Li River Cruise - Best Way from Guilin to Yangshuo
You may be planning to visit the scenic Yangshuo in Guilin, and you may wonder which way is the best to travel from Guilin to Yangshuo. So, we would recommend the Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, which is the best, most selected and more ideal way for both a transfer and a sightseeing experience during your natural scenery exploration in Guilin. (However, there is no Li River cruise back from Yangshuo to Guilin at present!)
What to Experience Along Li River
Quite different from other transfer from Guilin to Yangshuo, such as driving, coach, high speed train, etc., the classic Li River offers the best chance for your complete appreciation of the picturesque Guilin Karst mountain landscape in total leisure. With the soft breeze, you will encounter the marvelous scene of the Nine-Horse Fresco, famous lively image on back of the 20 RMB note at the Yellow Cloth Shoal, idyllic sightseeing of grassland, farmland, etc., and countless strange hills and stones in diverse interesting looks, such as Chinese brush, crown, figure, goat’s hoof, and so forth. Cruising on the comfortable Li River cruise, you can see the classic outstanding beautiful scenery of Li River on both banks passing by, which is really like touring in a landscape painting. That’s why so many people plan to experience the Li River to Yangshuo to start their ideal Yangshuo Tour.
Li River View on Back of 20RMB Note
Li River Cruise Types
At present, from Guilin to Yangshuo, there are two levels of cruise ships on service, which are 3 Star cruises and 4 Star cruises. Apart from the starting docks in Guilin, the sightseeing along the way and route passing are the same for those two kinds.
3-Star Cruise Boats
Most Guilin to Yangshuo Li River cruises belong to the level of 3-Star. Although as the basic level of Li River cruises, the 3-Star cruises are actually great with the offer of very clean environment, 100-120 capacity on the 1st and 2nd decks, where good air-conditioners are facilitated for your comfortable feeling onboard. No matter you want to enjoy the natural sceneries with some breeze on the upper deck, or just appreciate the views passing by on your booth, you can hear the guide notice and introduction of the highlights on the river. And that may focus more on Chinese guests, but less in English. During your about 4-5 hours from Guilin Mopanshan Dock to Yangshuo Longtoushan Dock, the cruise staff will provide Chinese meal for your lunch based on the need of passengers, however, which is very simple and basic. So we suggest guests booking such kind of boat prepare some snacks before your boarding.
4-Star Cruise Boats
The 4-Star cruises are the luxury standard boats, which are much more luxury than the 3-Stars, especially the most luxury Sheng Jing Hao and Feng Guang Hao cruises. With only about 70-80 seats onboard, 4-Star Li River cruises allow passengers enjoy more room and lesser crowded environment. Moreover, when you board the cruise, you will find the more luxury facilities including sofa booths, washing rooms, etc. Inner decorations are also more tasteful to please more business people and social celebrities. Another major difference between the two kinds of cruises is the served lunch. Onboard 4-Star cruise, people can enjoy the much better Chinese and Western buffet lunch with several choices of dishes, rice, noodles, fruits, disserts, etc. However, not all 4-Star cruise boats arrive at Yangshuo directly, but some of them, especially the more luxury cruise boats will arrive in Xingping Town finally. So, if you book this kind of boat, make sure of its final dock in Yangshuo before booking.
Li River 3 Star Cruise Appearance
Li River 4 Star Cruise Inner Decoration
Li River 4 Star Cruise Buffet Lunch
Li River Cruise Time & Schedule
All Li River cruises depart in the morning, with the 3 Star cruises at around 09:30 and 4 Star cruises at around 9:20. However, during some peak seasons and special dates, there may be some changes and additions for 3-Star cruises during 09:00-10:00, which is not settled. From Guilin to Yangshuo, the cruises would pass different sightseeing spot, for about 83 kilometers, which usually takes about 4-5 hours. Passengers of 3-Star cruises would arrive in Yangshuo at about 14:00, and 4-Star cruise passengers usually arrive in Yangshuo at However, according to the level of water, the cruising time may be shortened or expanded. All cruise time would be adjusted according to the practical notice.
Which Docks Are Used in Guilin and Yangshuo?
For 3-Star Cruise
Mopanshan Dock (At the End of Guimo Road, Lingchuan, Guilin桂林市灵川县桂磨路尽头 - 磨盘山码头), which needs about 50-80 minutes driving from Guilin Liangjiang Airport, about 40-50 minutes driving from Guilin city center.
Longtoushan Dock (No.37, Binjiang Road, Yangshuo, Guilin 桂林市阳朔县滨江路37号 - 龙头山码头), which needs about 15-20 minutes walking to West Street, and about 5-8 minutes by taking the sightseeing golf car.
For 4-Star Cruise
Zhujiang Dock in Guilin (County Road 091, Yanshan District, Guilin桂林市雁山区091县道 - 竹江码头), which needs about 60-80 minutes driving from Guilin Liangjiang Airport, about 40-50 minutes driving from Guilin city center.
Normal 4-Star Cruises use Shuidongmen Dock (No.2 Binjiang Road, Yangshuo, Guilin桂林市阳朔县滨江路2号 - 水东门码头), which needs about 3-5 minutes walking to West Street; More luxury 4-Star Cruises usually use Xingping Dock (No.5 Dahebei, Xingping, Yangshuo, Guilin 桂林市阳朔县兴坪镇大河背5号 - 兴坪码头)
Guilin Zhujiang Dock
Guilin Mopanshan Dock
Li River Cruise Prices
For 3-Star Cruise: 215RMB/ person; 108RMB/person for children (30RMB/person for Chinese lunch needs to be paid extra)
For 4-Star Cruise: 360-480 RMB/person; 180-240RMB/person for children (according to types of cruises)
How to book Li River cruise tickets?
To book the Li River cruse tickets, you can book through the official platform of Li River Cruise, however, which can only be completed on the Official Account on WeChat. If you have a WeChat account and a Chinese bank account, you can succeed booking the tickets by filling your personal information including the region, country, passport number (or other valid documents) and full name and then paying the money. However, if you do not have, you can directly book with us China Discovery!
How to collect your Li River cruise tickets?
Visitors booking Li River Cruise by your own need to collect your tickets at the 3 specific sites in Guilin:
Site 1: No.9 West Lane, Zhengyang Road, Guilin (桂林市正阳路西巷9号)
Site 2: Entrance of Parking Lot in Xiangshan Park, Minzhu Road, Guilin (桂林市民主路象山公园停车场入口)
Site 3: 1F, Xiangshang Mansion, No.31 Canluan Road, Guilin (桂林市骖鸾路31号湘商大厦一楼)
Experience Li River Cruise with China Discovery
Booking a Guilin Tour with China Discovery, you can enjoy the Li River directly without dealing with the matter of tickets. No matter booking the cruise tickets or collecting the tickets, we China Discovery can provide the great service to do it for you if you travel with us. You will worry about nothing, since our driver will escort you from your hotel in Guilin to the cruise dock, and our local guide will collect your tickets in advance and give them to you directly on your cruising day, and he/she will give good introduction about Li River and accompany to your accommodation in Yangshuo. If you are interested, please feel free to tell us!
Li River 3-Star Cruises vs. 4-Star Cruises
|Type of Li River Cruise||3-Star Cruise||4-Star Cruise|
|Departure Time||Usually 09:30; sometimes adjusted or added during 09:00-10:00||Usually 09:20|
|Dock in Guilin||Mopanshan Dock||Zhujiang Dock|
|Dock in Yangshuo||Longtoushang Dock||Some use Shuidongmen Dock; some use Xingping Dock|
|Lunch||Simple Chinese lunch (needs extra 30RMB/person)||Chinese and Western buffet lunch|
|Capacity||100-120 passengers||70-80 passengers|
Best Time to Take Li River Cruise
You can take Li River cruise in all four seasons, however, it is not so recommended from December to February since the level of water would change lower and Karst mountains would not be so green compared to other months. From March to November, you can see different beautiful appearance of Li River based on the distinct weather condition. It is the best time on some days with some rains, when you will see the mysterious Karst hills layer by layer, just like the traditional Chinese ink painting, with the looming mountains surrounded by mists against the Li River. However, in such rainy days, you are advised take you umbrella or rain coat since there is no roof on the sun deck onboard the cruise. Besides, in sunny days, the emerald mountains also are eye-pleasant, and with the warm sunshine, the shimmering river water is really lovely.
Tips for Taking Li River Cruise
Better stay overnight in Guilin before taking the Li River cruise
As Li River cruises depart in the morning at around 09:30 and sometimes at 09:00, and it usually needs about 1-1.5 hours from Guilin Liangjiang International Airport to Zhujiang / Mopanshan Dock, it will be in a hurry if you arrange the Li River cruise after your flight on that early morning. Furthermore, if your flight delays, you would miss the cruise. For most visitors, we suggest you stay overnight in Guilin city and take the Li River cruise the next morning.
Prepare a hat and sunglasses
You are suggested to bring your hat as the river wind may be a little strong to make you catch a cold during some cold days. Besides, in summer time, it’s better to bring your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the strong UV.
Vehicle from Longtoushan Dock to West Street for 3-Star Cruise people
For visitors taking 3-Star Li River cruises, you would arrive at Longtoushan Dock in Yangshuo, which needs a 15-20 minutes walking to the West Street to find most accommodation. If you do not want to walk long with your heavy luggage, you can take the sightseeing vehicle, which needs about 10RMB/person. However, for the traffic control, the vehicle cannot enter the West Street, but only take you to the entrance of the Street, and then you have to walk to your hotel.
Broadcast guide service for your catching of Li River highlights
On both 3-Star and 4-Star cruises, the broadcast will inform you before reaching the scenic spots in both Chinese and English, so you will not miss any highlights of Li River.
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