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.
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, 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.
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.
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 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.
Take a refreshing morning hike through the terraces before driving back to Guilin and flying out to your next destination.
On the banks of the River Li, nestled in a valley surrounded by lushly verdant mountains, Yangshuo is a must-see destination for nature lovers and those seeking a respite from the fast pace of life. Active visitors will enjoy the range of outward-bound activities available in Yangshuo, including rafting and world class rock climbing. And what better place from which to explore the stunning scenery than the Banyan Tree? In the elegant one- or two-bedroom villas overlooking the tranquil gardens or the peaceful lake, the ancient Orient meets modern comfort. Gastronomic delights are served at Baiyun, where diners can enjoy a range of Guangxi and Canton dishes. Meanwhile, the sumptuous international buffet at Ming Yue is sure to whet appetites. Guests can enjoy refreshing cocktails and exquisite snacks at sunset at the poolside bar or relax with a coffee or glass of wine in the lobby lounge. Recreation options on site include the glittering outdoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped gym with yoga studio, a cosy library and games room and a peaceful spa with a number of treatment rooms.
Opened in 2017, the Alila Yangshuo provides a slice of luxury amongst the beautiful karst mountains, green hills, and winding rivers for which Yangshuo is famous. Located in a former working sugar mill constructed during the cultural revolution, the facilities have been remodeled by renowned architect Dong Gong of Vector Architects with interiors by award-winning Ju Bin of Horizontal Space Design. The result is an inspired blend of style and comfort. Each of the 117 rooms, suites, and villas offers contemporary aesthetics, LCD cable TV, Wi-Fi access, telephone, safe, minibar, and coffee and tea-making facilities. The resort includes a stunning swimming pool, international restaurant, in-house rum distillery, opulent spa, fully equipped gym, cardio theatre, separate weights area, and gorgeous views of the Li River. The local natural splendor of the region can be explored through the diverse range of exhilarating activities available such as biking, rock climbing, and hiking.
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.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
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.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, 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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