Li River, Guilin

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Guilin can be regarded as 'Paradise on Earth' in view of its fascinating natural beauty. It is famous for its picturesque Karst landscape, which the Li River cruise highlights. A leisurely trip through the countryside of Yangshuo adds a different flavor. From cruising to hiking, our private Guilin tours offer clients the possibility to travel in a variety of ways.
How to plan my Guilin trip?
3 Days
Li River Cruise & Guilin City

4-5 Days
+Yangshuo Countryside
+Rice Terraces in Longsheng
+Daxu Ancient Town

6 Days or more
+More time in Yangshuo
+Extension to Sanjiang

Best Guilin Tours

Tailor Your Guilin Private Tour

Guilin Tour Planning

When is the best time to visit Guilin?

In general, Guilin is a good place for a vacation in all seasons as its year-round average temperature is 19 C (66 F).

Best time to visit the area: April to October. In this timeframe, the charming scenery of green hills and clear waters are most impressive for visitors.

Travel from November to March the next year: The tour prices are cheaper. At the same time, one can enjoy sightseeing without interference by massive crowds.

Time to avoid: Try to steer clear of the Chinese National Day Holiday from October 1st to 7th, when people are hustling and bustling everywhere.

Will my guide be with me on the cruise ship? What is the luggage arrangement?

Yes, in your private tour packages your guide will escort you on the Li River cruise journey. He/she will tell you interesting descriptive names and legendary stories of those major attractions along the river when on board. Let your imagination merge with the guide's explanation. You will find the mystical peaks become lifelike.

If you are scheduled to stay overnight in Yangshuo, your luggage will be delivered to Yangshuo by your driver who goes to Yangshuo overland.

What kind of boat will we take for the Li River Cruise tour?

There are both 3-star and 4-star boats available for the Li River Cruise tour. We usually recommend the 3-star boat since it is favored by the majority. But if you are interested in the 4-star boat, we are also ready to book it for you. Below are key features of the two kinds of boats.

The 3-star boat has a capacity of 98-110 people. All the seats are priced the same reasonably, and the ticket fee includes a simple lunch box with free tea. As you will spend most of the time sightseeing on the top deck of the boat, we believe the 3-star one is quite adequate for a short 4-hour journey.

The 4-star boat has a capacity of 75-80 people with a bit more spacious seats. The ticket price varies according to the seats, which is about USD30 to USD50 per person higher than that of the 3-star. A Chinese buffet lunch is served. Clients who demand for better facilities may consider this kind of boat.

Can I take a bamboo raft on the Li River?

Frankly speaking, we do not recommend the Li River bamboo rafting to our clients in Guilin itinerary for the following reasons.

First of all, the bamboo rafts are not operated under standardized management, so the service of the boatmen cannot be guaranteed. Secondly, the raft is not poled by the boatman in the traditional way, but driven by an outboard motor, which is a bit noisy. Thirdly, it is usually quite small, without a restroom, not to mention food, drinks or air-conditioning on board. Fourthly, when the weather is not good, the bamboo rafting is easily subject to cancellation at very short notice. Therefore, we suggest you take the river cruise instead of bamboo rafting for a smooth and safe trip.

Can I apply for the 72-hour visa-free or 144-hour visa-free transit for a Guilin tour?

Yes, you can apply for the 72-hour visa-free transit for a basic Guilin tour as long as you are qualified to the relevant prerequisites. You can click here to read more details.

Tour groups from 10 ASEAN countries can be granted a visa-free stay up to 144 hours. They should be received at Guilin Liangjiang Airport by local travel agencies. During the six days, all members cannot leave the city. In addition, tour groups using this visa exemption policy shall exit from Liangjiang Airport only.

When is the best time to visit the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces?

Generally speaking, May, June, September and October are the best months to visit the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces.

From May to June, you can see the terraced fields filled with water glistening like mirrors in the sunlight, and see traditional farmers busily transplanting rice seedlings.

When the autumn harvest season comes in end of September and the beginning of October, everywhere you look are terraces with golden rice undulating in the breeze. As it is too crowded during the National Holiday, the end of September is considered to be the best time to visit the rice terraces.

In other months of the year, the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces still offer spectacular scenery and unique ethnic customs.

Can I stay overnight in Longsheng to explore the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces in more depth? How are accommodations there?

Yes, you are able to stay overnight at Ping'an Zhuang Village in Longsheng. Since it is in the mountainous area, there are mainly guesthouses with basic necessities for travelers. We usually book the well-regarded Ping An Guesthouse for clients. For those looking for better accommodations, the only luxury boutique Li An Lodge can meet your requirements, but its room rate is a bit higher.
  • Customer Reviews
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    4.868 Reviews
    Farina Sennett
    Posted on January 19, 2020
    We chose a family tour. TravelChinaGuide arranged an enthusiastic and benevolent tour guide for us. She is called Rose. She was charming both in appearance and mind. What was in her head was a large number of interesting things. Here a saying goes like that a walking encyclopedia since she knew a lot about Guilin. I would express my great thanks to her. The Guilin & Yangshuo 4 days tour was splendid!
    Posted on January 06, 2020
    I would say that I had a satisfactory itinerary. However, due to my professional and thoughtful tour guide Effie, one day was totally not enough to visit the sightseeing spots. It is a pity that I cannot stay longer. Our guide got everything right and the Guilin 1 day tour was great.
    Posted on December 26, 2019
    I loved every minute of it and i enjoyed every step with both of our guides.
    It was very interesting and i definitely wont more.
    Arthur Du and Rick O were very friendly and they talked about the city's with passion and knowledge.
    When we going to come back we will call you definitely.
    No need to look for other guides when you have so good experience, you just wont more and more.
    Thank you so much for everything and hope to meet soon.
    Posted on December 23, 2019
    I chose this travel group for my parents. Before the travel, I asked lots of questions. The customer service replied me quickly in detail. I would like to give him thumbs up. In addition, my parents loved their tour guide Shirley who took good care of them during Guilin 2 days tour.
    Carol Gallant
    Posted on December 09, 2019
    There was an old Chinese saying: Guilin landscape was the best in the world! It was the first time for me to have a trip to Guilin and I chose the Guilin & Yangshuo 4 days tour. It didn’t let me down. With the tour guide Rose’s introduction, I experienced the real charming about Guilin. Words couldn’t express my feelings anymore.
    Posted on November 25, 2019
    Tour guide Rose was highly recommended! With the guide Rose, we had a great time in Guilin and our heart was full of happiness and joy. She was very considerate almost in every aspect, especially about meals and accommodation. What we ate and where we stayed satisfied us a lot. When we visited a place, we had a chance to taste delicious local food. On the way to Villages of Zhuang Minority, our guide Rose told us about national minorities’ customs which made us know more about Chinese national minorities. The wonderful introduction from Rose kept tiredness away from me. I was so lucky to be accompanied by her on the whole trip. Surely, we also visited Rice Terraces, Villages of Zhuang Minority, Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park, and Elephant Trunk Hill. I would express my sincere gratitude to her! ... More
    Craig Bell
    Posted on November 21, 2019
    Our tour operator Samantha and Driver were fantastic going the extra mile to make our wonderful stay even better. Samantha was very knowledgeable and imparted just the right amount of history etc to make the tour informative but not like a lecture.
    The accommodation was first class and met all our needs. The tour covered all the highlights of beautiful Guilin the highlight being the boat trip down the Li river.
    Jam Myers
    Posted on November 11, 2019
    It was such an amazing trip. We had visited all the famous sights, such as Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park and Elephant Trunk Hill. Words couldn’t describe their grand sights. It was well worth visiting. Guilin 3 days tour gave us a chance to explore the city deeply. The small rain added cool to our travelling experience instead of bad mood. Besides these, our guide Rose had much experience and she was considerate. Her profession and accountability made our happy trip possible. I would express my sincere appreciation to her! ... More
    shee soon chiew
    Posted on November 06, 2019
    Helpful, responsive and resourceful. "Keep up the good work, Kelly!!"
    Arlene Jouni
    Posted on November 01, 2019
    We took a 4 day private tour of Guilin, Longsheng and Li River Cruise with Frank. Frank was an exceptional guide whose knowledge, attentiveness, friendliness and enthusiasm made for an unforgettable experience. We couldn’t have had a better time. Frank was always checking with us to make sure we saw what we had hoped to see and were enjoying our time. Frank’s vast knowledge of the culture and history of the places we visited gave us an insight into Chinese life and Chinese people. We highly recommend Frank for all your tours. This was 5 star service from beginning to end. ... More
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