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A Li River Cruise: Everything You Should Know Before Ordering Your Tickets

Spending half a day enjoying the peaceful views along the Li River is an essential experience when you’re in Yangshuo. What’s the best way to travel across the Li River? Taking a cruise or a bamboo raft across the river are good choices because they are more comfortable and convenient than hiking or riding a bike alongside the river.

The Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo
  • Route: Zhujiang/Mopanshan Pier to Yangshuo
  • Scenery along the way: Elephant Trunk Hill, Wangfu Rock, Nine Horses Fresco Hill, 20-Yuan Banknote Hill, Yangdi Village, Yellow Cloth Shoal, Xingping Ancient Town, and Schoolboy Hill
  • Age suitability: 7 to 70 years
  • Duration: 4 to 5 hours
  • Boarding time: 9am to 9:30am
  • Collection time: about 8am (this depends on the location of your hotel)
  • Arrival time: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Luggage: there are no luggage restrictions
  • Best seasons:
  • April and October are very comfortable months within which to visit Guilin.
  • Peak seasons: April to October
  • Low seasons: November to March — the cruises only operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
  • Type: 4-star or 3-star
  • Similarities: the route, table and seating arrangements, restrooms, a public deck, and a tour guide
  • Differences: The 4-star cruise ships are well decorated, less crowded, offer the services of a professional English-speaking guide, and serve a better lunch.
  • Will I get motion sickness on the cruise?
  • Generally speaking, you won’t. Your cruise ship will be steady on the river.
4-Star Cruise
  • Features: fewer passengers, a newer motor vessel, clean
  • Seating capacity: 72 to 80 passengers
  • Seating arrangements: standard class and business class seats, paired rows of four/six seats, a table in the middle
  • Facilities: air conditioning, Western toilets, televisions, a bar, an observation deck
  • Food/drink: Chinese food and free drinks
  • Wharf: Zhujiang Pier, which is 20 kilometers southeast of downtown Guilin. The services of an English-speaking guide are offered.
  • Drop-off point: Shuidongmen Pier (closer to West Street)
  • Booking requirement: Book your cruise 15 days in advance.
3-Star Cruise
  • Features: lower price, more crowded, popular
  • Seating capacity: 120 to 150 (narrower)
  • Facilities: air-conditioned seating areas on the first and second floors, an English-speaking guide for those passengers who do not understand Chinese (the normal guide focuses more on the Chinese passengers), and less modern facilities
  • Lunch: A basic lunch is provided.
  • Wharf: Mopanshan Pier
Travel Tips for Taking a Cruise in Guilin
  1. Pay attention to the weather forecast before your trip. During the period from May to September, rainfall is abundant in Guilin. Sometimes you may encounter stormy days and the Li River will reach its highest level. It’s dangerous to take a cruise during a storm. Summer (July and August) is too hot and crowded (students will be on their summer vacation). Winter (November to March) in Guilin is cold but less crowded.
  1. Book your ticket(s) in advance. You should book your ticket(s) 15 to 30 days in advance, especially during the peak seasons.
  2. The cruise is a one-way trip. You can go back to Guilin by bus from Yangshuo Bus Station.
  3. No stops during the cruise. Prepare everything you need before you board the cruise ship as there won’t be any stops until you arrive in Yangshuo.
  4. Be careful of tourist scams. Don’t buy souvenirs, expensive food, or expensive drinks on the cruise ship.
  5. Prepare some food and drink before your trip. It’s possible that you won’t like the lunch offered during the cruise. The food is simple and may seem like an acquired taste to you.
Join Our Tour and Enjoy Your Time in Guilin

You may have heard many sad stories about tourist traps. Choosing a travel agency with a good reputation is the best choice for you when booking your trip. We ensure there are no stops for shopping, no tourist traps, and a well-designed route for the trip. Join us at Trippest to discover Yangshuo in an original way, on our 1-Day Yangshuo Highlights Tour.

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