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Top 10 Family Activities in Guilin

The li river Take a cruise on the Li River.

Guilin's second-to-none natural scenery and colorful folk cultures promise great memories for you and your family!

1. Cruise on the Li River

Cruising on the Li River is one of the highlights of any Guilin tour. Listed by CNN Travel as one of the world’s "15 Best Rivers for Travelers", the Li River is popular with both adults and children. Tourists will enjoy the breathtaking karst scenery along the river.

2. See the Star Features of Guilin

elephant trunk hill Elephant Trunk Hill

Thanks to its limestone geology, Guilin has many fabulous natural sights. The landmark of Guilin, Elephant Trunk Hill, the biggest comprehensive park in Guilin, Seven Star Park, and the most fantastic cave, Reed Flute Cave, are all in downtown Guilin. 

That means you can visit them all in one day, with not much travel time, which will keep your children from feeling exhausted or getting bored. See Guilin attractions.

3. Visit the Longji Terraced Fields

The Longji Terraced Fields are located in Longsheng County, about two hours' drive from Guilin. They offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the Guilin region, or indeed the whole of China. Cultivated on the hillsides, the size of the rice terraces shows the diligence of the local ethnic groups over the centuries.

LongjiLongji Terraced Fields

The terraced fields, filled with water in spring, look like thousands of silver ribbons glittering in the sun. The green rice in summer makes the terraces a green ocean; while in autumn they become a golden rice carpet. The different scenery in different seasons makes the fields a feast for the eyes. The splendid culture of the local minority people is also a highlight there.

4. Shop and Relax around West Street

Something for everyone can be found in this "global village" in Yangshuo, including ethnic clothes, local food, cheap outdoor clothes and equipment, silk products, Chinese handcrafts, and other curios.

Hanging out around West Street at night, you may be attracted by pool tables, a climbing wall, or board games and DVDs in a sitting-room-like environment. The small cafes and restaurants cater to western and many other national tastes, and street snacks include New Zealand ice cream! Bilingual signs and English-speaking waiters will make you feel at home.

yangshuo cycling

5. Tour the Yangshuo Countryside by Bike

Cycling through the countryside is one of the top things to do in Yangshuo. Exploring the countryside on your bikes means you can stop anywhere you like. You can take your time taking photos of the rice paddies, the old rural architecture, and the swimming water buffaloes. Just chatting with the lovely local people with your tour guide's help is a lot of fun.

If you are unable to cycle, or your children are too small to do so, then you might want to consider hiring a tandem or an electric open-air mini bus.

6. Appreciate a Night Performance on the Li River

Impression liu sanjie A scene of Impression Liu Sanjie.

After a day touring Yangshuo, it is relaxing to watch the grand and fantastic Impression Liu Sanjie performance on the Li River. With colorful lighting and powerful ethnic music, it is performed against a background of real mountains, river banks, bamboo, and trees. The performers dressed in folk costumes give an artistic rendition of a famous Zhuang minority story.

7. Take a Bamboo Raft on the Yulong River

Sitting on a bamboo chair on an expertly punted bamboo raft, you'll be intoxicated by the tranquil environment. Feel the calm of being part of a traditional Chinese mountain-and-water painting.

8. Take Classes to Learn Traditional Chinese Culture

Taichi

Many parents hope that their children may gain some mind-broadening experiences from their holiday. Yangshuo has a variety of traditional Chinese classes, such as a Chinese calligraphy and painting Class, a Chinese Taichi Class, and a Chinese cookery Class. 

These classes offer a good opportunity for your children to learn about a different culture. China Highlights can add these special activities and many more  into your itinerary.

9. Try Some Local Activities

Our clients are plowing a field.Our clients are plowing a field.

The Longji Rice Terraces encompass many minority villages where you and your children will have a chance to try some local activities, like making oil tea, cooking rice in bamboo tubes, and learning embroidery from Yao women.

In Gaotian, a village near Yangshuo, you can visit a local famer's house, learn how to make tofu or to roast sweet potatoes, and try some farming activities such as planting vegetables or plowing a field.

These activities are interesting and offer an opportunity to have an authentic taste of the lives of local people.

10. Experience Li River Pebbles Art

Li River Pebbles Art ExperienceLi River pebbles art experience

The beauty of the Li River is unforgettable and this Li River pebbles art experience will also create the memory of a lifetime.

This art class is available in Guilin and Yangshuo. For 1–2 hours, an expert will guide you in creating a piece of artwork using pebbles and stones handpicked from beside the Li River. Each piece is individually hand-crafted and personalized.

These unique pebble masterpieces make perfect gifts for taking back home.

Also read Top Outdoor Activities in Yangshuo.

Recommended Guilin Family Tours

China Highlights, based in Guilin, invites you to have a wonderful time in Guilin with your family. See our recommended tours below for inspiration:

Our Guilin tours are all fully customizable. You can also design your own trip to Guilin with our help at no extra cost.

Back to China Family Travel Guide.