The boat trip on the Li River is maybe the best activity in Guilin. If the weather is good, the view is amazing. The boat ride takes all the morning. In the afternoon you will visit Yangshuo. Remember that if you decide not to take part in any of the optional activities, you'll have to stay in Yangshuo for 4 hours. However, this is not a big problem. In Yangshuo you can do some shopping or relax in some pub.
The tour was very very nice and Alan the tour guide was very kind and helpful.. The bamboo raft cruise on the river was amazing
The trip on the river was great, very relaxing. We loved it. It was a good length. We were with another couple who booked locally and had paid half the price we had through Viator. We paid for a guide who didn't do anything/communicate with us. Very overpriced as customer service was not good.
Doing what: Yangshuo Kayaking Adventure on the Li River
We feel like this trip was a very good introduction to China. We got to see some highlights of the cities and experience life in the country.
We appreciate our guide's flexibility when we wanted to change our itinerary (as in ending the bike ride due to traffic, and skipping Reed Flute Cave for hiking.) As a private tour, we had a choice of what we wanted to see and do with the expertise of our guide's, Bin's, knowledge of the area.
The food was delicious. We like that we ate in nice restaurants as well as local places and that we got to go to the local markets and cook a meal in a class. The hotels were comfortable (3 and 4 stars). We enjoyed the quiet scenic private boat rides, both along the Pearl River and the Li River. We liked being away from the touristy areas, so our hike from Dazhai to Ping’An was very special. Waking up in Ping’An was beautiful with mountains all around us.
We especially want to thank our guide, Bin, for taking care of our daughter's other travel arrangements and accommodations. We enjoyed good conversations with Bin.
We wish you many good travels and good health to Bin and the rest of Viator.
It was amazing!
This tour started with an 8-20am pick up in a van, then a transfer to large coach and ended up at the wharf for a 9-30 boat departure. The boat we were on was good - looked like the newest on the river and there is quite a procession.The landscape is stunning. However, this was a trip (unlike other Viator tours) where there were lots of extras. If you want a seat on a higher deck, an extra 100RMB per person. Lunch on board was described to include "fresh catch" - but if you wanted to eat fish you had to pay extra and a lot extra. We bought a whole fish - not really enough for two and it cost 270 RMB - the most expensive fish we ate in China.
You arrive at Yangshuo at about 1-30pm and are given 1 hour and 20 minutes to wander around before meeting the guide, The bus does not return to Guilin until at least 4 hours later and you are asked to sign up for an optional extra tour to a local village and go bamboo rafting at 150 RMB per person. We felt we had to do this as probably 20-30 minutes in the shopping area in West Street in Yangshuo is more than enough, let alone 4 hours. This tour was OK but I would have preferred to have done the 2 hour rafting trip and skipped the time in Yangshou.
You do not leave to return to Guilin until about 5pm so you do not get back until at least 6-40 or 7pm. This is not what it says on Viator website and as we needed to be back by 6-30 we had to pay extra for a car and driver - another 200RMB.
All in all a very expensive day and not like all the other Viator tours we have done.
A great little trip through a rapidly disappearing countryside. We had a wonderful guide named Farmer Tang and he was great with history, culture and local customs. The food stops were really good and there was plenty of water for the ride. Tang was also very perceptive and saw that us sixty year olds were not as spry on the hills as a twenty some rider. We went on a little easier track but still saw plenty of what we came to see. One suggestion would be to request a gel seat if you have a habit of getting saddle sore!
I would recommend this tour to those who wish to see the Li River landscape between Guilin and Yangshuo, and who want to see Yangshuo in a day.
* Hotel pick up/drop off service was fab
* Li River landscape is unique and picturesque
* Yangshuo was nice to see (markets and laneway bars/cafes a-plenty)
* Extra 2hr tour of Yaoshan Village was worth the 150¥ each (decide and pay cash during cruise) and also gave us extra time to look around Yangshuo markets.
* Fed and sat on a Water Buffalo, watched a Cormorant Fishing display, bamboo raft trip down the river - all great photo ops!
* Facilities and lunch were basic - boat was old and a bit grubby, nowhere to sit whist up on deck, and toilets were a mess within 30mins.
* The cruise is long and after a while a little repetitive, but that is simply the distance between departure and Yangshuo.
* Take a poncho - rain and no protection could ruin your day.
* Participate in the extra tour.
* Beware of sneaky bones and fat in the meat dishes for lunch...very Chinese :P
* Take some snacks with you!
* Our hotel pick-up time wasn't confirmed until 8:55pm the night before our tour when the tour guide rang our hotel room. I was starting to stress out a little, but it would seem this is common.
* Go to the toilet in the first 30mins of cruising - after this the uni-sex toilets (not squat) become a frightful mess.
* Haggle at the Yangshuo markets. If they start at 400¥, go to 80¥ and move slowly upwards. Don't pay more than 50% of their starting price!
* If the lunch on the boat left you hungry - there are HUNDREDS of food outlets (including cafes, bars, McDs and KFC on West Street in Yangshuo)
* Expect a long day. Left hotel in Guilin at 8:15am, and got back at 6:45pm.
Brilliant time on our tour, excellent guide that we got all to ourselves!
Only point might be to check your bikes before leaving the shop as our gears were pretty dodgy.
Thanks to Snow, "Farmer" Tang, Jasmine and Will at BikeAsia for organising and guiding us.
Thanks to Roland and the staff at the unique, authentic, "Outside Inn", beautifully located right in the middle of Chao Long Village; especially the chef for regularly satisfying our appetites with delicious food.
It was a little ambitious taking a 2 and 1/2 y.o. and a 4 and 1/2 y.o in a bike seat and on a tag-along bike; both falling asleep on a warm (day 2) afternoon ride - resulting in a sore neck (surely) and a scrape for the elder. Farmers immediate response and a band-aid got us going again and both revived for the long climb to Moon Hill!
Cooking class was a highlight! We might even be able to cook a colourful pork or a chilli and black bean eggplant back home? Will was great with the kids at the Water Cave hot spring, which they really enjoyed.
The (day 4) ride to Dragon Bridge and raft down the Yulong River was more relaxing and wonderfully picturesque, although that night neither had the stamina for the "Impressions" light show.
An unforgettable experience. And we have plenty of picture postcard photos to remind the kids!
Great Trip, helpful staff
The tour itself was pretty much as expected - awesome vistas even if the weather was overcast and misty. The food on board the boat wasn't great but ok. If there was any real negative point it was the communication (or lack of it) we received from the tour operator the evening before the trip. We arrived at our hotel in Guilin at 7pm expecting there to be a message informing us of the pick-up time the next day but no message had been left. At 9pm I started phoning the number we had been given but the line was constantly 'busy'. After trying to get through about 20 times I had to resort to leaving email messages with Viator to try and get some information. Finally, at 11pm, we were contacted by the hotel receptionist to talk to someone from the tour operator and they finally gave us the pick-up time. 11pm was way too late and created way too much stress for us when we were meant to be on holiday! They need to do better than that!
Wow! Guilin is amazing. You must do this tour in Guilin. We were on the boat for about 3 hours. When we first boarded it was raining and we were seated at tables downstairs. We were not too keen on this and ventured upstairs to find it had stopped raining. We stood on the upper deck for the whole three hours and did not once get tired of the magnificent views. From small bamboo rafts latching on to our boat to try and sell fruit to the beautiful mountain scenery, this was like floating in a dream. Yangshuo was full of little market type stalls all selling the same things, so we decided to do the optional tour. We are so glad we did. We went to a village and sat on a water buffalo, got to watch the cormorants dive for fish, hold the bamboo stick the cormorants were on and visit the Shangri La village. We would strongly recommend doing the optional tour which was RMB200 each. Don't know what we would have done waiting in Yangshuo for four hours. On the way back to our hotel our guide told us the Shangri La Hotel we were staying at was a bit far out for the large coach to drive to, so she got off the bus with us in the town and put us in a taxi to our hotel and the company paid for it. We thought this was incredible customer care.
the tour was really interesting and well organized.Pick up was on time and the guide really professional. The only things the tour was bilingual (Chinese and English) and not just English.
Nice n pleasant trip..
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