Li River, one of China's most famous scenic areas, was listed as one of the world’s top ten watery wonders by America National Geographic Magazine. With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, the scenery along the river become one of China's top tourist destinations.
Originating in Mao'er Mountain in Xing'an county northeast of Guilin, the Li River winds its way southeast for about 437 km, passing through Guilin, Yangshuo, Pingle, Zhaoping and finally meets Xi River in Wulin. It boasts the largest and most beautiful scenic area in China and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Tourist cruises in different boats (varying from small bamboo rafts to larger, air-conditioned ships) are offered on the Li River throughout the year and are one of the major attractions of Guilin. The river generally has three sections. Various attractions like peaks and villages along the river have interesting descriptive names, which calls for much of your imagination to see what it is like. The 437-kilometer course of the Li and Gui Rivers is flanked by green hills.
Cormorant fishing is often associated with the Lijiang (see bird intelligence). Bamboo groves, jagged, sharp-edged hills like broken teeth, a wide placid river and peaceful farm and village terrain. Look down in the clear river to see the river bottom and rocky shoals. Highlights along the way include Nine Horse Fresco, Yellow Cloth Shoal, 20-Yuan Bill Hill, and Xingping Town. The most interesting spot has to be the Elephant-Trunk Hill - a hill that looks like a giant elephant drinking water with its trunk. It is symbol of the city of Guilin, which you can find on travel brochures or books.
Drifting in different weather offers varied experiences. During sunny days, tourists can see the inverted reflection of the hills on both sides clearly in the water. During cloudy days, the hills are surrounded by mist and tourists may feel they are cruising in a mystical paradise. When the rain comes, drizzle is like a veil covering the hills and the river. The 83-km-long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo is like a masterpiece.
The landscape is decorated with rolling hills, steep cliffs, fantastic caves, leisurely boats and is lined with bamboo. A poem says: "The river is a green silk ribbon, and the hills are jade hair-pins".
Li River is the biggest and the most beautiful Karst landscape. Its unusual karst topography hillsides have often been compared to those at Halong Bay, Vietnam. The magnificent scenery of the Li River is printed on the back of the 20 CNY note. It is a known as a pearl of China and the essence of Gulin. Li River is famous as the city’s soul and heart.
Whether in modern or ancient times, both in China and overseas, many writers and poets have written a large number of articles or poems in praise of Li River. It is a worthy place to visit to enjoy the natural scenery and have a memorable experience.