Home>>>City Guide>>>>Attraction>>>>Guilin

Lijiang River

As the elite the Guilin landscape, the Lijiang River is a bright pearl among China's beautiful mountains and rivers. Originated in Mao'er Mountain at Xing'an County, northeast of Guilin City, the Lijiang River winds its way southeast for about 437 kilometers via Guilin City, Yangshuo City to Gongcheng Estuary of Pingle County in Guangxi Province. The 84-kilometer-long segment from Guilin City to Yangshuo City resembles a green silk belt, winding among the peaks and the chains of mountains. The miraculous peaks, green mountains and blue waters mutually embellish, just as a 100-kilometer-long scroll. For several thousands of years, a great number of bookmen and scholars have been intoxicated with it. A segment of the mountains and waters of the Lijiang River are printed on the back of the new version paper currency RMB 20.  Map of Li River

The city of Guilin was founded in the Qin Dynasty in 314 BC as a small settlement on the Lijiang River. It became increasingly important following the construction of a canal joining the river with another further north, providing a transport link with the Yangzi. The imperial court could thus send food and provisions by water from the Yangzi plains to its armies in the far south. The town became the provincial capital in the Ming Dynasty, and remained so until 1914, when the capital was moved to Nanning.   Li River Attractions

There are more than 30 noted scenic spots within the boundaries of Guilin Peak. Among them are a hill standing in solitary loftiness in the center of the city; the Elephant Trunk Hill, the city's symbol, so named because of its resemblance to an elephant’s sipping water from the Lijiang River with its trunk; the Piled Festoon Hill that is broken here and there with its rock strata exposed on its sides like piles of fancy festoons; and the Crescent Hill that is named after its moon-shaped cave opening.

There are two fantastic caves in the area--- the seven-star-rock cave, which derives its name from the arrangement of surrounding peaks resembling the pattern of the stars of the Great Bear constellation, and Reed-Flute Cave, named after the reeds growing around the cave mouth. They both contain spectacular stalactites and stalagmites.

The city also boasts other beautiful hills, such as the Fubo Hill, which is supposed to restrain the waters of the Lijing River, and Nanxi Hill that stands magnificently like a huge screen.

A boat trip from Guilin along the Lijiang River presents one of the finest excursions on your tour of China. The journey downstream to Yangshuo offers 30 miles of breathtaking scenery. 

One of the first points of interest is the pagoda-capped Elephant Trunk Hill, or Xiangbishan, long used as the symbol of Guilin. A little further downstream you will pass, on your left, Baotashan with a Ming Dynasty pagoda on top. East of it stands Chuanshan, or the Hill with a Hole. Then begins a series of beautiful scenes that unfold as you glide away from Guilin on your journey south.  Li River Attractions

Coming close to the Erlang Gorge, a huge cliff comes into view. This is the famous "Picture Hill" that resembles horses of different colors in different positions.

On the right, after passing Picture Hill, is Huangbu (Yellow Cloth) Beach. Here the river is wide and flows gently. Seven graceful peaks are likened to seven quiet young girls standing shoulder to shoulder. The fabled Xingping Wonderland begins here. Xingping is a famous, ancient town. Caishi Hill looms high in front of the town, with thick bamboo groves in the back. The cruise ends at the colorful market town of Yangshuo.

The trip starts from the dock south of Liberation Bridge in Guilin downtown area. Otherwise some agencies will transport tourist to by a one-hour bus ride to catch the cruise. The river trip is over eighty kilometers (52 miles) long and is estimated to take seven to eight hours. The eye-feasting landscape and country scenery will never disappoint you.

Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo

The Li River is extremely picturesque, described by ancient poets and artists as one hundred miles of Chinese ink landscape painting. Tourists are highly recommended to fully charge their camera's batteries, and make sure the memory cards have enough space for a big shooting event.
The winds over the river are relatively strong. Tourists are recommended to wear a heavy jacket when go up to the deck during a Li River cruise.
Catering services are provided on most Li River cruise boats. However it may not be satisfactory for those who have high demands on the food quality. Choose the right boats for your clients. Our recommended option for the tourists is to have a good breakfast before taking a river cruise.
The prices on the cruise boats are normally higher than what on land. In many cases, an escort is needed for most cruise boat staffs do not command good English.
Waiters on the cruise boats may promote souvenirs to the tourists. Although the prices are negotiable, a better option for tourists is to shop on the west street after arrival in Yangshuo County.
A Li River cruise is normally scheduled to departure at around 9:00 am to 9:30 am. However, it may be changed during low water season. Tourists are recommended to double check the departure time on their cruise tickets.
To charter a boat, booking is required one or two days in advance.

City is about 83 kilometers, and it can be divided into the following three segments:  Li River Attractions

The first segment is from Guilin City to Yangdi (total 46km; 4 hours' voyage). The scenic spots are a bit far from the waterway. The scenic spots near Guilin City include the Elephant Trunk Hill, the Pagoda Hill (Sword Hill), etc. Two hills named "Chuanshan" on the east bank and "Guishan" on the opposite west bank resemble a pair of fighting roosters. 

Solitary Beauty Hill (Duxiufeng)

This is a majestic, solitary peak, steep and precipitous, rising at the very centre of the city. It has been called the “pillar of the Southern Sky.” In the haze of dawn or the glow of sunset the peak is purple or gold. A climb up the 306 stone steps to the top is rewarded by a panoramic view of the city.

Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbishan)

This peak is located at the confluence of the Yangjiang River and the Lijiang. The entire hill looks like a drinking elephant with its long trunk and the body of the elephant is a big cave called Water Moon Cave (Shuiyuedong), below which is a deep pool that connects with the Lijiang and on which pleasure boats can cruise when water is abundant. Here the quality of the water is so good that the famed Guilin wines are made from it. The cave looks like a full moon floating on the surface of the water with the moonlight reflected on the waves. The so-called "elephant hill and water moon" are a famous sight in Guilin.(just as the Three gorges along the Yangtze River)

The second segment is from Yangdi to Xingping (total 17km; 40 minutes' voyage). This segment has the most beautiful landscape of waters and hills. Many scenic spots are on both banks of the Lijiang River.   Li River Attractions

An eighty-three-kilometer boat ride down the Lijiang River from Guilin south to Yangshuo is like a trip through a natural art gallery. Near the town of Qifengzhen, a forest of peaks hidden in the mists are reflected in the blue water. The boat then passes other scenic spots, such as the Immortal’s Rock (Xianrenshi), Gong and Drum Rapids (Luogutan), Rooster Comb Rock (Guanyan) and Embroidery Hill (Xiushan).

Sailing further down the river, one will find particularly interesting a spot called Mural Hill (Huashan), a sheer cliff rising abruptly out of the water. On its variegated face are the extraordinary likenesses of nine horses all in different positions, one galloping, another bending to drink, another lying down.

Farther south, the boat passes Yellow Cloth Rapids (Huangbutan), where a huge slab of yellow roc can be seen under the blue water. Seven peaks on both sides of the river resemble girls looking at their reflections in the water.

After passengers have seen the scenery at Xingping, a town bordered with hills, the boat reaches Yangshuo, its final destination

The third segment is from Xingping to Yangshuo (total 20km; 2 hours' voyage). ("Belt" character carved stone) in the blue lotus peak theinscribed text carved stone are very many, specially on themountainside cliff engraves has a Qing Dynasty Guangxu Dynasty grassscript "the belt" sub- is makes the blue lotus to live runs away. Itsglyph structure meaning, a personal character poem, has unexpectedlycontained "area the mountains and rivers, the youth diligently" eightcharacters flavors and the conception. From appreciates this "thebelt" the character, finally we should summarize the Lijiang Riverspirit are "are wonderful" the character, the Lijiang River scenerynatural beauty, wonderful.

When you can see the highest Green Lotus Peak in Yangshuo, you will reach Yangshuo City soon. Seen from the front side, the Green Lotus Peak is as smooth as a mirror, so it is also called the Jianshan (mirror hill).     

One of the advantages to visit the Lijiang River is that the tourists do not need to worry about the change of the weather, since the views of the Lijiang River have different characteristics in different weather conditions: Tourists can view the inverted images of green peaks in sunny days ; view the clouds and mists covering the hills in overcast days and view the misty rain of the Lijiang River in rainy days. Even in the overcast and rainy days, the mist over the water is wreathing, the chain of mountains is gleaming, drifting clouds are moving among the miraculous peaks, and the rain curtain is covering the waters and hills as the lengthwise yarn, looking like many splash-ink watercolor paintings.
The Guilin scenery has four major characteristics: Shan Qing, ShuiXiu, the hole wonderful, the stone is beautiful, then the LijiangRiver in addition also has the waterfall, , the rapids, thebamboo grove four certainly. Some people said that, The Lijiang Rivernot merely has this , moreover also has strangely, confuses,wonderfully, certainly four major characteristics, that is the ancientbanyan tree strange, draws the mountain to be wonderful, confusing ofthe crown crag, the half crosses certainly. Every this all
sorts,numerous, Li River Attractions


Li River cruise makes the small town known to foreigners. Located some 90 kilometers south of Guilin City, this town is the downstream end of the cruise but not the least. The enchanting fairyland of Yangshuo is renowned as the best in Guilin. Li River Attractions

The town is very small that everyone will know you after one month. The West Street in the town lined with western cafes, restaurants and hotels is the best choice for people who want to explore Chinese life.

Yangshuo is a great place for hikes and cycling excursions. There's no doubt that taking a close-up exploration to the country villages, you will have a taste of the rural life. One thing surprised us is the one-hour bamboo raft trip along Yulonghe River. We didn't expect the scenery to be such a paradise.  Map of Li River

That adds an exceptional charm of pastoral culture. Li River scenery is known to all not only for its green hills, clear water, fantastic caves and spectacular rocks but also for its wonderful deep pools, springs and waterfalls. In fine days, reflections of the hills in clear and greenish water are special pleasing to the eyes, but it is more enchanting under rainy and misty weather. The hazy view of the drizzling rain and lingering clouds give birth to a wonderful fairyland for tourists. Join a cruise on Li River can make you feel you are wandering in a piece of beautiful painting. We will leave you an unforgettable memory of your Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. The Lijiang River brimming with crystal-clear waters twists and turns between magnificent and beautiful mountains. Its banks are covered with lush bamboo and luxuriantly green woods. Luohan Mountain, Chaoban Mountain, Wuzhi Mountain and Luosi Mountain rise up from under the waters. What a splendid scenery they present!   Li River Attractions