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7-Day Longji Rice Terraces, Li River, and Yulong River Hiking Tour

Explore the Peaceful Countryside with Your Feet

Discover the dreamy karst landscape of Guilin and Yangshuo, and the spectacular Longji Rice Terraces by foot.

Tour Highlights

  • Walk through mountain villages with fabulous view of the rice terraces
  • Trek alongside the Li River and the Yulong River, and get closer to nature
  • Have an overnight stay by the riverside and at a hillside village

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Trip Advisor certificate of 2023 Tour Review

Suggested Itinerary

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests and schedule.

Day 1 Guilin Arrival

Hotel in Guilin: Guilin Park Hotel (3 star, by the lakeside)

Upon arrival your local tour guide will meet you at the arrival hall of the airport with a name plate. If you arrive by train, your local tour guide will meet you with a name plate at the exit of the train station.

After your guide meets you, he/she will escort you by private vehicle to your hotel. Have a good rest and be ready for the next day's adventure!

Evening Ideas:
The night scenery in Guilin is beautiful and it makes a great way to unwind after a flight. The 'Two Rivers and Four Lakes' in the downtown area offer pleasant lakeside walks and night cruises.

Two Rivers and Four Lakes
Day 2 Guilin to Longsheng; Hiking from Dazhai to Ping'an (4–5 Hours)

Meal: breakfast & lunch

Hotel in Longji: Longji Star Wish Resort (3 star, central location)

In the morning, your tour guide and driver will transfer you from Guilin to Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces.

The Longji Rice Terraces are a sight not to be missed while traveling in Guilin. They are one of the most impressive man-made wonders in China. The Longji Rice Terraces are built into the steep mountainsides, and they look like a dragon's ribs if viewing them from the top of the mountain, hence their name 'Dragon's Backbone' (Longji).

The rice terraces cover an area of 66 square kilometers (25 square miles); they were built 600 hundred years ago by the local ethnic people. There are several villages in Longji. The three most famous ones are Ping'an Zhuang Village, Longji Ancient Zhuang Village, and Dazhai Yao Village.

Upon arrival in Dazhai, you will have lunch in a local farmer's restaurant and taste local food, such as rice cooked in a bamboo tube - a typical dish for local minority people, and some fresh local vegetables.

After lunch, your guide will escort you up the mountain for a panoramic view of the village, and then you will hike to Ping'an Zhuang Village. Hiking along the terraced rice fields is a nice experience. You can feast your eyes on the scenes of farming and the beautiful village scenery, and marvel at the pure country lifestyle. On the way, you will pass through the villages of Tiantouzhai and Zhongliu. This hike takes around 5 hours.

Good to know:

It is better just to take a few essentials in a backpack to the Longji Rice Terraces as you will only stay for one night on the mountain, and will return to Guilin the following day.

Longji Rice Terraces
Day 3 Longji to Guilin; Hiking from Ping'an to Longji Ancient Zhuang Village (1 Hour)

Meal: breakfast & lunch

Hotel in Guilin: Guilin Park Hotel (3 star, by the lakeside)

In the morning, you are going to take short walks and relax, ready to adjust for the Li River hiking trip the following day.

After breakfast, your tour guide will escort you to the mountaintop for a panoramic view of the village, and then you will head to Longji Ancient Zhuang Village.

Longji Ancient Zhuang Village is a well-preserved village that recently opened to tourists. There are 700 hundred ethnic people resident there, and they have retained their most traditional customs and farming as their way of life. The hike will take about 1 hour.

After descending the mountain, you will return to Guilin. Upon arrival in Guilin, you will have lunch. In the afternoon, you will visit Reed Flute Cave, the largest and most impressive cave in Guilin. Named after the reeds growing around the cave entrance, the cave has attracted visitors for a thousand years. Inside, you will see the magnificent rock formations.

Day 4 Guilin to Xingping; A Day's Li River Hiking Tour (4 Hours)

Meal: breakfast & lunch

Hotel in Xingping: Yangshuo Xingping Island Resort (a boutique hotel on a beautiful location beside the Li River)

The hike from Xianggong Mountain to Xingping Ancient Town (a small historical town in Yangshuo) is about 12 kilometers and it takes about 4 hours at a medium pace. Hiking alongside the Li River provides a great opportunity see the gorgeous Li River scenery close-up as well as the rural lifestyle of the farmers who live by the river.

After 1½ hours' drive from Guilin, you will arrive at Xianggong Mountain, which is the starting point of the hike. First, you will climb up the mountain to enjoy a panoramic view of the karst peaks alongside the Li River and to take amazing pictures of the Li River bend. Usually, half an hour is enough time to climb up and come back down Xianggong Mountain.

Then you can begin the hike from Xianggong Mountain to Lengshui Village, which is located by the Li River (this takes about 2 hours). On the way, you will pass some small villages and see rice fields, orchards with many seasonal fruits, and unique karst peaks. It is a peaceful hike as few tourists travel that way.

After hiking through the villages and arriving in Lengshui Village, you will take a ferry boat to the opposite side of the Li River, to see the famous attraction of the Nine Horses Fresco Hill.

Then you will continue the hike from the Nine Horses Fresco Hill to Xingping alongside the Li River (about 2 hours). You will see green bamboos, clear waters, colorful pebbles underwater, and mountain peaks in different shapes. Occasionally, you may see water buffalo swimming in the river, local people washing clothes by the riverside, and when you reach Xingping, you will see the same scenery that is displayed on the Chinese 20 yuan banknote.

Lunch will be served in Xingping , in a local restaurant by the river.

Good to know:
1. Upon your arrival in Xingping, you will take a ferry boat to a small, beautiful, and peaceful village on an island, where your hotel is located. Your luggage will be transferred by private car to Xingping in advance.
2. As Yangshuo is extremely touristy and crowded, especially during a festival, we will arrange for you to have an overnight stay in Xingping so that you can stay far away from the hustle and bustle.

Hiking Along Li River
Day 5 Free Time in Xingping

Meal: breakfast

The Liandao wan village where you are staying overnight is surrounded by the Li River on all but the west side. It is very beautiful and peaceful. The village is full of green bamboos, grapefruit trees, and orange trees. There are about one hundred local families living in the Village. You will see the local people washing clothes by the river, fishermen catching fish using cormorants on bamboo rafts, children taking the ferry boat to school, and farmers tending to their orchards.

Recommended Free Day Activities

  • Travel around the fishing village on foot (1 hour) or by bike (½ hour) in the early morning or evening
  • Hike through the village to a 400-year-old temple (1 hour)
  • Hike through the village to Damian Mountain for a panoramic view of the Li River bend and surrounding karst peaks
  • Climb Xiaomian Mountain to see a sunrise over the Li River
  • Help local farmers with their farming work, such as pollinating the grapefruit tree flowers and fruit picking
  • Visit the countryside market with the local farmers and learn how to do shopping in the countryside
Day 6 Xingping to Yangshuo; Hiking Alongside the Yulong River (4–5 Hours)

Meal: breakfast & lunch

Hotel in Yangshuo: Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Hotel (4-star, beside the Yulong River)

After breakfast, your tour guide and driver will transfer you from Xingping to Yulong Bridge, which is upstream from Yangshuo on the Yulong River, to start the hike. The drive takes about 1 hour.

The Yulong River is a tributary of the Li River. The entire length of the Yulong River is 43 kilometers. You will hike the most beautiful part of it, from Yulong Bridge to Yangshuo Mountain Retreat (about 4–5 hours). People regarded the scenery along the river as another Shangri-La as it is so green and breathtakingly beautiful. On the way, you will see rice fields with seasonal crops growing in them, farmers' orchards with oranges, grapefruits, and persimmons, crystal clear water, and stone bridges over the river. It is a nice place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Lunch is served in Yangshuo Mountain Retreat with local food. Your local tour guide will help you order the dishes.

Evening Idea:
Impression Liu Sanjie is a spectacular evening show based on the life of the famous folk heroine, Liu Sanjie ('Liu [surname] Third Sister'). It is the creation of the renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who choreographed the films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. The show is set on the Li River itself, and uses the incredible natural scenery along with a cast of hundreds to tell a classic tale of love, intrigue, and tragedy. The music, lights, dancing, and natural beauty of the backdrop ensure you will not be disappointed. (The schedule and price may vary from high season to low season, and on public holidays.)

Hiking Along Yulong River
Day 7 Yangshuo to Guilin Airport

Meal: breakfast

Your private vehicle and tour guide will transfer you to Guilin Airport for your departure flight.

Trip Notes

1. Climate and Weather Reminder

The period from August to March is considered a better time to do the hiking, because from April to Junly is the rainy season in Guilin, and there can be floods along the Li River and the Yulong River during this season.

If you are traveling between April and July, a pair of comfortable waterproof walking shoes is a must.

2. Customizing the Tour - According to Your Needs

This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, extending or shortening it to suit your price, interests, and schedule.

If your time is limited, shortening the tour by one or two day, e.g. without a free day in Xingping, can also be arranged.

3. Accommodation in the Mountain Villages of Longji Rice Terraces and Yangshuo

The standards of star-rated hotels in the mountain villages of Longji rice terraces and in Yangshuo might not be up to the standards of equivalently-rated hotels in cities such as Guilin, Beijing and Shanghai.

The hotels we use on the tour are carefully selected, based on criteria like hotel environment, location, service, and previous customer-feedback.

If you would prefer other hotels or wish to book hotels yourself, please feel free to let us know.

Tour Price

FromUS$869p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling

Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.

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