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Li River Cruise

One of the finest excursion on your tour of China will be the boat trip from Guilin along the River Li. Tour boats depart at 7:30am(or 8:30am. Depending on the reason) from the Yangti Jetty near the Jiefang(Liberation) Bridge adjacent to Elephant Hill, or Xiangbishan, long used as the symbol of Guilin. A little further downstream you will pass, on your left, Baitashan wit ha Ming Dynasty pagoda on top. East of its stands Chuanshan, or the Hill with the Hole. Then begins a series of beautiful scenes that unfold as you glide away from Guilin on your journey south. You will spend the best part of the day on board, surrounded by scenery of indescribable beauty.

The boat journey usually takes 4-5 hours, unless the season dictates a shorter trip. Save some of your film for the middle part of the journey, between the towns of Yangti and Xingping. In this region–usually during the third hour of the journey– you will be exposed to the best scenery on the river.

The standard cruise ends at the colorful market town of Yangshuo, some 52 miles downstream, the boat mooring at a. pretty spot on the river bank. If you wish, you can climb the nearby hills and admire the scenery” A two-hour bus journey returns you to Guilin. On the way you will see something of the lush countryside of the province where tropical fruit, sugar cane, bamboo and rice are cultivated. The journey is usually broken by a slop at the village of Chuanyan to see a l,300-year-old banyan tree.

At certain times of tile year-between December and February there is sometimes insufficient depth of water to allow the passage of boats too far along the river. In those periods, you may be driven to Yangdi by bus for a boat-trip downstream to Yangshuo.

Yangshuo nestles at the foot of grin limestone pinnacles on the west bank of the Li River, and some 52 miles south of Guilin. Many visitors prefer to stay there rather than visit crowded Guilin, as the scenery is better and there are rustic villages to explore along he country lanes. The nearest hill overlooking the town is called Green Lotus Peak. To the southwest are Horse Hill and Fairy Peach Hill, to the west Crab Hill, to the north Dragon Head Hilt, to the east Kitten Hill and Lion Hill. and to the southeast Dragon Back Hill and White Crane Hill. There is nothing to see in the town itself. You can get to Yangshuo by boat from Guilin, or by bus from Wuzhou. There is a small hotel overlooking a lake, not far from the long-distance bus station. The best way to get around is by bicycle. One can be hired at the hotel.

When leaving Yangshuo there are buses to Guilin departing nine times each day, a journey of two hours. Alternatively you could take a boat upstream to Yangdi, then a bus to Guilin. For those heading south, there are buses to Wuzhou.

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