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Li River

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Li River

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This article is an itinerary.

The Li River[1] (Chinese: 漓江; pinyin: Lí Jiāng) or Lijiang is a river in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. The Li River Cruise ranges 83 kilometers from Guilin to Yangshuo and is famous for the Karst mountain and river sights. It was selected as one of the world's top 10 watery wonders by America's National Geographic magazine.


The Li River originates in the Mao'er Mountains in Xing'an County and flows in the general southern direction through Guilin, Yangshuo and Pingle. In Pingle the Li River merges with the Lipu River and the Gongcheng River and continues south as the Gui River, which falls into the Xi Jiang, the western tributary of the Pearl River, in Wuzhou.

The upper course of the River Li is connected by the ancient Lingqu Canal with the Xiang River, which flows north into the Yangtze; this in the past made the Li and Gui Rivers part of a highly important waterway connecting the Yangtze Valley with the Pearl River Delta.

The 437-kilometer course of the Li and Gui Rivers is flanked by green hills. Cormorant fishing is often associated with the Lijiang (see bird intelligence). Its unusual karst topography hillsides have often been compared to those at Halong Bay, Vietnam.

Tourist cruises in different boats (varying from small bamboo rafts to larger, air-conditioned ships) are offered on the Li River throughout the year and are one of the major attractions of Guilin.


1. Reed Flute Cave: a limestone cave with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites, stalacto-stalagmites, rocky curtains, and cave corals.

2. Seven-Star Park: the largest park in Guilin.

3. Mountain of Splendid Hues: a mountain consisting of many layers of variously colored rocks.

4. Elephant-Trunk Hill: a hill that looks like a giant elephant drinking water with its trunk. It is symbol of the city of Guilin.

5. Lingqu Canal: dug in 214 BC, is one of the three big water conservation projects of ancient China and the oldest existing canal in the world.

6. Other attractions include: Duxiu Peak, Nanxi Park, the Taohua River, the Giant Banyan, and the Huashan-Lijiang National Folklore Park.

7. The imagery of the Li River is featured on the fifth series of the 20 yuan note.

Get in[edit]

  • By Air:

Guilin Liangjiang International Airport has 51 domestic air routes & flights to over 30 large cities including Beijing, Tianjing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Qingdao, Sanya, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Kunming, Chengdu, Xi'an, Hong Kong and more... In addition there are also scheduled international flights between Guilin and Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taipei, and Bangkok.

  • By Train:

Guilin is the third largest railway hub after Nanning, Liuzhou in Guangxi, Southern China. Three conventional rail lines radiate from Guilin to: Changsha-Beijing, Nanning-Kunming, Liuzhou-Zhanjiang. In addition, Guilin has a high-speed train from Beijing and Guangzhou.

Cruise Routes[edit]

  • Downstream

5.5 hours' cruise from Mopanshan Dock in Guilin to Xingping Dock in Yangshuo.

  • Upstream

7.5 hours' cruise from Yangshuo Dock to Mopanshan Dock in Guilin.

Travel Tips[edit]

  • It takes 1 hour by a taxi from Guilin Train and Bus Station to Mopanshan Dock
  • It takes 2 hour by a taxi from Guilin Liangjiang Airport to Mopanshan Dock or to Yangshuo

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