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Guilin & Yangshuo Adventure: 7-day
Longsheng-Guilin-Yangshuo

Highlights:

• Cruise down the Li River, one of the world’s most beautiful rivers and on of China’s top 5 attractions (according to Lonely Planet)
• Scale the Longsheng Rice Terrace, China’s most breathtaking rice terrace
• Spend the night in authentic ethnic minority villages with a local villager’s family, this is as authentic a China experience as you could get

B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner  Departure: Upon booking

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Tour code:
AYN-24
Day 1: Arrive in Guilin

When you arrive at the Guilin airport, our English-speaking guide will meet you, and then we will begin our touring for the day. Guilin is the capital of the Guangxi Autonomous Region in southwest China. Our first stop is the Reed Cave. Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan) is a fascinating gallery of natural sculpture (limestone cave formations), now enhanced by multicolored lighting, which has been one of Guilin’s many interesting attractions for over 1200 years. It rates as one of the top four tourist sites in the city. The cave is about 240 meters long and a tour lasts about one hour. Along the u-shaped route, you will have ample time see the oddly shaped rocks and stone pillars while the guide narrates interesting stories about them. Illuminated by the colored lights, the cave looks like a dazzling underground palace. That’s why the cave is also known as the Nature’s Art Palace.

Day 2: Guilin-Longsheng-Pingan (B+L+D, 5 hours of hiking)

After breakfast in the hotel we will make the 2-hour drive to the Longji rice Terraces. The Longji Terraced fields (also known as the Devil’s Backbone), were first built in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368 AD) and completed in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 AD) by the Zhuang people. The terraced fields are built along the slope winding from the riverside up to the mountaintop, with the highest place of an elevation of 885m and the lowest 380m. Longsheng town is situated in a densely forested area of over 2400 square kilometers and has a population of only 160,000 people, with many of hhem from the Miao, Dong, and Zhuang ethnic minorities.. It is surrounded by mountains in four sides and lies 100 kilometers north of Guilin, as well as in the joint area of Heping River and Sang River. Built on the mountain slopes, the town boasts rows of tall buildings separated by banyan trees.

Then we’ll make the 5 hour trek to our destination of Pingan. Hiking along the large pieces of rice terraces is a fantastic experience. The scene of farming and the beautiful village scenery will feast your eyes with a pure country life style. Pingan is a village made up of the minority Zhuang peoples, and we will stay with a local Zhaung family for the night, sleeping and eating in tier home.

Day 3:
Pingan-Xiaozhai village (B+L+D, 5 hours of hiking)

After breakfast with our Zhunag host family, we will take a 5-hour hike to Xiaozhai Village, On our way to Xiaozhai, we will pass through graceful bamboo groves, farmers and their families tending to their rice paddies. This is a wonderful way to lean about daily life in this area of China.

At the Xiaozhai Village we will learn some of the customs of Miao and Zhuang minority peoples, who are the main inhabitants of this village. We can also chat with the villagers, and visit their homes. For the night we will stay in a local families home, with dinner being the local delicacy. I’m sure the dinner conversation will be very interesting!

Day 4: Xiaozhai Village-Longzheng (B+L+D, 10km/6.2 miles, 6-7 hours of hiking)

We will have breakfast with our host family, and then we will set off on a 3.5 hour trek, and on the way we will climb the tallest mountain in Longsheng, before arriving at our destination, Bengli Village. On this hike we will encounter farmers going about their chores, as well as passing some little villages on the way.

Like the village we stayed at the night before, Bengli Village’s inhabitants are largely members of China’s ethnic minority groups. We will again stay with a local family, and dine with them as well.

Day 5: Longsheng Hot Spring-Guilin (B+L)

If you are up for it, we can hike to the Longsheng Hot Springs, but if you’d like a relaxing day then we can take the bus. We will then arrive at the Longsheng Hot Springs. The Longsheng Hot Springs is well-known as "a heaven of peace and happiness" and a "paradise on earth". Welling out from cracks in the rocks halfway up the mountain, the hot spring water is colorless, tasteless, pure and clear. About 54-58 degrees centigrade, it consists of many trace elements including lithium, strontium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper and others. The water is suitable for drinking and bathing. It also has curative effects on nerves, skin diseases, rheumatism, and arthritis. Since the Longsheng Hot Springs are situated in a deep tranquil valley, surrounded by mountains of dense vegetation, it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer there.

We will take our time recuperating and bathing in the hot springs, before driving to Guilin and to your 4 star hotel. You can spend tonight exploring Guilin’s ethnic music and culture shows, as well as enjoying the city’s numerous modern bars, pubs, and restaurants.

Day 6:
 Guilin-Li River-Yangshuo (B+L)

Today you will be cruising down one of the world’s most stunning rivers, the Li. Gorgeous karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the limpid river under the blue sky. Water buffalo patrol the fields, peasants reap rice paddies, school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, the scenery along the Li River become one of China's top tourist destinations. Some of the highlights you will see on your 7-8hour cruise will be Elephant Trunk Hill, a hill resembling an Elephant taking water from its trunk, Pagoda Hill, just a few minutes away from the Elephant Trunk Hill, Daxu Town, an ancient river town, and of course you will also see local fisherman and workers over their normal course of work. The cruise down the Li River offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the local population here.

Our cruise will terminate at Yangshuo, a lush and exotic county that includes minority groups from all over Asia. In the afternoon we will rent bikes and ride onto the country roads, lanes, and tracks, through the paddy fields orchards that surround the misty mountains. To cool off after our ride, we will float on bamboo rafts down the Yulong River. The languid river is surrounded by a primitive, but pure, natural landscape, along with green bamboo forests and rolling hills. Visitors to the area will delight in the picturesque scenes of simple rural life: bamboo waterwheels irrigating the paddy fields; village girls hand washing clothes outside of their cottages with smoke curling upward from the chimneys; old men fishing in the river; flocks of ducks swimming in the pond.

The night is up to you, but we recommend spending some time at West Street, the oldest street in Yangshuo, and features an interesting mix of traditional shops and modern bars.

Day 7: Yangshuo-Guilin

We will make the short drive back to Guilin, and you will be driven to the airport. You will then catch your flight to your next destination, ending your tour.

Stuff to bring:
• Sturdy hiking shoes or boots, sunglasses and sunscreen
• Bug spray and any other items needed in dealing with the tropical heat
• Tips for a job well done by your guides and drivers, money for any personal expenses not mentioned

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