Boats on Li River at Nine Horse Hill
The Li River is one of the most beautiful rivers in China. It boasts the most picturesque and largest karst mountain scenic areas in the world. Originating in the Mao'er Mountains in Xing'an County, the Li River passes through Guilin, Yangdi, Xingping, Yangshuo, and Pingle Counties. Traveling down the river, a green silk band entwined among thousands of peaks, is like being transported into a beautiful Chinese painting or reading an old lyric poem. The scenery is GORGEOUS. There are two great boating options to visit the best parts of the Li River. One is from Yangdi to Xingping; the other is from Yangshuo downstream to Liugong Village.
Rafting on the Yulong River with bamboo rafts
Yulong River is also called Dragon River. It is the largest tributary of the Li River in Yangshuo county and is often called the "mini Li river" by the locals. Yulong river is about 43km long, 38m to 61m wide. It is very quiet and peaceful and offers crystal reflections of green bamboos and unique karst mountains from both banks.
Along the Yulong River are many trails great for either cycling or hiking. Bamboo rafting is also a great way to explore the scenic spots and enjoy the peaceful Yulong River. The Yulong has its own spectacular scenery, different from but not inferior to the Li River. It's a great place to see rural China and the lifestyle of local people.
Dragon Bridge on Yulong River
More than 600 years old, this Ming Dynasty bridge is the oldest stone arch bridge in Guangxi province. It is 60 meters long, 5 meters wide, 9 meters high, and has a span of 18 meters. It was built with only loose stones -- no concrete or mortar. It is a unique arched stone bridge in a beautiful setting on the Yulong River. It is also a good location for bamboo rafting. There are several ways you can reach the bridge, by bike, motorbike, or car. Along the way you will pass many small villages and rice paddies. The views are really amazing.
Moon Hill is a beautiful representation of limestone karst topography. It is a very popular spot in Yangshuo, lying just 8 kilometers from the center of Yangshuo. The name Moon Hill comes from a huge stone arch near the top of the peak, which looks like an enormous bright moon. As you approach from different angles you can see the moon appear to change phases.
You can walk up Moon Hill and have a great view of the surrounding river valley, mountains, and rice paddies. 800 steps lead up to the hilltop, taking about 1 hour. The landscape is spectacular.
Yangshuo has fantastic caves: Golden Water Cave, Dragon Cave, and Silver Cave are among the most famous. Inside the caves you will see stalagmites, stalactites, stone columns, stone curtains, stone pillars, and stone flowers. Electric lights are carefully placed to present even more fabulous views of the rock formations.
If you would like a more adventurous tour, viewing a cave in its natural setting, we recommend Dragon Water Cave. Silver Cave offers perhaps the best tour for most tastes.
Elephant Trunk Hill
Elephant Trunk Hill
Elephant Trunk Hill is a landmark site in Guilin. It’s located at the intersection of the Li River and Peach Blossom River. Its sits 220 meters above sea level and is 55 meters high. The hill got its name because it looks like a huge Elephant drawing water from the Li River into its long trunk. There are not only many spectacular natural scenes around the hill, but also some ancient architectural features, such as Puxian Pagoda, Yunfeng Temple, and Love Island. It’s a memorable spot to take photos and offers views of two rivers and three mountains.
Fubo Hill is located on the west bank of the Li River. It stands 213 meters above sea level and 62 meters above the river. Because of its location and height, the hill is considered to have the power of subduing waves. It was on this hill that a temple in commemoration of General Fubo was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), which gave rise to the name Wave-Subduing Hill. Fubo Hill offers the opportunity to explore natural scenery, a cloister and pavilions, Pearl-Returning Cave, the Thousand-Buddha Cave and the Sword-Testing Rock. By climbing the stone stairs to the top of the hill, you can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city of Guilin.
The Sun and Moon Pagodas on Fir Lake at night
Two Rivers and Four Lakes Night Cruise
The Two Rivers and Four Lakes are located in downtown Guilin. The two rivers are Li River and Peach Blossom River. The four lakes are Fir Lake (Shahu), Banyan Lake (Ronghu), Guihu Lake (Osmanthus Lake) and Wood Dragon Lake (Mulong Lake). They were originally the ancient city moat in the Song Dynasty. The Four lakes were connected to each other and to Lijiang River and Peach Blossom River in a waterway transportation system around Guilin. Nowadays the Two Rivers and Four Lakes Night Cruise brings together Guilin's most beautiful scenic areas. It has become an unmissable activity for domestic or foreign tourists.
The Four Lakes are surrounded by thriving plants and blooming flowers, ancient bridges and pavilions, beautiful pagodas, unique stone carvings, and statues around the lakes. It offers a very good ecological environment for local people and tourists alike to relax.
Fir Lake is famous for its twin pagodas, the Sun and Moon Pagodas. The Sun Pagoda is made of bronze and stands 41 meters high with 9 stories. It is regarded as the tallest bronze pagoda in the world. The Moon Pagoda is made of colored glazed tiles and stands 35 meters high with 7 stories. Together, the Sun and Moon Pagodas are regarded as the symbol of Guilin.
There are two ways to enjoy this splendid water system: walking and taking a night cruise are both highly recommended. The evening brings many different kinds of beautiful lights to reflect in the water. The night cruise offers views of the local Guilin opera, dancing, fountains, and folk singing. The lights make the two rivers and four lakes look even more beautiful and colorful. For these views, the night cruise is essential: they cannot be seen by people who just walk around the scenic area. The cruise will give you a deep impression of Guilin.