Catch the Exclusive Beauties of Guilin
6-Day Guilin Photography Tour
This Guilin photography tour is designed for shutterbugs, catching scenery only otherwise found on postcards or magazines. Climb to the top of a mountain to photograph the great bend on the Li River, take a ferry to the most beautiful section of the river in the early hours of morning to shoot the picturesque scenery, capture an old fisherman and his ospreys, and take candid photos of minority people living near the Longji rice terraces.
- Specialized English-speaking guide with professional photography experience
- Professional guiding to Guilin's photography locations
- Attractions around Guilin that only serious travelers and shutterbugs can find
- The beautiful nature and idyllic life around the Li River
Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.
Lily Wong our guide at Guilin was wonderful. Along with all the good qualities like being punctual,courteous, organized,knowledgeable,hard working she is also caring.The scenaries at Guilin is second to none,Lily helped us to take lots of pictures to capture the scenaries as much as possible.With Lily's help I can enjoy the amazing cave and the rafting.At Yangshuo Lily also recommend a Light Show on the river.That was fantastic never saw anything like it. I must mention the unique hotel they put us in.Its called Yangshuo Moondance hotel.My wife is very happy with Lily because she took a lot of pictures for her and took her shopping for a new (Qie Pao,cantonese Cheung Sham).more
Jan 2024, Peter W
Just wish I could stay longer!
Our guide Frank was fantastic. He was really knowledgeable about the region and the many different ethnic groups living here. He has contacts with local people who invited us into their homes. He was so high energy and kind. We saw many things in a short period of time from the pagodas, to history Duha (so?) street, to a beautiful relaxing cruise on a river….we also attended a spectacular cultural show in Yangshou. It wasn’t on the agenda but so glad we went. (Randomly called the Romance show). Frank also introduced us to local cuisine like Guilin noodles. We stayed at the Aspara Lodge for one night in Yangshou and seriously could have stayed for a few days if I didn’t have to go back to work. Travel advisor Liberman was a great resource as well and helped plan such a special trip.more
Jan 2024, Rosequarose
Remarkable experience in Guilin
I have an excellent trip to Guilin and my guide, Gary Wei who works for China Highlights Tour was very professional and knowledgeable in regard to the history of the Guilin and Yangshuo. Gary was remarkable with his recital of a lot of ancient poems. Hence, I had such a good and memorable experience. I do highly recommend China Highlights Tour to anyone who wish to visit China.more
Jan 2024, Sooi C
Don't Miss the Chinese Countryside!
Our guide William (Wei Jiyi) was exceptional. He made the utmost effort to accommodate our groups' additional requests and recommended restaurants, shows and attractions that were all of great interest. He ensured the already included items in the itinerary were entertaining to the whole group by providing expert opinions and answering all questions.more
Jan 2024, Diana G
Well organised tour
We started in Guilin, our tour guide was Frank, Frank's knowledge of Chinese history is very good and he added in all the interesting historical facts along the way. On this part of the tour we were 14 people, including my 87 year old dad, and Frank was very patient with our group rounding us up and waiting for my dad as he was a bit slower. Some family members left Guilin at different times due to different travel arrangements, Frank and Carol arranged the necessary transfers and changed the tour schedule slightly to accommodate everyone as much as possible.more
Jan 2024, LC
Greatest Asian Experience
All local guides, from Lena in Tokyo, Denis in Kyoto, Tom in Bangkok, Kai in Phuket, Martin in Hong Kong, William in Guilin, Linda in Zhangjiajie, to Jessie in Beijing, did their best to make sure everything went smoothly and to adjust to my teens' additional requests.more
Jan 2024, Diana Gadjanov
Great China Highlights tour with Vincent
We had a great 4,5 days tour in Guilin with Vincent! Vincent has a lot of information about the history and culture of the area, he is always attentive to the details, proposes items originally not included in the tour but which might be of interest (like the show in Yangshuo, hiking routes, going to RUYI peak, tea party, etc.), considers individual diet requirements. In addition, Vincent's English is advanced and professional.more
Jan 2024, Ксения
Beautiful place and amazing guide
We did a visit to Yangshuo with China Highlights. We really enjoy our visit, our guide, Gary Wei was so friendly and kind. Very good company on the River Li Cruise and on our visit to Guilin and Yangshuo. We did a very fun bike ride to the country side, visit the West Street and to the wonderful show. We really recommend all of this!more
Jan 2024, Journey44166757277
Great experience in Guilin and Yangshuo
We visited Longji rice terraces, Li River cruise, Yangshuo impressions show and Yangshuo county ebike tour, spending 2 nights in Guilin and one in Yangshuo. Our guide Tony did a great job for our Guilin and Yangshuo tour, we would recommend this company.more
Jan 2024, Lee Fitzmaurice
Extraordinary value of our 4-days trip
We reserved a 4-days trip with China Highlights for Guilin and Yangshuo. We normally travel only relying on our own, but this time we decided to apply to a local agency. It may sound pretty expensive, but we valued every moment.more
Jan 2024, Veronica P
Guilin and Yangshuo with China Highlights!
We reserved a 4-days trip with China Highlights for Guilin and Yangshuo. We normally travel only relying on our own, but this time we decided to apply to a local agency.more
Jan 2024, Veronica Pesarasi
amazing trip around Guilin
With our funny, storytelling, thoughtful first rate guide Steven we hiked, and biked around Guilin. The vistas, the encounters and discoveries were beyond our expectations.more
Jan 2024, Aude P
Guilin with Cherry was a highlight on my China trip!
I had an amazing 4 days in Guilin/Yangsho with Cherry. I visited China for 5 weeks but this part of my trip was a highlight. I loved the sights we got to see with the highlight being the Li river cruise and the rice fields! Cherry also brought me to some delicious local restaurants I would not normally be able to try, including a place where you pick your own fish to eat in the tank before. Cherry also accompanied me to Yangsho and made sure I was settled in my new hotel and I had everything I needed, she went above and beyond. Also during the tour Cherry was so helpful with any questions I had about life in Guilin or about the attractions. If you are visiting Guilin make sure you go with Cherry!more
Jan 2024, David
Perfect introduction to Guilin and Yangshuo with China Highlights!
Gary Wei was our guide for Guilin and Yangshuo. We visited mid December and it was getting chilly. Seeing that we were slightly under dressed for the weather, Gary bought 4 of us earmuffs the next day! He also went out to speak to the bike hire people to find a smaller bike for my tweenager son so he could ride on his own too! We will highly recommend Gary as your next tour guide!more
Jan 2024, Catherine W.
Christiansen experience in Guilin and Yangshuo.
Amazing experience we have in Guilin and Yangshuo with the help our our tour guide Chase and Emily (from China Highlights) for booking our well thought and amazing itinerary.more
Dec 2023, Fely C
our agent Gary Wei was very helpful in telling us mor about GuiLins history and various attractions in GuiLin. He was entertaining and always checked our well being. His attitude would definitely help others enjoy their trip as well.more
Dec 2023, Ri
your satisfaction being their motivation
All through the way, we were well supported with energetic tourguides (believed they had a selection criteria for these guides) and they made the difference in the experience of the tour - particularly able to tale care of the elderly in the trip and also entertaining the youths with questions and interesting facts.more
Dec 2023, Jerome
Guilin and Yangshuo with China Highlights
We had Gary Wei as our guide for the 3rd leg of our China tour this December. Gary is a genuinely kind and curious local guide. He was proud to show us what his hometown offers, and ensured our trip was comfortable and fun too! I would highly recommend Gary for anyone visiting Guilin and Yangshuo. The stay at the Li River Resort, the Li River cruise on the 4-star boat, as well as the meal prepared by a local family restaurant with freshly harvested bamboo, and the bike ride at Yangshuo were all highlights for us!more
Dec 2023, Catherine W
Vincent is a great guide
Vincent is a great guide. We really enjoyed his company during our visit to Guilin and Yangshuo. We’re impressed with his local knowledge and his honesty. We hope we will see him again in the future. Thanks Vincent.more
Dec 2023, Tiong Oen
GUILIN AND YANGSHUO TRIP
It was a wonderful experience. My tour guide, Lily , was very kind, helpful, and was very good at explaining information about the places we went to. She was very knowledgable and an expert on her field.more
Dec 2023, Gacha CinnamonB
Recommended Hotel in Guilin: Guilin Park Hotel (3-star, central location and by the lakeside)
Upon arrival, you will be met by your local tour guide displaying your name at the arrivals hall of the airport. If you arrive by train, your guide will meet you at the exit of the train station.
Your guide will escort you by private vehicle to your hotel. Have a good rest and be ready for the next day's adventure!
The night scenery in Guilin is beautiful and provides 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.
Meal: breakfast & lunch
Recommended Hotel in Longji : Longji Panorama House Hotel (3-star,the best hotel in the village)
Longji rice terraces are a sight not to be missed when visiting Guilin. They are one of the most impressive man-made wonders in China, built into steep mountainsides. When viewed from the mountaintops, they look like a dragon's ribs; hence the name 'Dragon's Backbone' (Longji).
Longji is about 2½ hours' drive from Guilin. The terraces cover an area of 66 square kilometers (25 square miles). They were built 600 years ago by local minority people. There are various villages in Longji; the three most famous are Ping'an Zhuang village, Longji Ancient Zhuang village, and Dazhai Yao village.
Today you will head to Dazhai Yao village, one of the most beautiful areas around Guilin. Upon your arrival, first have lunch in a local farmer's restaurant. You will have an opportunity to taste the local food, such as rice cooked in a bamboo tube - a typical dish for local minority people - and some local fresh vegetables. After lunch, have a taste of photographing the fields, as you hike along for about 2 or 3 hours to reach your hotel. You'll snap the marvelous terraced fields from all angles, with local minority houses dotted around; especially spectacular in autumn when the harvest is ripe and golden.
Good to know:
- Longji Panorama House Hotel is at the top of a mountain and it takes about 2 or 3 hours to walk there from the parking lot. If you are not able to walk that far, please ask your advisor to substitute another hotel, nearer the cable car station.
- We tentatively arrange the overnight stay in Dazhai because from July to October the scenery there is more attractive. From November to March, however, the scenery at Ping'an is more attractive. If your trip is any time between November and June, please ask your travel advisor to arrange the overnight stay at Ping'an Zhuang village.
Meal: breakfast & lunch
Recommended Hotel in Yangshuo : Yangshuo Changfeng Green Water Resort
Your hotel is the best hotel in the vicinity, with the best location for photographing the sunrise less than 10 minutes' walk away. Get up early (if the weather is good) to shoot the stunning sunrise over the spectacular terraced rice fields. Walk down through the fields after breakfast, and you can continue to take photos from different angles. In September and October, locals hang lots of red peppers and golden corncobs under their roofs. The nearby Yao and Zhuang minority villages, with traditional wooden houses, should not be missed.
On the way, visit a local minority family and taste a local snack of minority origin, particularly popular with the Yao and Zhuang people: oil tea. This can quench thirst and cure rheumatism in humid mountain areas. You'll see how to make it and will interact with local people who have lived there for generations.
After lunch, you will go down the mountain and leave Longji for Yangshuo (about 4 hours' drive), visiting Cuiping on the way. Cuiping Five Fingers Mountain, 22 km north of Yangshuo, near the town of Putao, is a nice place for taking sunset photos. It takes around 20 minutes to climb the mountain and from there you'll photograph the karst mountain peaks, with some villages, many paddies and a river flowing by. It's a wonderful view, not to be missed, even in bad weather.
Meal: breakfast & lunch
Recommended Hotel in Xingping : Yangshuo Xingping Island Resort (a boutique hotel on a beautiful location beside the Li River)
You will rise early and transfer to Xianggong Hill, the best place for photos of the breathtaking sunrise over the bend in the Li River. After you reach the top, you'll have about 20 minutes to watch the Li River running round a right-angled bend as the sun rises in the background (the top photo of this tour).
After Xianggong Hill, you'll visit Fuli Bridge, which has a history of over 600 years. It's a special spot not so well known to travelers, located at the upper reaches of the Yulong (Meeting a Dragon) River. You can take some photos of the bridge stretching across the river, surrounded by Guilin's unique karst hills.
Later relax and take a ride on a bamboo raft. The raft drifts along for about 1.5 to 2 hours from Jinglong Bridge to Jiuxian village. The raft journey on the Yulong River is idyllic and therapeutic; watching the rice fields and water buffaloes glide by, listening to the birds and enjoying the cool gentle breeze makes everything seem worthwhile.
Lunch will be served in one of the local restaurants in Yangshuo.
In the afternoon, you will be driven to Xingping Ancient Town to photograph another highlight of the Guilin area: a Li River fisherman, on his bamboo boat and with a unique gas lamp, resplendent in the rose sunset (pray for cooperative weather). You will love the fisherman, who poses in many different yet natural ways. Your guide will make sure you get the best possible photos of the fisherman and the river.
Good to know:
1. Upon arrival in Xingping, you will take a ferry to a small, beautiful and peaceful island, where you hotel is located. Your luggage will be transferred to Xingping in advance, by private car.
2. As Yangshuo is extremely touristy and crowded, especially during festivals, we arrange for an overnight stay in Xingping, to save you all the hustle and bustle. Besides, Xingping is the best place for photographing the beautiful Li River sunrise and sunset.
Meal: breakfast & lunch
Continue to collect sunrise photos or misty-morning photos around the Li River. You'll be taken to the dock in Xingping. Enjoy the beautiful, peaceful river, as you take a ferry to sunrise spots nearby, for some fantastic photos of the sunrise. This stretch is one of the most spectacular on the river, incorporating the 20-yuan banknote view.
The next destination is Xiping Ancient Town, a time-honored town which grew from a small fishing village. The village still preserves buildings built in styles from the Ming (1368–1644 AD) and Qing (1644–1911 AD) dynasties.
Your guide will take you to the side of Xiaomian Mountain (Small Face Mountain) to capture the sunset, along with the 20-yuan banknote view. Standing there, you will see the whole banknote mountain from a different angle than usual.
1. The Best Time to Photograph Guilin
The prime time for photography in Guilin is from May to October. During these months, the daytime is longer and the light is good, and temperatures are hot or warm. November to February is the low-water season.
2. Guilin's Best Sunset Locations
Guilin: Pierced Hill (Chuanshan)
Yangshuo: Cuiping Wuzhishan, Wulong Spring village, Gongnong Bridge
Xinping: Small Face Mountain and Big Face Mountain
3. Guilin's Best Sunrise Locations
Yangshuo: Xianggong Hill
Xingping: Laozhai Mountain, Yellow Cloth Shoal, Xialong Bay
4. About Xianggong Hill
Xianggong Hill is great for sunrises and sunsets. It takes 1.5 hours to drive there from Guilin city center, and 40 minutes from Yangshuo. The sunrise is at about 05:30 hrs from June to August, 06:00 hrs from September to October, and 06:30 hrs in December. You must climb many steps to reach the viewpoint. Our guide will prepare flashlights for you.
5. Small Face Mountain
It is a great place for sunset photography at any season in Xingping. Sunset is around 17:30 in summer and 16:30 in winter. The path to the shooting area is difficut to walk in rainy days.
6. Fuli Bridge
Suitable for shooting at any time. Rarely interrupted by tourists, you can take photos of this ancient bridge with its reflection in the water. There are more chances to come across water buffalos or ducks in this fantastic karst landscape between 16:00 and17:00.
7.Sunrise comparison between Reflection of Yellow Cloth Shoal and Xialong
The Yellow Cloth Shoal is one of the highlights of the Li River and one of the best places for Guilin's karst landscape sunrise. The sunrise is much better at the Yellow Cloth Shoal than at Xialong. The morning clouds in Xialong, however, are fantastic. So we will first take you to photograph the sunrise at the Yellow Cloth Shoal, and then to enjoy the colorful morning clouds at Xialong. Reach the Yellow Cloth Shoal via a 30-minute ride on a motorized bamboo raft. Sunrise starts at 05:00 hrs in summer and 06:30 hrs in winter. September is the best time for the sunrise.
Reach Reflection of Yellow Cloth by a motorized bamboo raft for 30min. Sunrise starts at 05:00 in summer and 06:30 in winter. September is the best time for the sunrise.
8. Longji Rice Terraced Fields Photography Tips
Jinkeng (Dazhai) Terraced Fields is better preserved with more capacious views and has much less tourists and is less commercial than Ping'an Village. The golden rice is cut later than Ping'an Village during China's National Day holiday.
The end of March is the best time to shoot the many cole flowers in the terraced fields. From the end of April to the beginning of May, the fields turn a beautiful red, because of the fertilizer the farmers use.
At the beginning of June, the watered fields are like mirrors, yielding impressive photos. June 8-10 is the annual Spring Plow Festival of the local Zhuang and Yao minorities. If you are fortunate to be there for the festival, you will see many celebrations, but relatively few visitors.
July to August is the best time for viewing the terraced fields. They turn a verdant green, with some clouds in the otherwise clear blue sky.
Golden terraced fields are fabulous during China's National Day holiday. Although we don't recommend visiting China during this period, it's the best time to photograph the countless yellow rice terraces. The rice stalks don't turn golden before National Day and are quickly harvested after the holiday. Rice in Dazhai village is harvested later than in the Ping'an village area. In October, morning and dusk are better periods for photos.
Snow sometimes covers the fields during China's Spring Festival holiday. It's the best chance to obtain photos of snowy terraced fields and at the same time to experience local minority culture.