China Guide

Li River, China – Guide to Li River Cruise

Li River

Taking a cruise on the Li River is an experience like no other which has even featured as a top watery wonder in the National Geographic. Its reputation of unprecedented beauty has seen the river hit the top must see lists around the world which has seen America’s former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton take the Li River cruise.

The River originates at Mountain Mao’er where it flows for about 437km until it meets the Xi River in Wulin. Stunning Karst peaks and hills covered with thick flora line the river’s edge while bamboo rafts float on by carrying the local fishermen.

There are many different Li River cruises to choose from covering different sections of the river. The section of river between Guilin to Ox Gorge is popular for its inclusion of fantastic peaks, Elephant Hill which personifies a cliff edge as an elephant drinking from the river, as well as Longmen village.

The next section from Ox Gorge to Water Dropping Village encompasses many unique looking peaks and some interesting tourist attractions. Wang Fu Rock and the Crown Cave are the most popular of the sights on this stretch of the river, the Crown Cave being a 12km cave that has been transformed into a tourist adventure. You can take a tour of the cave with its luminous lights and lovely scenic areas.

The last section from Water Dropping Village to Yangshuo winds through many fishing villages and fields of bamboo and willow.

The Li River with each section has something special to offer from towering sheer cliffs to plunging waterfalls, unique rock formations and fascinating caves. On a misty day, the river and surrounding mountains seem mysterious while in the sunlight you can fully appreciate the natural beauty this area contains.

The Li River is best experienced during the spring and autumn as to avoid the rain which could disturb the view while not being too hot. However taking a cruise down the river just after winter can give light to a more luscious landscape. Watch out for water buffalo that prowl the fields and all the natural, historical and cultural sites along the way. The natural sites include the Reed Flute Cave, Longsheng Hot Spring National Park, Yellow Cloth Shoal and Pagoda Hill. Other historical sites include the Tomb of Price Jingjiang, Daxu Ancient Town and the Chengyang Bridge while cultural sites include Seven Star Park, Diecai Hill, Yinshui Dong Village and Fubo Hill.