Often compared as the little Li River, Yulong River is a shining star embedded in Yangshuo, an unspoiled paradise for backpackers. Originated from Guli River, Yulong River squeezes its way along the legendary rolling Karst peaks. Its zigzag course extends to around 44 km long and spans an area of 158 km2. Thanks to the crystal-clear life-giving river, clumps of rice paddies and orchards thrive and numerous fishing villages sprout up. Measuring 20 to 35m at width and 0.5 to 2m at depth, Yulong River can comfortably hold eco-friendly bamboo rafts which connect locals with outside world and ferry tourists up and down the stream. To soak in the enticing Karst landscape and sample the laid back lifestyle here, you can go cycling, hiking and bamboo rafting. Besides, swimming, rock climbing and hot air balloon also guarantee boundless fun.
If energy and time permit, you can stroll along Yulong River and even venture into the unexplored vicinity to drink in the idyllic landscape. Several regular routes have been developed during the past decade.
<<<<<Route One : Putao Township(葡萄乡)－(accessible by motor. Fee: 5￥)-----Zhouzhai Village(周寨村, famous for the over 200-year-old Wangfu Bridge)－Yangshan Village(羊山寨)－Zhuqiao Village(竹桥村)－Shiwai Taoyuan Resort(世外桃源, literally means Shangri-La)－Fuli Bridge(富里桥. Built during Ming Dynasty, this over 500-year-old bridge is one of the Top Three Ancient Bridges spanning Yulong River. )－Yulong Bridge(遇龙桥, this over 400-year-old single arch stone bridge is the biggest in Yangshuo)－Jiuxian Village(旧县, it is the most ancient village along Yulong River. Architectures of Ming and Qing dynasties are well-preserved here. )－Jima Village(骥马)－Yangshuo Shengdi Hotel(阳朔胜地,literally means Yangshuo Wonderland Hotel: its interior design combines modern comfort and refined taste.)－Villas along the River(河边小别墅)－Gongnong Bridge(工农桥)
Feature: covering over 30km, this ten-hour hiking route is physically challenging, but also rewarding, for you will pass along quaint villages, weathered bridges and various historical relics.
Tips: from Zhouzhai Village to Yulong Bridge, this section is less populated; hence, you need to fumble your way forward. Bring enough food and drinks are recommended. From Yulong Bridge to Gongnong Bridge, you can feel relieved. A moderate number of tourists will roam around. Food, drinks and fruits are served in the stalls in the village. You can stop to have a meal.
|Jiuxian Village||Jiuxian Village|
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<<<<<Route Two: (start from the east bank of Yulong River)
Yulong Bridge(遇龙桥)——Xinzhai Village(新寨村)——Xiangui Bridge(仙桂桥, built in 1123, it is the most ancient stone bridge in Guangxi province)——Jiuxian Village(旧县村)——Xinglong Village(兴隆寨)——Xiatang Village(夏棠寨)——Chaoyang Village(朝阳寨)——Jima Village(骥马庄)——Big Banyan Tree(大榕树)
<<<<<Route Three: (start from the west bank of Yulong River)
Yulong Bridge(遇龙桥)——Xiniutang Village(西牛塘村)——Chuanshandi Village(川山底村)——Dashi Village(大石寨村)——Zhutou Village(珠头山村)——Qilashu Village(棋拉树村)——Chuanyan Village(川岩村)——Big Banyan Tree(大榕树)
Feature: Route Two and Three cover a distance of 16km to 17km respectively. You can take time to enjoy what Yulong River can offer and snap the most wonderful photos along the way.
Cycling stands out as a romantic and energy-saving way to enjoy Yulong River at your own pace. Compared to hiking, it is less challenging and time-consuming. Rent a bike is not a matter of concern. In shops along West Street of Yangshuo, you can rent a decent bike at 10￥ to 20￥ per day. Generally speaking, the renters will send you one copy of map. You had better prepare some water and provisions before delving into the Karst kingdom. Locals are very warm-hearted, and will offer you a hand when in need, no matter is to show you the road or to pick you up.
Started in 2001 per the request of one photographer who strove to capture the postcard-perfect landscape, bamboo rafting was invented and soon prevailed. Hidden in the kingdom of South China Karst,
Yulong River’s beauty is poetical, aerial, celestial and unprocurable. Bamboo Rafting along Yulong River will bring you into a wonderland of Karst topography. The undulating peaks project out from the ground like screens, the rolling plains spread out like green carpets and are punctuated with villages, rice paddies and lush bamboo forests, while the meandering Yulong River is shared by fishermen, cormorants, water buffalos and ducks. These elements complement and highlight each other's beauty.Bamboo Rafting along Yulong River is a perfect balance of total relaxation, unexpected surprises and moderate adventure
, due to the over 20 dams dotting along this waterway. In Spring and Summer, Yulong River’s water level is deep enough. The skillful boaters will tide you over these 4 to 5 meters high dams before landing safely. The splashing water will refresh you instantly. It is a WOW moment and cool experience.
Full Length Bamboo Rafting Routes: Fuli Wharf(富里桥码头)—Yulong Bridge Wharf(遇龙桥码头)—Xiatangzhai Wharf(夏棠寨码头)—Chaoyang Wharf(朝阳码头)—Hongqi Wharf(红旗码头)—Fengche Wharf(风车码头)—Gongnong Bridge(工农桥)
Time needed: 5 hours Fee: 240￥(2-seat)
Upper section: Fuli Wharf to Xiatangzhai Wharf Time needed: around 2 hours Fee: 150￥(2-seat)
Lower section: Chaoyang Wharf to Gongnong Wharf Time needed: around 2 hours
Fee:150￥(2-seat) (this is the most beautiful part of Yulong River, hence is highly recommended)
Dos and Don’ts
Book one day in advance
Bring hat or sun screen
May is the rainy season here, water level will rise significantly. Hence, though bamboo rafting is not dangerous, safety should be a top concern.
Fee: Big Bamboo rafters: ( 8 seat, 50￥ per person) little bamboo rafter: 2 seat, 180￥ per person (you are advised to take the little bamboo rafter, through it, you have surf down the dams.)
For the sake of safety, children under the age of 6 and 60+ senior-aged citizens should choose boats Opening hour:
8:00am to 18:00pmLocation
: Baisha Town, Yuangshuo CountyAdvised tour time
: 2 hoursBest Travel Season
: April to October
| Map of Yulong River (Click to enlarge)|
|Map of Yangshuo and Yulong River (Click to enlarge)|