Our trip to China went beyond our expectations. We hesitate to say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience - we will travel with Remote Lands again and look forward to those new, exclusive adventures
Mark & Lee - Austin, TX

Riding the Dragon's Back: Adventures in Guilin & Longsheng

The Guilin and Longsheng regions of southern China provide two of the most stunning and iconic landscapes in all of Asia. With this five-day itinerary, you will experience the best that each region has to offer, including the staggering, jagged, and beautiful karst formations of Guilin and the vibrant green, tapered rice terraces of Longsheng. The landscapes are each extraordinarily beautiful, but in very different and unique ways. Spend time with the locals who call these remote places home and learn of the great diversity that exists just in the south of China. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • On board your bamboo raft, slowly drift through the beautiful valleys of the Guilin area and take in the impressive scenery of monolothic karst structures.
  • Admire the large cliff-face mural drawn by the Zhuang people of rural China; a piece consisting of 1,300 figures.
  • Visit the Xiaozhai village, home to the Yao minority, and find out why the local women cut their hair only twice in their lifetimes.
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

After arriving in Guilin, you will be transferred by private vehicle to your hotel in Yangshuo, The Yanghuo Resort. Guilin City and the nearby town of Yangshuo are often said to be two of the most beautiful places in China. You will have the chance to see some stunning scenery, ranging from the Li River to the hundreds of limestone karst formations. These special rock formations are formed from prehistoric sea floor sediment, which rose up to the surface due to erosion by streams. These unique peaks seen throughout the region were shaped by rainfall eroding away the soft sediment. Experience a local lunch in either town of your choice - your knowledgeable guide will recommend the best spot. 

Day 2

Today will be an exciting day of touring around Yangshuo. Meet your personal tour guide at 9am before driving 30 minutes to the Yulong River, where your private 90-minute bamboo raft cruise will begin. Sit down to lunch with your English speaking guide. Your guide’s family will cook using fresh ingredients straight from their garden and host an interactive, hands-on cooking demonstration. After a delicious meal, get back into the countryside. Visit Bilian Peak, which offers panoramic views of the Li River and the Silver Cave. Next, visit Moon Hill, a famous limestone rock formation with a large moon-shaped hole in the middle. Return to the Yangshuo Resort for dinner, or if you’re up for some more action, head along to the bustling Xi Jie (West Street), a walking street full of delicious Chinese cuisine.

Day 3

Wake up early and make your way to Ping An, a three hour drive. Check in to your accommodation - the charming Li An Lodge, located in the Old Town area. Ping An is set on the famous Dragon’s Back Rice Terraces, also known as longji titian, in Longsheng. These gracefully-tiered platforms become narrower the higher they are, giving them the appearance of a huge snail when seen from afar. The village is mostly populated by the Zhuang minority, the largest ethnic minority in China. The Zhuang people are famous for their impressive mural paintings, the most famous of which is 328-feet-long and 131-feet-wide, located in the southwest along the cliff faces of Zuojiang. Spend a relaxing day in the city and experience a local Chinese massage or have a health check by a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.

Day 4

Day four is another exciting day of touring, starting just after breakfast. Drive approximately one and a half hours on a slightly bumpy road before reaching the Xiaozhai village, home to the Yao minority. Here, you’ll be greeted by villagers performing a traditional singing ceremony and find out why Yao women only cut their hair twice in their lives - first as a teenager and again after they marry. Enjoy a packed lunch and walk 15 minutes uphill before arriving at the heart of the village, where you will be met by the remainder of the villagers. Chit-chat over a cup of tea before heading back to Li An Lodge.

Day 5

Take a refreshing morning hike through the terraces before driving back to Guilin. Say farewell to your new friends before staying overnight at the Yangshuo Resort or flying out to your next destination. 


Suggested Accommodations

Yangshuo Resort

Yangshuo Resort

Opened in 2009, the Yangshuo Resort sits on a scenic perch on the banks of the Yulong River. Each of the 236 rooms offer balconies with mountain and river views and feature complimentary Internet service. Guests can choose from three on-site restaurants whose menus range from traditional Chinese cuisine to continental style cafés. The Dragonfly Bar is also available for cocktails, wine or tea. Other amenities include bicycles to ride around the property, an oversized swimming pool, fitness center, spa, Chinese traditional massage sauna center, and a children’s playground. The Yangshuo Resort is approximately 90 minutes from the Guilin airport.

Li-An Lodge

Li-An Lodge

Li-An Lodge is the culmination of artist and traveler Keren Su’s decade-long quest to build a unique, luxurious lodge amidst the gorgeous Longsheng rice terraces. Su first discovered this area on a photography trip in 1997 and finally opened Li An eight years later; the entire lodge is built without nails and instead uses a traditional Chinese construction technique of fitting pegs into grooves to secure joints. There are 16 rooms, each with unparalleled views of the terraces and their own specific themes and designs. For example, the Harvest room features farming tools used by the local Zhuang minority in addition to other Zhuang-specific pieces, and the Rock room fitted with intricate stone carving and furniture. Although the rooms do not have Internet access, there is a high-speed connection in the business center. Li-An Lodge also has a restaurant that serves Western and Chinese food, as well as a bar and sitting room decorated with Su’s photography and other work.

Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder & COO Jay Tindall is a former China resident and a true China expert. He loves visiting remote rural areas and meeting China's ethnic minorities.
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