Example Itinerary

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

5 days / 4 nights
Price Per Person
Amazing Landscapes, UNESCO

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. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.


  • Bamboo Raft Cruising: Board a traditional bamboo raft and slowly drift through the beautiful valleys of the Guilin area. Take in the impressive scenery of monolothic karst structures which have been inspiring poets for centuries.
  • Long-Hair Village: Visit the Xiaozhai village, home to the Yao minority, and find out why the local women cut their hair only twice in their lifetimes.
  • Dragon's Backbone: The poetic name describes some of the most scenic terraced rice fields in the country, dotted with ancient villages. Enjoy long treks in this magical landscape.


Day 1

Guilin & Yangshuo

After arriving in Guilin, you will be transferred by private vehicle to your hotel in Yangshuo. 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, all of which have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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. 

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: The limestone mountains of Guilin form one of China’s most magical landscapes.

History: The Shangri-La’s traditional Chinese-style architecture allows guests to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Guilin.

Service: Round the clock service is provided to all guests, with suite guests and Horizon Club guests assigned a personal butler.

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Shangri-La Guilin Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Yangshuo is famed for its karst mountains and winding rivers, all of which are beautifully framed through the resort’s windows and terraces.

Design: The tireless efforts of Dong Gong and Vector Architects created a beautiful resort that seemingly effortlessly combines the preserved industrial design aesthetics with modern elements.

Comfort: From the opulent spa to luxuriously appointed rooms, guests are certain to leave physically and spiritually relaxed.

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Yangshuo Sugar House Preferred Hotel

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.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 2

Guilin & Yangshuo

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.

Guilin & Yangshuo
Guilin & Yangshuo

Day 3

Ping An

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.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Nature-loving guests will be taken aback by the hotel’s dramatic location, situated on the top of a mountain, surrounded by mesmerising rice paddies for miles upon miles.

History: It was back in 1997 that a man named Keren Su discovered a picturesque plot of land was for sale while he was photographing the region’s stunning panoramas. He bought the land and created the Li-An Lodge using traditional Chinese building methods, without the use of a single nail.

Service: Nestled into remote rice paddy fields in rural China, one wouldn’t expect to have access to such luxuries as WiFi and drinkable tap water, but at the Li An Lodge, these are standard features that all guests can enjoy.

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Li-An Lodge Preferred Hotel

Day 4

Ping An

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.

Ping An
Ping An

Day 5


Take a refreshing morning hike through the terraces before driving back to Guilin and flying out to your next destination. 

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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.


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