The Li River is the lifeblood of Guangxi Province, and taking to the waters by boat is one of the best ways to experience the rural lifestyle of the Chinese villagers residing along the banks. Here’s what you need to know about cruising through this picturesque region of China from Guilin or Yangshuo.
No trip to Yangshuo or Guilin would be complete without an excursion along the Li River, especially for the views of the area’s limestone karst formations, including the scene depicted on China’s 20 yuan note. While it’s quick and convenient to get to Yangshuo from Guilin via bus or taxi, taking the 4- to 5-hour cruise up the river offers a completely different (and much more beautiful) perspective. If you’re pressed for time, hop on a motorized wooden boat at the Zhujiang Wharf just outside of Yangshuo for a trip up the winding river to the village of Xingping.
With time to spare in the area, you have the opportunity for a more leisurely Li River cruise, with the chance to hop off and explore farther-afield sights like the Longji Rice Terraces and the landmarks of Guilin. A Li River cruise sometimes features in multi-day tours of China, along with destinations like Shanghai and the Yangtze River.