raft or small boat in Li Jiang river
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Aug 24, 2012 9:55 AM Last Post By: qwert_
Aug 23, 2012 7:04 AM
raft or small boat in Li Jiang riverDear all,
I am reconsidering my plans for the 1 and a half day (until about 3pm) i have in the Guilin / Yangshuo area. I will be arriving in Guilin airport at 8 PM. My initial plan was to go to Guilin and take the "Li river cruise" to Yangshuo on the next morning, sleeping there for the second night and having the second day (until 3 PM). After reading many comments here, I am considering to go directly to Yangshuo, stay there for the two nights and try to get on one of the small rafts for the xingping to yangdi stretch, maybe get to Xingping by bike (is it very difficult? How long would it take? ).
I have read somewhere that january this year regulations changed and it was possible to buy "official" tickets for these rides. It also said that the prices went up because of this, but, as I understand it, they are still considerably less than the longer cruise, right? I have an organized tour with CITS, but I doubt it would be possible for them to make this arrangements, so I will probably say that I want two free days in yangshuo instead. Nevertheless, I am sort of a "control freak", and want to have my trip fully organized beforehand. Is there a way to make the arrangements / reservation before arriving there?
Maybe this has been partially answered in different threads, but I am not able to find clear answers to my questions.
Thanks in advance!
Aug 23, 2012 7:20 AM
Aug 23, 2012 7:25 AM
2the way it looked like from previous posts is that it was some sort of "not officially accepted" operation by the farmers (or at least, that was my understanding, until the article from january mentioning the centralized tickets). I will probably ask also directly from CITS, but I already asked if there were different options for the boat, and they only offered the big boat 4-6h long guilin to yangshuo thing. I will insist, if i know it is possible, but first I wanted to know what was possible.
If I ask first the CITS agent, and I am told there are no other options, then I would feel it is rude to rebuke him. So i'd rather ask knowingly, if possible.
Edited by: qwert_
Aug 23, 2012 7:27 AM
3I was just in that area a few days ago. I went to Xingping to see the market (it was one of the "market days" - to be honest I didn't think the market was all that big a deal and only spent about a half hour walking around it), and there were several people who approached us about taking a bamboo raft to Yangdi. I don't think you need a reservation, nor do I think they would do reservations since it seems so easy to walk up and hop on, but I can't say for sure since I did not do a raft trip there. One tip I'll share is that as you walk towards the "harbor" where the boats are, keep an eye out on your left side for a white circle shaped arch. If you go through it, you'll come to a walking path that goes up the hill/mountain. Take water, but it isn't that hard of a climb and takes about 45 minutes. You get a great view of the town, karsts, and river. We found out about it from the American guy working at a cafe on the road leading up to the harbor. We stopped to buy ice cream and bubble tea and he told us about it. I think the cafe is called Cobalt Blue and it was on our left side as we walked toward the harbor area.
We also arrived by flight late to Guilin. We had arranged a taxi transfer from Guilin directly to Yangshuo so that we could make the most of our time in the area. We went to Xingping on one day and on the 2nd day we biked up along the Yulong River to the Dragon Bridge, and we took a bamboo raft from there down the Yulong river. I heard it was a lot quieter than the Li River. It was peaceful. There were no large boats and no motorized boats. Only boats powered by guys with poles. You do have to negotiate your price, but our hotel told us it was 150-180 per 2-seater raft. We agreed on 160, and they put our bikes on the back of the raft. If you are staying in Yangshuo, it would be a bit of a longer bike ride up to Dragon Bridge than we had - maybe 1.5 hours? We stayed at the Yangshuo Outside Inn, which is actually a bit outside of Yangshuo, so we were already partway to the Dragon Bridge and it took 1 hour to bike there. The raft trip was about 1.5 hours, but it doesn't go all the way back to Yangshuo (ends near the Outside Inn). If you don't have a map but wanted to bike along the Yulong instead of the Li river, you should ask your hotel to draw one of how to best get to Dragon Bridge or it may be confusing or you may end up going up a bit hill on the bike (the Outside Inn had a map and directed us on the route). If you're nervous about losing your way or not much of a biker, you could also just get a taxi there. Anyway, I know it's not what you asked about, but I thought I'd let you know it is another option and is probably a bit of a quieter area but still has the great karst scenery.
Aug 23, 2012 7:52 AM
4teeanni, I was planning on biking around the Yulong river or Moon hill for our second day. I expected this to be doable in one morning... Did not think of taking a raft on the Yulong. Maybe, as you say, it is a better option than the li river. And maybe I will need to get over my "control freak" part, and go there and just try to get one on the spot. I guess there are less restrictions on the Yulong river than on the Li river, right? Also, just in case, for the Li river rafts, would they be available all day, or is it only early morning / late afternoon, when the large boats are not there?
I will take note of the mountain path in Xingping, I would like to do that.
Edited by: qwert_
Aug 23, 2012 9:02 AM
5When we were there (Jul 2011), we stayed in Yangshuo. Took a bus to Xingping, which dropped us at the river bank. There were plenty of rafts. A few people got on the rafts, we didn't. Apparently there is a 2-3 hour window when they can't operate (11h to 14h maybe), so we ended up waiting 2-3 hours, watching the big cruise boats passing by. I think that part was enough for us, and I don't see the need (and the reason for extra cost) of going from Guilin to Yangshuo.
Aug 23, 2012 5:20 PM
Aug 24, 2012 9:25 AM
7I don't know what restrictions there are on the Yulong River, but since there are no large boats, I don't think there are any times when the rafts would not be going other than when it's so early or late that the boatmen have gone home. When you get near the bridge, women will approach you as you go near the rafts. They negotiate with you and then once you have an agreement, they get one of the boatmen to take you. I originally walked right up to the boatmen, but they didn't seem interested in negotiating, so I think you need to work it out with the women. They probably all work for one company. There are a few points here and there along the way where tour buses were parked along the road near the river and a bunch of Chinese people seemed to be going out on a raft, getting a photo taken, and then going back to shore right after. So don't despair if you see it looking crowded since other than that spot it was very calm and quiet. We saw a few water buffalo along the way. If you do bike it there, though, make sure you get instructions. Although "Dragon Bridge" sounds like an impressive thing you wouldn't be likely to miss, it wasn't actually all that large. We biked most of the way there on the left side of the river as you head north (in order to avoid a hill on the right side route), and at a few points you go along narrow gravel paths that don't really seem like a road and make you start to wonder a bit if you're on the right path, but it got us there fine in the end.
To get to Xingping I also took the bus. It is a bumpy ride that takes about an hour. Departures seem frequent from the bus station. There is a spot labeled "Xingping" beside where the bus waits. Just get on and a lady will go around collecting payments from passengers once the bus is on the way there.
Aug 24, 2012 9:55 AM
8Thanks for the tips and helpful info.
I already cancelled my hotel night in Guilin, and will try to do both theYulong river and the Xingping rafts once there! I am really excited for this trip.
Bags feeling light?
Coffee table looking bare?
Get your guidebooks, travel goods, even individual chapters, right here.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$5.07 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$128.54 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$6.76 per night