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Li River

The Li River, situated in Guangxi Province, is one of the most spectacular destinations in China. Spanning roughly 80 kilometers, the Li River runs through the heart of Guangxi, connecting beautiful downtown Guilin with the riverside town of Yangshuo.

The Li River was first recognized for its cultural significance in 1982 when China’s State Council deemed the Lijiang River Scenic Zone a place of scenic and historic importance.

Thousands of karst mountains surround the Li River and its connected cities. The byproduct of millions of years of water erosion and weathering, these karst hills are among China's oldest and most beautiful natural wonders.

Li River Facts

Li River

Li River is the most beautiful part of Guilin, features in typical karst landform, thousands of limestone mountains stick out of the ground along the river bank. Cruising on Li River is just like being part of a magical world.

Type: Sights & Landmarks, River Cruise Sights & Landmarks, River Cruise

Best Seasons: Spring, Summer and Autumn, especially Apr to Oct

Recommended Visiting Time: 4~5 hours

Open Hours: Apr to Nov: 8:40 – 22:40 /Dec to Mar: 8:40 – 21:40

Address: Maoershan, Xingan County, Guilin, 541000, China

The Li River is a bright pearl among China's beautiful mountains and rivers. Its highlights cover 83-kilometer from Guilin City to Yangshuo City. Li River resembles a green silk belt, winding among the peaks and the chains of mountains. The miraculous peaks, green mountains and blue waters mutually embellish, just as an 83-kilometer-long scroll. A segment of the mountains and waters of the Li River are printed on the back of the new version paper currency RMB 20.

Best Time to Visit Li River

As one of the top travel destinations in China, Li River is suitable for travelling all year round, especially from April to October.

Characters of Guilin Climate

The most important thing to know about Li River weather is that it can get very hot, humid, and it rains a lot! The average temperature for the year is 19.3 celcius with a July average temperature of 28.3 degrees. The average rainfall for the year is 1926 mm.

Travel to Li River in Spring

Spring (March to May) in Li River is comfortable for tourists. Because during this moment, Li River become warm and green during spring days.

► Li River hiking – it is a good experience for hiking along the Li River from Yangdi to Xingping in a sunny day in Spring season.

► Li River cruise – if you are travel in a misty day, the best choice will be Li River cruise. The most beautiful scene of Li River is now shown in a sunny day but a misty day.

Travel to Li River in Summer

Summer is the rainy season, especially in May and June. You could bring an umbrella with you, but good quality umbrellas are cheap locally. Comfortable footwear suitable for walking is a must all year round. It would be wise to bring a good sun-block with you, (Chinese sun-block is low SPF and contains skin-bleach).Also, some medicine to prevent heatstroke if you are from a cooler region, and insect repellant.

Li River

Travel to Li River in Autumn

Autumn from Sep to Nov will be the ideal time to Li River. But it is also the high season for both domestic visitors and foreign tourists. The cool temperature and the fine days ensure your Li River tour without annoyance form the weather.

► Just pick out any attraction in Guilin in your itinerary as you like, such as Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave, and sites in Yangshuo.

Travel to Li River in Winter

Winter is cold and moist, especially in January, but can still be very pleasant when the sun is out. It snows occasionally. Winter is the low season so Li River is less crowded and it is cheaper to travel.

► A low season in Li River, just pay attention to the cold weather. Winter in Li River is comparative dry and windy. Thick coats and trousers, feather jackets, cashmeres, and scarf are necessary. Although snow is rarely in Li River, the low temperature may cause extremely cold feeling.

Climate Data Table for Guilin

Month / Item Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
11 12 16 22 27 30 32 32 30 25 20 15
5 7 11 16 20 23 25 24 22 17 12 7
Rainfall (mm) 52.5 87.5 127.5 252.5 357.5 342.5 222.5 172.5 77.5 87.5 72.5 47.5
Days of rainfall 15.1 15.5 18.6 20.2 19.0 17.5 16.1 14.8 8.2 9.7 8.7 9.1
enlarge Li River Tourist Map

Highlights of Li River

There are two kinds of boats cruising on the Li River: cruise boat and motor-driven raft.

Cruise Boat
If you want to cruise Li River with more comfortable environment and convenient facility, cruise boat is your first choice. The route for cruise boat is the essence of Li River, also called as full-section Li River Cruise. The whole cruise is about 4.5 hours, and all cruise boats provide free lunch, toilets, hot water service and places to store luggage. The cruise will start from Zhujiang Pier or Mopanshan Pier and end at Yangshuo Pier. Zhujiang Pier and Mopanshan Pier are very close; however, they serve with two kinds of cruise boat.

Boarding time: from 8:00 to 11:00

Cruise Boat on Li River

What’s the Cruise Boat Like?

Zhujiang Pier serves with the two kinds of luxurious cruise boats. One is luxurious air-conditioned boat, free Chinese lunch, two seat decks and one observation deck. The other one is super-luxurious boat, free Chinese buffet, two seat decks (one of them is dining area) and one observation deck, more luxurious facility than the previous one, and this is the most expensive cruise boat.

Mopanshan Pier serves with normal air-conditioned boat, free economic Chinese meal, one seat deck and one observation deck, and it’s the most cost-effective cruise boat.

Cruise Boat on Li River

How to Get to Zhujiang Pier and Mopanshan Pier

For now, there is no direct bus commuting between Guilin city center and the two piers, which are 20 km away from city center. For individual tourists, if you buy the cruise ticket on your own, the only way to get the cruise pier is by taxi, which will cost about ¥100. If you buy the cruise ticket through travel agency or hotel agent, they will charge you ¥35/person as car fees and guide service fees. Under this situation, the tourist bus will pick you up at your hotel.

For our customer, we will arrange a private car with a professional guide to escort you all the way, and you don’t need to worry about anything, just enjoy your trip!

Cruise Boat on Li River

Cruise Route/Port Changes When Water Level Declines

When the water level declines in the dry season (January ~ March usually), the cruise route will be changed to offer tourists a better viewing experience. The changed route starts from Yangdi for Hua Mountain (画山) and then back to Yangdi. The boarding pier, also the disembarking pier is Shangzha Pier (上榨码头). The whole cruise takes about 2.5~3 hours. Please note the cruises depart at 10:00 and 10:40.

Guilin – Shangzha Pier: There are daily buses running from Guilin Bus Station to Yangdi Tour Park during 7:30 ~ 14:00 usually. It always takes about 1~1.5 hours. In the park, you can take the electric vehicles to the Shangzha Pier directly. The electric vehicles are free for tourists with cruise tickets.

Yangshuo – Shangzha Pier: There are also available buses traveling between Yangshuo and Yangdi Tourists Park which cost about 1 hour. Then you can easily take an electric vehicle.

Motor-driven Raft

For those who want to have a close contact with Li River and prefer a shorter trip, take a motor-driven raft is a good choice. The route for the motor-driven raft is the most beautiful part of Li River cruise. Start from Yangdi and end at Xingping. Many famous attraction sites are located along this section, like the 20 yuan banknote scene, Nine Horses Fresco Hill, Huangbu Reflection, etc. The whole rafting is about 1~ 2 hours and there is no toilet on the raft, so make sure you answer the call of nature before boarding.

What’s the Raft like?

Normally, the motor-driven raft is bound with 8 PVC tubes, on which covered with a layer of aluminum alloy panel to make the raft more steady and flat. The raft is equipped with canopy for sun-shade and rain-protect. Motor on the rear, all rafts are also equipped with life jackets and buoys. Except for the rafts man, the raft is allowed to carry four passengers. As long as no heavily overload, the raft is definitely safe. There are some spaces in the rear of the raft for storing passenger’s luggage. However, if you have too much luggage, we suggest you take the cruise boat rather than the raft.

Ticket: $216/person, under four passengers, the raft will charge ¥30 for each vacant seat. After debarking in Xingping, there are free battery car to drive you to Xingping bus station, and you can take bus from there to Yangshuo County.

Boarding Time: 8:00 ~ 18:00


1. Lunch on the craft will charge you extra fees, and normally, it’s not cheap, so it’s suggested to take some food with you and have a lunch after you get to Yangshuo County.

2. Some people choose to hike along Li River. For ordinary tourist, we don’t suggest you to do that. Hike along Li River is a great way to appreciate the beauty of it, however, it needs some hiking experiences and strong physical strength. Plus, the Guilin Travel Bureau expresses that the hiking route is still in construction, so it demands that tourists should not hike along the river until the construction is finished.

Useful Tips for Traveling Li River

1. Ticket
Each adult tourist can bring one child shorter than 1.2 m for free, and children between 1.2 m ~ 1.5 m can enjoy half-price tickets, while those who are taller than 1.5 m should buy full-price tickets.

2. Notice Should be Paid on Board
To protect the environment, please don’t throw any wastes into the river. Smoke is not allowed in the cabin. For safety, do not stride over the handrail to take pictures, and take care of the children brought with.

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