Guilin and Yangshuo: Magical Chinese Mountains

Guilin Li River Chinese Mountains

Guilin and Yangshuo are the perfect place to take a break from the fast pace and glitz of the big cities and head over to the countryside.

The children will enjoy biking through small villages and rice paddies, cruising down the rivers in small bamboo rafts snaking around fantastic limestone mountains or simply just going for a short hike here and there.

Cruising the Li River

Guilin Li River Chinese Fisherman

The cruise down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo passes through some of China's most spectacular scenery.

This shallow river winds around the karst peaks so well-known to the area.

You will spot water buffaloes and farmers and fishermen going about their daily routines and traversing the river in their low bamboo rafts.

Along the way, you will see a great diversity of karst hills with all sorts of shapes and forms, according to which the peaks take their names from, like "Five Fingers Hill", "Penholder Peak" or "Dragon Head Hill".

(Point Over the Thumbnails at the Bottom to Scroll through the Photos)

Scenery along the Li River
Scenery along the Li River
Scenery along the Li River Scenery along the Li River Scenery along the Li River Scenery along the Li River Scenery along the Li River

Bicycling in Yangshuo

Yangshuo, once the sleepy little town at the end of the Li River Cruise, is now very popular with visitors to use as a base to explore the surrounding area which has so much to offer.

Cycling in Yangshuo

One way to discover and see the sights in this beautiful area is by bicycle.

The kids are sure to enjoy biking through the green paddy fields, winding around the limestone mountains and exploring the nearby caves.

You might want to consider hiring a guide to show you around.

Cycling in Yangshuo

Guides are able to introduce you to different aspects of Chinese every day life that you might otherwise miss.

They also could help you arrange for some activities for the kids to enjoy depending on their interests.

Cooking and sharing a meal with a Chinese family, or visiting a local school are some ideas.

Rafting on the Yulong River

Yangshuo-Yulong River Rafting

One of the activities that children enjoy the most is leisurely cruising down the waters of the Yulong River.

They will love this adventure, sitting on their narrow bamboo rafts, surrounded by the beautiful Chinese mountain scenery of limestone peaks and formations, and watching every day country life as they glide through the river.

The ride takes about 2 hours and you can choose to ride back on the raft or bicycle your way to the starting point, which offers you a different view of the area.

Yangshuo-Yulong River

Cormorant Fishing

Cormorant Fishing is a technique employed by Chinese for thousands of years and still carried out in the South. You can observe this ancient practice when the fishermen set off on their bamboo rafts after dark.

Cormorants are Asian seabirds that plunge into the water to snatch up fish. The cormorant has a stretchy pouch of skin in its long neck which is used to store the fish.

They swim alongside a light hanging from the raft, and when the bird catches a fish, the fisherman takes it from the cormorant's peak. The bird wears a collar which prevents him from gulping down the dinner.

Watch this short one minute clip, just click on the arrow:

Watch more China videos...

This part of China has so much to offer for a great family adventure with the kids.

Here are more Guilin One Day Tours, which can be pre-arranged before you arrive. They cover a lot of the highlights including a Li River Cruise, which is a must in this area, and many popular outdoor activities like biking in the countryside. Likewise, the Yangshuo Activities with many family-friendly options are worth looking into, rafting, kayaking, biking...

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The Shangri-La Mountains - Heaven on Earth...

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