Yulong River, Yangshuo
Facts of Yulong River
- Name: Yulong River or Dragon Meeting River/遇龙河/yù lóng hé
- Open hours: all-day
- Length: the whole length is 44Km from Jinlong Bridge to Gongnong Bridge, 4-5 hours of rafting, you can choose to raft a certain section for about 1 hour
- Piers: 7 piers, Jinlong Bridge Pier, Yulong Bridge Pier, Jiuxian Pier, Jima Pier, Shuiedi Pier, Gongnong Bridge Pier, Wanjing Pier
- Entrance fee: free
- Tour time: 2-5 hours
- Where: The Yulong River is located in the southwest of Yangshuo and it takes 30 minutes to ride from West Street to the Jima Pier
- Attractions nearby: Big Banyan Tree, Moon Hill, Rock Climbing Bases
Described as “Little Li River,” Yulong (Meeting Dragon) River is the quintessential branch of the Li River in Yangshuo County. The clear water of the Yulong River runs smoothly pasting towns and villages in Yangshuo, including Jinbao Village, Putao Town, Baisha Town, Gaotian Village, and so on. It is a shallow river spanning 43.5 kilometers in length. The depth of the section in Yangshuo ranges from 0.5 to 0.9 meters. People are allowed to swim in the water.
Yulong River was originally called “An Le Water” (Peaceful Water). Due to the famous Yulong Bridge in the middle reaches, people renamed the river Yulong River. The most popular form of transportation for tourists on the river is the small bamboo rafts. Tourists can take bamboo rafts to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Traveling by bamboo raft will surround you with crystal clear water, gorgeous green mountains, bamboo forests, the blue sky, and fresh air. Along the way, you will see traditional villages, old bridges, and water wagons among other things.
It's said that “It is a pity not to visit the Li River for tourists to Guilin; it is a greater pity not to visit Yulong River for tourists to Yangshuo.” Yulong River has a different kind of beauty compared to the Li River. Watching women washing clothes, ducks swimming, bamboo rafts moving under the old bridges, and farmers working in the fields will make you feel relaxed and joyful.
Yulong River has attracted thousands of photographers and artists to visit. It is a perfect place for those who love hiking or biking.
Rafting down the Yulong River for an hour or two will be a most unforgettable experience. You may also go biking or hiking along the river for half to one day to enjoy the stunning views along the way.
What to do
- Rafting: rafting is the most leisurely way to enjoy the sights of the Yulong River.
- Biking: biking is the most popular and money-saved way to explore the views along the river, usually it takes from hours to a half-day or a full day to bike along the Yulong River by starting from the West Street area or your hotel by the river.
- Swimming: swimming is possible in the section of the river in front of the hotel and also in the section of the river above the dam upstream of the pavilion. (Note: Swimming can be dangerous, so be careful.)
- Diving and swimming: Bamboo Bridge diving with a height of 8m, and Fuli Bridge diving with a height of 10m
- Farming: when it's a farming season, such as rice planting or harvesting, you can go down to the fields and experience it.
- Relaxation: find a nice hotel like the Mountain Retreat, stay overnight, and enjoy your leisure time by the River
Rafting Routes and Price
The Yu Long River is divided into three sections, the upper, middle, and lower sections. The upper section is the most worth rafting.
- Upper(about 6.5KM)： Golden Dragon Bridge/金龙桥—Yulong Bridge/遇龙桥—Xiniutang/犀牛塘—Xiangui Bridge/仙桂桥—Jiuxian/旧县
- Middle(about 3.6KM)：Jiuxiani/旧县—Xinglongzhai/兴隆寨—Xiatang/夏棠—Aishanmen/矮山门/Jima/骥马/Chaoyang/朝阳
- Lower(about 5.2KM)：Jima/骥马/Chaoyang/朝阳—Shuiedi/水厄底—Wanjing/万景/Gongnong Bridge/工农桥/Luotuo Guo Jiang/骆驼过江
There are 8 rafting routes for your reference, the 7th route is the most recommended one to enjoy the Yulong Rafting.
- 1. Feng Che Pier/风车码头 - Gong Nong Qiao Pier/工农桥码头: RMB 1 hour, five dams
- 2. Gongnongqiao Pier/工农桥码头 - Aishanqiao Pier/矮山桥码头: 2 hours, the water is a bit shallower in this section, but the scenery along the coast remains the same
- 3. Fenghuang Pier/凤凰码头 - Aishan Bridge Pier/矮山桥码头: 1.5 hours
- 4. Yulong Bridge Pier/玉龙桥码头 - Gongnongqiao Pier/工农桥码头: 2 hours for the whole journey
- 5. Fuli Bridge Pier/富里码头 - Jiuxian Pier/旧县码头: 2 hours
- 6. Yulong Bridge Pier/玉龙桥 - Jiuxian Pier/旧县码头: 1.5 hours
- 7. Golden Dragon Bridge Pier/金龙桥 - Jiuxian Pier/旧县码头: about 1.5 hours for the whole journey and the most recommended one
- 8. Golden Dragon Bridge/金龙桥 - Fuli Bridge/富里桥 - Jiuxian Pier/旧县码头: 3 hours for the whole journey, nine dams in total
- Price ranges from RMB120-240 per person
- 2 people per raft
The price below is for reference only as it may vary with inflation and the price of a bamboo rafting trip may change at intervals.
1 -2 Days Trip
1 Day Trip
If you are planning a day trip, we recommend cycling the upper part of the river and rafting the lower part. Ride from the Fuli Bridge to the Chaoyang/Giema pier, then raft the second half of the river to the Gongnong Bridge. There is a special delivery boat for the bikes to take them downstream and your bike is already there waiting for you when you disembark. This is a great way to enjoy the ride as well as take a bamboo raft to see the sights.
On the ride, you will pass the Fuli Bridge, which is about 12km from Yangshuo County and is a recommended spot to see the idyllic scenery on both sides of the river. There is also the similar-looking but more famous Yulong Bridge, and the Jiuxian County Village, known as the "General's Palace" and the "Scholar's Pavilion". You can visit the old buildings, the remnants of the city walls, the ancient wells, and so on, and take a break as well. After the tour, return to Yangshuo from Gongnong Bridge, enjoying the scenery of the Ten Mile Gallery along the way. In the evening, after dinner, you can go to the Impression of Liu San Jie show, and after the show, you can experience the nightlife of West Street.
2 Days Trip
Day 1: Raft the entire length of the Golden Dragon Bridge - Gongnong Bridge, cycle around Yangshuo County in the afternoon, see Impression Liu Sanjie, and visit West Street in the evening. You can also choose to stay at Mountain Retreat on the banks of the Dragon River, with excellent service and a great location.
Day 2: You can hire a bicycle for a leisurely ride around the river and visit the Big Banyan Tree. There are homestays and farmhouses in the village of Moon Hill where you can rest and dine.
You can rent bicycles or electric bikes in Yangshuo for 15-20 RMB per bike per day, or about 50 RMB per bike per day, and you need to show your ID card to pay a deposit.
Bicycle rental is recommended from Yangshuo West Street to the Golden Dragon Bridge, which is about 12km long and can be ridden in about 1 hour; if you're rafting, you can leave your bike with the rafting company to be delivered to the end of the rafting trip, and your car will be waiting for you on the shore when you get off the boat.
- Cycling route 1: Yangshuo West Street/西街 - Longyue Road/龙岳路 - Jima Village/骥马村 - Dwarf Mountain Gate/矮山门 - Chatangzhai/夏棠寨 - Xinglongzhai/兴隆寨 - Shui Erdi /水厄底- Gongnong Bridge/工农桥, and then you can ride alone Ten Miles Gallary back to West Street area or ride to the left alone the Yulong River to reach the Mountain Retreat, take a break and ride back to the West Street.
- Riding route 2: Baisha Town/白沙镇 - Yulong Bridge/玉龙桥 - Jiuxian County/旧县 - Dwarf Mountain Gate/矮山门 - Chatangzhai/夏棠寨 - Chaoyang/朝阳 - Shui Erdi /水厄底 - Gongnong Bridge/工农桥.
Route 2 is the full cycling route of the Yulong River, or you can choose one of the sections to ride, the cycling road condition is the same as the hiking one, and the scenery you see is all the same beautiful.
The ride takes about 3-5 hours round trip plus stops on the road, so you need to plan ahead to avoid missing other important arrangements.
The hike on the Wulong River starts from Baisha town, the upper part of the river is less crowded from the Wulong Bridge to the Gongnong Bridge, and the chances of encountering pedestrians on the road are not high. However, there are many maps around the area, so you don't have to worry about getting lost. There are not many villages upstream, so it is best to bring enough dry food and water.
- Hiking route 1: Baisha Town - Yulong Bridge - Yulong River (east bank) - Old County - Dwarf Mountain Gate Village - Chatangzhai - Mountain Retreat Resort - Gongnong Bridge.
- Hiking route 2: Baisha Town - Yulong Bridge - Yulong River (west bank) - Xiniutang Village - Chuanshandi Village - Dashi Zhai Village - Zhutoushan Village - Qilashou Village - Chuanyan Village - Danyangshu - Gongnong Bridge.
Hiking distance: the whole hike on the Yulong River is about 17 km and takes about 4 hours.
Physical requirements: the route is long and difficult, requiring a certain level of physical strength and will on the part of the hiker.
Points to see along the way: the three famous ancient stone bridges in Yangshuo - Fuli Bridge, the Yulong Bridge, Xiangui Bridge, the rolling green hills, the farmhouses, the quaint ethnic villages of northern Gui, the ruins of Guiyi County in the Tang Dynasty, the ruins of Panzhuang, the ancient houses of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Where to stay overnight
There are lots of nice hotels or boutiques by the River, the best one is Mountain Retreat where you can enjoy good service, location, and marvelous views.
More Attractions in Yangshuo
- Beautiful Yulong River, where you can enjoy bamboo rafting by hand, and Mountain Retreat Hotel located
- Magic Moon Hill, where you can hike and rock climbing
- Charming West Street, the best place for leisure time
- Ancient Jiuxian Village, good to bike around
- Impression of Sister Sanjie Liu, magnificent natural landscape scenes
- Fuli Ancient Town where Banyan Tree Resort Located
- Xingping Ancient Town, the best section of the Li River you can enjoy
- Fishing Village in Xingping, where USD former president Bill Clinton visited
- Huangyao Ancient Town in Wuzhou
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