Li River

Brief Introduction

Li River, one of China's most famous scenic areas, was listed as one of the world’s top ten watery wonders by America National Geographic Magazine. It was even picked by CNN as one of "World's 15 best rivers for travelers".

Originating in Mao'er Mountain in Xing'an county northeast of Guilin, the Li River winds its way southeast for about 437 km, passing through Guilin, Yangshuo, Pingle, Zhaoping and finally meets Xi River in Wulin. It boasts the largest and most beautiful scenic area in China and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The 83-km-long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo is like a masterpiece. The landscape is decorated with rolling hills, steep cliffs, fantastic caves, leisurely boats and is lined with bamboo. A poem says: "The river is a green silk ribbon, and the hills are jade hair-pins".

Li River Cruise - The Best of Guilin and Yangshuo Highlights

Cruising on Li River is always a pleased thing. You can breathe the fresh air, feel gentle breeze and appreciate the fabulous landscape on both sides of Li River. In spring, tourists may stand on the front of a boat and let the mizzle falls onto their faces. It is really a wonderful experience.

"I have visited more than 80 countries and over a hundred cities. I have found that no city can surpass the beauty of Guilin. Guilin is really a bright pearl in China." said the former US president Richard Nixon. Besides, former US president Bill Clinton and George Bush, Comrade Deng Xiaoping and former Chinese president Jiang Zemin ever cruised on Li River.

Mostly the cruise starts from Zhujiang Wharf. It is about 40 minutes drive from Guilin city. And then 4 to 5 hours cruise will take you to a beautiful and sedate ancient city - Yangshuo.

Read More Information About Li River Cruise>>


Quick Facts

  • Chinese Name: 漓江
  • Chinese Pinyin: Lijiang
  • Location: South China
  • Length:437 KM from Mao'er Mountain to Pingle County
  • The Length of the Essence: 83 KM from Guilin City to Yangshuo County
  • Best Time to Visit: April, May, September, October

Explore Li River with Fun

family hiking

Hiking along Li River

For adventurers, hiking is a super cool and enjoyable way to appreciate Li River sights. The section between Caoping Village and Xingping Village takes about 7 hours for hiking.More>>

Bamboo Rafting

Bamboo Boat Rafting from Yangdi

It is traditionally believed that the scenery between Yangdi to Xingping is the real essence of Li River. A good weather is required for such activity. More>>

Bamboo Rafting on Li River

Boat Ride of Li River Downstream

The downstream of Li River extends from Yangshuo County to Fuli Town. Usually visitors will take the boat ride to Fuli Town and then back to Yangshuo by bus. More>>

liugong Village

A Boat Ride from Yangshuo to Liugong Village

The section between Yangshuo County to Liugong Village also is part of Li River downstream. It takes 2 hours by boat from Yangshuo to Liugong Village. More>>

Recommended Tours

Li River Cruise

One Day Li River Cruise Private Tour

This is the most popular Guilin day tour for visitors in Guilin. Departing from Guilin and back to Gulilin, it covers 4-hour cruise from Guilin City to Yangshuo County and a lunch on the cruise. The optional tour in the afternoon is available if visitors are interested. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included.

  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Operates: Daily
  • Language: English

$166 View details

Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin

3-Day Guilin City Highlights Tour with Li River Cruise

This tour is highly recommended to first-timers to Guilin. It covers all must-do in Guilin and Yangshuo, including Li River Cruise, Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave and Fubo Hill.

  • Duration: 3 Days
  • Operates: Daily
  • Language: English |Spanish |German |Italian |French |Russian |Janpanese

$379 View details

Common Questions Travelers Asked Us

When is the best time to travel to the Li River?

The best time to travel to the Li River is between the end of April and the end of October. During this period, water capacity is good and temperatures are warmer, after the rainy season.

What is the best way to see the Li River?

Taking a Li River Cruise is the most popular way of seeing a spectacular stretch of the river. Boats operate all year round, leaving between 9:00 and 9:30am every day from Zhujiang/Mopanshan Wharfs in Guilin. The 69km cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo highlights the unique world famous karst landscape on both sides of the river. You just relax onboard and enjoy this experience of a lifetime.

Bamboo rafting is not recommended, because the service standards of the raftsmen can't be guaranteed.

For now, hiking along the Li River is not an option, for reasons of government control and lack of availability of ferries crossing the river.

What is there to see on the Li River?

The Li River is famed as one of the world’s great natural wonders. Every day people from all around the world vie to view its unique beauty. You can expect to see karstic mountains, crystal-clear water, idyllic scenery, cormorants and fishermen, the unadulterated beauty of nature and the wild.

Li River cruise vs Yulong bamboo rafting, which one is better?

The Li river cruise takes 4 hours on tourist boat which provides open air deck for sightseeing, indoor seats and buffet lunch, this will be strong recommended for first time visitors, if you want to extend your trip in Yangshuo, the Yulong Bamboo Raft consider as the best choice, it is the tributary of Li River, visitors may expected to see great combination of the karsts mountains, and peaceful idyllic scenery by punting trip, there are different starting pier alongside Yulong River, price and time depend on the starting and ending point.

How do you purchase Li River cruise tickets?

Normally booking cruise tickets is not possible online or via travel agents, for cruises are usually organized as part of a package tour; including transportation to the cruise dock and back to Guilin after the cruise, and a local guide service. Tickets can be purchased at Zhujiang or Mopanshan Wharfs, but sometimes they may be sold out, especially in the peak tourist season and during Chinese holidays.

Private Tour: Li River Cruise Day Tour from Guilin to Yangshuo

Coach Tour: One day Seat-in-coach Tour for Li River Cruise

Small Group: A Day Tour for Li River Cruise and Yangshuo Countryside from Guilin