China

Guilin

Guilin is the cast off point for cruises down the Li River to Yangshuo. Float lazily through spectacular scenery, watched over by the towering karst peaks for which the area is famous, and encounter the famous fishermen with their teams of cormorants.

What to see

Guilin

Guilin

Thanks to its spectacular location set amongst the karst- and river-scapes of the Li, Guilin, a clean and modern city, is a pleasant place to while away a day. The area has been known for its scenery since the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), and was one of China’s first tourist destinations – admire the impressive stalagmites and stalactites of Reed Flute Cave, enjoy the picturesque views of Elephant Trunk Hill and climb Mt Diecai for magnificent panoramas of the surrounding landscapes.

Li River

Li River

A relaxed cruise through the spectacular landscapes of the Li River is a highlight of any trip to China. Taking around 4 hours to voyage between Guilin and Yangshuo, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the passing rural scenes of quaint villages, vibrant paddy fields and, of course, jagged karst peaks cloaked in foliage. You may even recognise some scenery from the 20 yuan note!

Yangshuo

Yangshuo

The easy-going town of Yangshuo sits in the midst of gorgeous countryside and exudes the kind of delightful charm that will make you want to stay a few more days. Whilst the town itself is perfect for browsing shops, sitting back with a drink and even a cooking class if you’d like, the surrounding area offers a plethora of activities including cycling, bamboo rafting and rock climbing, making Yangshuo for perfect base for exploring rural China farther.

Whilst in Yangshou sit back and enjoy the enchanting light spectacular Impression Sanjie Liu. Making perfect use of Yangshuo’s karst landscape and the Li River itself, the show was created by Zhang Yi Mou, the director of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics; expect to be dazzled by a love story that uses both nature and hundreds of local performers.

Longji Rice Terraces

Longji Rice Terraces

Longji makes for a jaw-dropping sight, row upon row of rice terraces sweeping down and around mountains, forming intricate patterns as they go. Nicknamed ‘dragon’s backbone’, Longji offers a wealth of easy to moderate hikes as well as a chance to glimpse the traditional way of life of several ethnic minorities – plus the views from the village of Ping’an are unsurpassed.

Where to stay

Elite Garden Hotel

In the centre of Yangshuo just 5 minutes' stroll from the Li River, the Elite Garden Hotel is a smart, contemporary hotel close to the popular West Street. Within easy reach of the attractions of the town, the Elite Garden has a restaurant and bar serving local and western cuisine, and aims to offer guests the optimum comfort in a peaceful environment.

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Grand Link Hotel

On the banks of the Li River, set amongst beautifully landscaped gardens, the Grand Link Hotel is excellently located just outside of Guilin's downtown area. With dining establishments serving up all sorts of Asian delights and a range of excellent facilities, including a pool and spa, this hotel exudes peace and tranquility.

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Li-An Lodge Longji Terraces

Overlooking the spectacular rice terraces of Longji the Li-An Lodge is housed in a wooden structure built using traditional Chinese techniques and without a single nail. Within are 16 individually decorated rooms, each exuding modern luxury to contrast with the traditional Chinese ambiance. Alongside the fantastic views, you'll also find this the perfect place to embrace local Chinese arts and crafts.

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Sheraton Guilin Hotel

The Sheraton Guilin Hotel is ideally located along the Li River in the heart of the enchanting city of Guilin. With the completion of a full renovation, the hotel is as beautiful as the landscape it calls home. The Sheraton features an outdoor swimming pool and a gym as well as sauna and massage facilities. Two restaurants provide a relaxed atmosphere for dining.

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Green Lotus Yangshuo

Set right in the action in central Yangshuo and close to the river, the Green Lotus Yangshuo is minutes from West Street by foot. Nestled at the foot of Green Lotus Peak the hotel not only boasts an excellent location but also a great range of facilities. Rooms are well-appointed and comfortable, some with river views. The building itself sits in harmony with the landscape, incorporating local traditions and features into its design.

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Guilin Park Hotel

Guilin Park Hotel is a four-star international hotel. Conveniently located close to the city centre, the hotel commands some of the most picturesque views in Guilin. The hotel is in an attractive setting close to a lake and surrounded by green trees and colourful flowers. The rooms feature modern amenities and three restaurants cater for a variety of tastes.

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Yangshuo Resort

Nestled between the iconic limestone karsts of Yangshuo, the Yangshuo Resort is a paradisaical sanctuary in glorious countryside. Close to the Yulong River and just outside of the town there is nowhere better to sit back, relax and watch the tableau of river life drifting by.

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