilin the highlight being the boat trip down the Li river.
    Jam Myers
    Posted on November 11, 2019
    It was such an amazing trip. We had visited all the famous sights, such as Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park and Elephant Trunk Hill. Words couldn’t describe their grand sights. It was well worth visiting. Guilin 3 days tour gave us a chance to explore the city deeply. The small rain added cool to our travelling experience instead of bad mood. Besides these, our guide Rose had much experience and she was considerate. Her profession and accountability made our happy trip possible. I would express my sincere appreciation to her! ... More
    shee soon chiew
    Posted on November 06, 2019
    Helpful, responsive and resourceful. "Keep up the good work, Kelly!!"
    Arlene Jouni
    Posted on November 01, 2019
    We took a 4 day private tour of Guilin, Longsheng and Li River Cruise with Frank. Frank was an exceptional guide whose knowledge, attentiveness, friendliness and enthusiasm made for an unforgettable experience. We couldn’t have had a better time. Frank was always checking with us to make sure we saw what we had hoped to see and were enjoying our time. Frank’s vast knowledge of the culture and history of the places we visited gave us an insight into Chinese life and Chinese people. We highly recommend Frank for all your tours. This was 5 star service from beginning to end. ... More
    Posted on October 28, 2019
    We were so lucky to meet a responsible tour guide Effie. During the Guilin & Yangshuo 4 days tour, she handled visitors’ troubles patiently and kindly. We visited all the sights referred in the routine, including Fubo Hill, Seven Star Park, Reed Flute Cave and Elephant Trunk Hill. What impressed me most was Seven Star Park. And, with our tour guide help, we avoided some unnecessary things, such as high-peak queuing.
    Posted on October 14, 2019
    It was the second time for me to have a trip to Guilin but it was the first time to meet my tour guide Shirley. The feeling towards Guilin was different from the first time. Maybe the tour guide Shirley made my trip more different. Shirley was a beautiful girl. The adjective words, such as considerate, responsible and generous, could not show her good characters more. She could help us settle any question patiently. In addition, she took many great photos for us. With her company, our Guilin 3 days tour became more and more interesting. She guided us to visit many famous spots, including Reed Flute Cave, Li River, Dragon's Backbone, and Rice Terraces field. They were all splendid. Thank her for giving us a wonderful trip. ... More
    Posted on September 28, 2019
    It was a real challenge for me to take my baby to take part in Guilin 3 days tour. But TravelChinaGuide didn’t let me down. My baby and I were so lucky to join Jenney’s group and she gave us lots of help and care during the tour. During these days, our tour guide showed us around in Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park and Elephant Trunk Hill. I saw them with my own eyes instead of pictures. They were great. She was a lovely, responsible and humorous girl and our trip was filled with happiness because she was here. In short, TravelChinaGuide was well worth recommending. Our Guilin 3 days tour was colorful. ... More
    Judit Richards
    Posted on September 15, 2019
    I would say that I chose the best travel agency—TravelChinaGuide and the best tour guide Effie. Our guide Effie designed a classic itinerary for us---the Yangshuo 2 days tour, which perfectly matched our timetable. On the one hand, we enjoyed the beautiful sights; on the other hand, Guilin was permanently printed in our head as well as Effie’s smiling face. The sightseeing spots, including Li River, Yulong River, Fuli Town, Moon Hill, and Big Banyan Tree, were covered. With the narration of the tour guide, we felt their beauty in deep. I would expect my second tour to Guilin guided by Effie! ... More
    Stephen Kim
    United States
    Posted on September 08, 2019
    Our tour guide Jenny was enthusiastic and friendly. When we first met, she left a deep impression on us. Though the Guilin 4 days tour itinerary with Longsheng and Yangshuo, we knew each other better. She was so charming in all aspects. Seven Star Park became more lovely and interesting in her introduction. Guilin was worth visiting and I wanted to go there again.
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