A list of the world's 15 best rivers for travelerswas released by CNN Travel this month, and the Li River was the only one chosen from China.
A travelers poll ranked the rivers according to five criteria, of which China's rivers have something to offer for each:
The Li River ranks 14th, with a maximum 5 points for scenery, 2 points for wildlife, 2 points for culture (should be more, see below), 1 point for adventure (You can put your mind at ease if you come to see the Li River, as it is as safe and relaxing as rivers get, except for a few days a year when water levels are particularly high), and 3 points for activities.
A considerable number of rivers were considered and judged according to the five criteria. A discussion was held within CNN during the selection process, and the final ranking comes from experts' opinions, CNN's tourism experience, and an survey of tourists around the world.
It is our opinion that one or two more of China's rivers should be included in the top 15. The Yangtze (we agree with The_Mick's comment that the Yangtze should be ranked higher than the Li River), as it has far more to offer over its massive length. Though the Yangtze probably can't compete with the Amazon (except that it's much more accessible), it has a case for being ranked higher than the Nile.
The Yarlung Tsangpo is more adventurous than Rio Futaleufú (Argentina, Chile), though not as well-developed for the traveler, which is a good thing in the eyes of many.
The Li River is most famous for its 83 kilometers from Guilin to Yangshuo. It is the classic depiction of China's karst landscape, decorated with jagged verdant hills, steep cliffs, fantastic caves, and plied by leisurely cruise boats and rafts. The various attractions along the river include Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo Hill, Douji Hill, Daxu Ancient Town, and Crown Cave, attracting numerous tourists every year.
It is a tributary of first the Gui River, then the Xi (West) River, that flows into the South China Sea at Macau, south of the Pearl River Delta, not a tributary of the Yangtze, as stated by CNN and corrected by our director Victor Shu in one of the comments below the article.
Li River activities include the ever-popular Li River cruise, a Two Rivers Four Lakes cruise aroud the city of Guilin, hiking, bamboo rafting, photography, and watching the night show Impression Liu Sanjie on the river. See our most popular Li River Cruise Day Tour.
China Highlights specializes in tailor-making China tours. If you are interested in experiencing the beautiful scenery of the Li River, you should check out our top Guilin tours. Or contact us and we can arrange a tour for you based on your requirements.