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Li River

Li River, Guilin

Li River, as one of the most popular attractions in China can be found on every travel itinerary of Guilin. Starting from Mao' er Mountain, which is located to the north of Guilin, the river winds its way for over 430 kilometers (267 miles). The 83-kilometer (52 mile) waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo with its various karst peaks could almost be a painting. Green mountains, rural villages, verdant bamboos and water buffalos patrolling the riverside create a stunning landscape. Each bend of the river brings travelers an astonishing view; as such you might find you run out of film. A river cruise is a must for every traveler who comes to Guilin.

The cruise can be divided into three sections.

 Starting section: Guilin to Ox Gorge

Daxu Town along Li River, GuilinThe Li River cruise starts from the Elephant Trunk Hill in the city area of Guilin. The main sightseeing spots in the first section from Guilin to Ox Gorge include Elephant Trunk Hill, Pagoda Hill, Goose-Fighting Hill, Tunnel Hill, Mill Hill and Daxu Town.

Pagoda Hill
Pagoda Hill is situated on the eastern bank of the Li River with a seven-storied brick pagoda on the top, hence the name. There are a collection of Buddha statues enshrined in the pagoda. The pagoda on the hill, with the moon-like cave on Chuanshan (Tunnel Hill) and the water-moon cave on the Elephant Trunk Hill on the opposite bank form a spectacular scene of 'Mountain, Moon and Pagoda'.

Li River Cruise, Guilin

Daxu Town
About 18 kilometers (11 miles) downstream to the southeast of Guilin City, there is an ancient town on the northern bank of the Li River, called Daxu. A residential center with a significant population was formed here in the Han Dynasty (221 B.C - 220 A.D.) and in the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127), it developed into a flourishing trading center in the country and later became one of the four famous cities in today's Guangxi Province in the Ming (1368 - 1644) period.

Walking along the one kilometer (3,280 feet) long bluestone road on the riverbank, you can find an array of well-preserved traditional courtyard buildings flanking the road. At present, most of the buildings houses stores and restaurants. The pebble-paved street and old stone bridges in the town tell the stories of the vicissitude of the town. A single-arched bridge in the town, named Wanshou Bridge (Longevity Bridge) is an old construction from the Ming (1368 - 1644) period.

 Middle Section: Ox Gorge to Water-Dropping Village

  Last Section: Water-Dropping Village to Yangshuo

Famous attractions along the river include Mural Hill, Crown Cave, Half-Side Ferry, Yellow Cloth Shoal and Xingping's Landscape.

A drive from the city area to the river dock is about 40 minutes. There are two docks: Mopanshan Dock for domestic guests and Zhujiang Dock for foreigners. The cruise lasts between five and six hours. The on-board dining facilities serve Chinese dishes.

 Recommended China Tour with Guilin Li River
4 Days Guilin Tour: Luxury tour to Fubo Hill, Li River, Yangshuo and Elephant Trunk Hil
11 Days Classic China Tour: Small group tour to Beijing -  Xian - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin - Shanghai
13 Days China Tour with Guilin: Beijing - Xian - Shanghai - Guilin - Yangshuo -  Hong Kong