We travelled down the river on a bamboo raft and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Stunning views all round
Yangshuo is much nicer than Guilin, so skip Guilin and take taxi directly to YS from GL airport. Should cost around 300Y and take 1 hour or so. But make sure to say you are willing to pay for the expressway road toll (around... More
Yangshuo is much nicer than Guilin, so skip Guilin and take taxi directly to YS from GL airport. Should cost around 300Y and take 1 hour or so. But make sure to say you are willing to pay for the expressway road toll (around 30Y) or otherwise the driver will take the much slower highway which currently is under repair (anything from 1.5h to 3h). We stayed at the Yangshuo C. Source West Street Residence (search for "Yangshuo West Street Residence" on TripAdvisor and my review there). For our bike tour we arranged from one of the freelancing tour guides roaming West Street. Do not bother using the hotels - they are mostly just middlemen to a larger tour agency which may be a hit or miss when it comes to individual travel arrangements). Most of the freelancing guides are women and speak enough English for what you need (if you speak Chinese it is of course better!) We hired "Esther" (Zeng Shiyan曾诗燕 13617860516 or 13667866009) who is most often found close to KFC on West Street). Anyway, most guides can arrange whatever you ask for! Bikes, e-bikes, electric "golf cart", tandem bikes, ordinary car... The guide then can take you along less trafficked roads towards northwest upstreams Yulong River passing beautiful countryside along the way. There are several spots where you can take a raft, but none of them will travel the whole length of the river. Each dock serves just a specific stretch of the river. We went by bike to Jiuxian Dock (旧县码头), crossed the bridge and continued north along a common countryside gravel road to the next bridge upstream. From there, back to Jiuxian and the newly beautifully paved pedestrian/bike path along the east side of Yulong River towards the Banyan Tree/Gongnong Bridge. There are several places to take a raft trip en route: Jiuxian, Xiatang, Chaoyang, Aishanmen, Mountain Retreat etc. (We, seven people, however went by bike and "golf cart" all the way. The scenery is the same and the rather expensive bamboo rafts only take two persons each). Perhaps Jiuxian is the best place for rafting unless you continue even further upstream to the most beautiful stone bridge: the arched Yulong Bridge. Quite a long ride but manageable for most people. Maybe not for you if you have a flight to catch the same afternoon/evening... The guide can arrange (probably quite late by now!) lunch near Moon Hill, and then it is an easy bike ride back to YS along the main road (8 km or so). If there is time: a climb up Moon Hill is recommended! If you are short of time, you can just go by bike to Jiuxian, ride down to Banyan Tree and back to YS for a taxi to the airport. In any case - a guide is well worth the 200Y or so it will cost for a day since she will arrange for rental bikes, fix discounted tickets (for the banyan tree etc) and knows both the roads/paths and where to stop for the best photogenic views! (of course bikes and tickets are paid separately and not included in her fee). Li River: The good thing about the motor rafts or other ferries along the much larger Li River, is that you can go to interesting and historic villages/towns like Fuli and Liugong. Otherwise, the natural scenery along Yulong River is _much_ better than Li River downstream Yangshuo.