4-6 Days Picturesque & Rustic Guilin by Hiking & Kayaking
Having seen the Seven Stars accompanying the Moon (seven smaller terraced fields surrounding a bigger one), you can saunter amidst the Jinkeng terraced fields that will never fail to surprise you. These terraced fields home to the villages of the Red Yao ethnic group, were revered as China’s typical village landscape in 2007 for their stunning magnificence. The landscape here enjoys a worldwide reputation that holds a great fascination to visitors from around the world. The majestic mountains are veiled in the mist and flavored with an ethnic impression. What a gorgeous landscape painting! Here, it is not only a mecca for photographers, but also a hot destination for tourists who want to have a glimpse of natural wonders. You can also hike along the Li River that stretches ten kilometers. From Yangdi to Xingping ancient town, you will be able to see the most splendid landscape that the Liver River has to offer. The enticing mountains and rivers, the pastoral flavor, the boy cowherds and the secluded villages combine to create a paradise that will never fail to attract visitors and rafting down the river would be even more appealing.
Hiking On Terraced Fields & Along Li River, Kayaking on a Peaceful Stream
Day 1: Guilin/Longji - Welcome to Guilin! Guilin airport is a small one, there are only a few steps to walk to the arrival hall at the baggage claim. There you will see your personal guide smiling and holding your name sign. Together you will take the private, air-conditioned vehicle back to your hotel in Dragon’s Back. The drive takes about 2 hours.
Hotel in Dragon’s Back Bone recommended: Li-An Lodge (luxury boutique five rated, nice located in PingAn Village, only several rooms), Longji One Hotel (boutique hotel, only several rooms, nice location in PingAn Village) or Star Wish Resort (standard boutique, fair price, nice hotel in PingAn Village)
- The hotel is located inside the scenic area, a public bus is arranged to take all tourists from the parking lot to the Ping’an Village entrance gateway and the ride on hilly roads lasts for about 10 minutes. Then you will need to walk with your guide another hundred or so up-ward steps to get to the hotel in the mountain. It takes about another 10-20 minutes. The baggage will be carried by local farmers (fee is included in quotation).
- Hotels in Dragon’s Back Terraces are usually built with wood, wood floors and walls and don’t promise soundproof functions.
Day 2: Longji Hiking - Wake up early to feel the fresh air of the mountains. After a big breakfast, hit the road for a 6-hour hike from Ping’an Village to Dazhai Village. Walk on the small path, pass over the narrow wooden bridges and cross the small rivers, these are all the fun parts on the way. You will also stop at Tiantouzhai Village for a break, talk to a few farmers if you like. On both sides of the path, terraced rice fields wait for you to take pictures. When you see more hanging buildings, you are approaching Dazhai Village, destination of the hike where beautiful hanging dwellings are highlights to study and take pictures. Feel the impulse to work with farmers in the fields? Just give it a try! Sickle paddies, plow fields, dig up plants you don’t even know the name. Snacks should be prepared for the hike; a late lunch will be arranged in Dazhai to try local dishes. You will take the private vehicle back to hotel in Ping’an Village at the end of the day.
- A small backpack is necessary for the 4-6 hours hiking.
- Bring some quick-dry shirts, comfortable shoes, sun block and some chocolate and candies.
- Bring some anti-mosquito products and an electric torch because you will be in the mountain.
Day 3: Longji/Guilin - after breakfast, wander around Ping’an Village to witness its stunning rice terraces, while mist shrouds the mountain making it a scene of wonderland. Say goodbye to the Dragon Bones and head for Guilin city about two hours away. Lunch will be arranged at a fine local restaurant and then you will be transferred to the Reed Flute Cave, a natural karst cave with well-set colorful lights which create a fairyland. Use your imagination to figure out how stalagmites, stalactites and stone pillars create art works.
Hotels in Guilin recommended: Shangri La Guilin (luxury five star rated but about a 10 minute drive away from the downtown), Sheraton Hotel (five star rated, old but good location in downtown) ; Bravo Hotel (4 star rated, nice location in downtown). If you are traveling with kids you can choose Med Club (kids can enjoy the facilities and surroundings but it’s a 40 minute drive from the downtown).
Day 4: Guilin/Yangshuo - Have a big breakfast for today and be prepared for the 6-hour plus 40-minute bamboo rafting along Li River. The driver will transfer you to Yangdi pier in one hour and twenty minutes; your guide will lead the way to the pier while the driver will be on his way to Yangshuo with baggage. Yangdi, named after the goat’s horn, is the starting point of the hike. After taking a ferry boat to the other side of the river, hiking starts. On both sides there are farmlands, orchards and trees, further away there are the Karst Mountains of all shapes. You will also pass some villages and take a look at how farmers live their lives. You will take another two ferries to get to Xingping, a well-preserved fishing village. From there you will take a motor bamboo raft down to Yangshuo. Relax your legs and watch the clear water dancing on the raft. Upon arrival in Yangshuo, walk through the many shop stands to get to your hotel.
Hotels in Yangshuo recommended: Mountain Retreat (Guesthouse but good service, excellent location beside the Yulong River, about 20 minutes driving away from Yangshuo downtown); Banyan Tree Fuli (luxury boutique, about 30 minutes driving away from Yangshuo downtown, excellent location beside the Li River); Green Lotus (4 rated hotel, good location with about 5 minutes walking to the Yangshuo Downtown); Secret Garden (boutique hotel, only several rooms, about 20minutes driving from Yangshuo downtown, located in Jiuxian Village)
- Your baggage will be on the vehicle and the driver will drive to the Yangshuo hotel. Just keep the most valuable items and your passport with you.
- The buffet lunch on the ship is simple and not many options are available. We suggest that you have a big breakfast and take an early dinner.
- Only the Green Lotus hotel is minutes walking from the West Street in Yanshuo, other hotels takes about 20-30 minutes’ drive
Day 5: Yangshuo - Get up early to prepare for the kayaking trip. You will be transferred to Fuli pier which is about twenty minutes away from West Street. Your instructor will explain how to steer a kayak. Off you go! You are the king on the river, left or right, stop or go, your call. The water is clear enough to see fish and weeds. You will be away from the crowds, listening to the sounds of nature and watching ducks and water buffaloes. Your driver will meet you at the destination of Liugong or Puyi and transfer you back to town for lunch. After that, take an easy bike ride in the countryside. Feast your eyes and mind on the countryside landscapes!
- We do not recommend this adventure if you cannot swim.
Day 6: Yangshuo/Guilin Airport - Your guide and driver will escort you to Guilin airport, it takes about three hours. Your guide will help you with the flight check-in and see you off at the security gate.
Note: this Guilin tour is only a smaple, we can customize a Guilin tour to meet your personal requests.