Code: GL10

Independent Li River Cruise

Guilin is one of the most popular destinations in China with stunningly beautiful natural scenery. In China a saying is that "East or west, Guilin landscape is the best".
Guilin Li River cruise
The best recommendation is to take a Li River cruise to fully appreciate the natural scenery. Journeying on the river is quite a treat either for the eyes or for the mood. Here you will see incomparable scenery with crystal clear river, various shapes of hills, and farmers and ox working in the fields. If you appreciate traditional scroll paintings you will find a reflection of them in the water.

First, let's start with buying a cruise ticket. This is quite easy; you can either buy by yourself at one of the service stops with advertisements in English and Chinese, or you can ask the hotel staff to purchase tickets for you with some additional service charge.

Please note that the service starts at 9am, you may not join the cruise immediately after buying a ticket, and therefore you must buy tickets the day before the cruise.
Cruising on the Li River, Guilin
There are two kinds of tickets available. You either pay CNY275, including a set-menu lunch or CNY285 including a buffet lunch. Generally the ships can hold about one hundred passengers.

It takes about 40 minutes by taxi from Guilin downtown area to Zhujiang Pier, which is dedicated to foreign guests. The taxi fare is around CNY100.

Usually the cruise starts from Guilin at around 9am and arrives at Yangshuo at around 2pm. There is no cruise ship available from Yangshuo back to Guilin. You can take a bus back to Guilin from Yangshuo on the same day or just stay one night at this beautiful town.
Please retain ticket as it needs to be shown when boarding the ship. A river guide is available for explanation on the ship. There are bewitchingly natural sceneries for you to enjoy and many wonderful legends for you to listen to. If you have any questions, please ask for help from the guide.
Li River Scenery in Yangshuo
If you look at a 20 Yuan note, you will see that a miniature representation called Yellow Wall Shadow. The detailed explanation will be presented later.

The Li River journey is in three parts. The first part is from Guilin to Yangdi, the second from Yangdi to Xingping, and the last section is from Xingping to Yangshuo. Now let's get this journey started!

The first section consists of various scenic spots such as Elephant Trunk Hill, Gamecock Hill, and Father & Son Rock. It is quite easy to get their names from their natural appearance. For example, the Elephant Trunk Hill looks like a giant elephant drinking water, and the Gamecock Hill looks like two cocks having a contest with each other.
The second section is the soul of Li River. The charming sights in this area include Wangfu Rock, Guanyan Rock, Banbian Du, the Carp's Image on the Rock Wall, Kowtow to Goddess of Mercy, the Eight Immortals Cross the Li River, the Nine Horses' Images on the Mountain, the Reflections of the Green Peaks and the Charming Landscape of Xingping. Beautiful and impressive fairy tales endow those sceneries.
For example, Wangfu Rock is the symbol of the pure love of a wife to her husband. This couple was stranded on the bank of the river and almost starved to death. So the husband climbed to the top of the mountain to check whether there were any other boats that can take them back. Unfortunately he fell down from the mountain and died. When the wife found this, she killed herself next to her husband. Their bodies became stones and one of the stones is always staring at the other. Here comes the name of this spot.
The Nine Horses' Images on the Mountain is the expression of stunning beauty. It was told that nine heavenly horses secretly slipped to Xingping, attracted by its beauty. They lingered on without any thought of getting back, so the lord of heaven sent another fairy to look for them. In order to avoid this, the nine horses went into the mountain forever, making this beautiful scenery. Visitors are happy to see if they can count nine horses while cruising.
There is a similar beautiful story about the Yellow Wall Shadow. It was said that the lord of heaven has seven beautiful daughters. These girls were attracted by the picturesque scenery and had themselves turned into mountains. When the weather is fine, you can see the shadows of these beautiful mountains clearly. The wall color is yellow and when it is reflected in the water, it seems as if there is a wide yellow cloth covering the bottom of the water, which is quite gorgeous.
Beautiful rural scenery of Yangshuo
Guanyan Rock is about a magic hat conquering an evil dragon. The entrance of the cave is the mouth of the dragon. This cave is famous for the gorgeous Karst landscape.

You will also see one of the mountains as the portrait of the Goddess of Mercy at a distance, the image of one carp on the mountain and so on.

The last portion of the river is famous for the combined harmonious beauty of rural life and nature, especially in Xingping. You will see green mountains, bamboo rafts, dense forests, small fishing villages, orchards and cormorant fishing. If you take a cruise in summer, you may frequently see the farmers working in the farmland and buffalo drinking water at the riverside.

Words are not enough to fully present its beauty, so we hope you will have a chance to experience it for yourself.
The ship will stop at Yangshuo. After disembarking, we suggest you wander along the famous West Street, which has a history of more than 1,400 years. Shops sell local items covered with strong native features at a reasonable price. Cafes and western style bars line the street. People here are honest, very nice, and some of them speak English quite well, so communication will not be a problem. It is a perfect mix of western and oriental culture!
You may choose to stay overnight in Yangshuo so that you can have more time to appreciate this breathtaking natural countryside scenery. Actually it is quite easy to rent a bicycle either from hotels or stalls along the streets. You can ride to visit Moon Hill, the Big Banyan Tree and some other famous scenic spots there more freely at your own pace.
If you prefer to get back to Guilin on the same day, there are buses available from Yangshuo bus station every 15 minutes, starting from 08:00 in the morning and ending at 18:00. The fare is CNY20. It is quite easy to find your way to Yangshuo bus station. The locals are happy to help if you need.
 More Related Tours:
Yangshuo Bicycle Routes: Biking along Ten-Mile Gallery.
One-Day Tour to Rural Area: Li River cruise from Yangdi to Xingping, Xingping Town, Silver Cave, West Street.
Yingxi Mountain Forest: 2 days, Feixia scenic spot, Yingxi Mountain Forest, The Third Tribe Ancient Yao House.