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"Li River Cruise" Yangshuo Things to Do Tip by Willettsworld

Yangshuo Things to Do: 250 reviews and 527 photos

A trip along the Li River is one of the highlights of any holiday in China. From Guilin to Yangshuo, the river meanders its way through 83km (52 miles) of beautiful countryside, with bamboo forests, dense reed-beds and incredibly bizarre rock formations and just cannot be missed if staying in Guilin.

I booked my trip at the Backstreet Youth Hostel, where I was staying, and it cost RMB400 which included a bus pick-up from the hostel and lunch on the boat. This was the "western" boat cruise where the boat and food are better than the cheaper "Chinese" cruise. It's probably better to do the Western cruise even though it's more expensive as you are with other western travellers even though were still quite a few Chinese as well.

A bus came and picked me up from the hostel at 8am and a few of us got on board. We headed out of the city on a newly built expressway to the wharf where there were about a dozen other cruise boats as well as ours. We got ushered onto our boat which had a downstairs full of bench seats and tables while there was an open upper deck for viewing the passing scenery. We set off at about 10.45am in a long convoy with the other Chinese boats down the river past some wonderful pointy hills of the Karst river landscape. The weather was a little overcast but dry so at least I could see the hills which run right up close to the river. One of them features on the back of the Chinese 20 Yuan note. The scenery was breathtaking and I really enjoyed it. Lunch was served at about 12pm and this consisted of many different Chinese dishes which were good to try out, washed down with beer. We got to Yangshuo at about 1.30pm and I got off the boat with my backpack (others like me did the same) and walked along Xi Jie (West Street) which is the main tourist pedestrian only street full of shops, hotels, restaurants and cafes that runs for about half a kilometre and found a hotel to stay at.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 20, 2008
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