Li River cruise per raft, Yangdi-Xingping, Yangshuo-Liugong

There are several ways to enjoy the wonderful scenery of the majestic Li-river in Yangshuo. These include hiking, cycling, or cruising the Li-river down either on a small motorised PVC raft (none of them real bamboo) or per larger Li-river cruise boat. Below we have added the pros and cons of either a raft or boat cruise on the Li-river as part of your transfer to Yangshuo, either from Guilin or the rice terraces.

On this page we discuss how you can enjoy the views of hundreds of karst mountain peaks towering up from both shores of the Li-river per smaller motorised raft (similar to bamboo rafts) either north between Yangdi and Xingping or Fuli and Liugong located on south of Yangshuo. These trips can be combined with visits to each of these old riverside towns of Xingping and Fuli, or charming little villages like Liugong. There are plenty of rides available between the various sections of the Li-river with differing qualities.

Yangdi – Xingping Li-river raft trips

The most famous section of the Li-river meanders between Yangdi and Xingping and covers the most impressive part of the Li River with giant limestone peaks, sub tropical forest shading the banks and long white pebble beaches (depending on the water level). This stretch used to be a very touristic part of the Li-river, especially between 10.00 and 15.00 when dozens of tour boats cruise up and/or down the river with a myriad of smaller rafts floating in between. But since the local government has started to regulate this area and impose heavy taxes that saw raft prices nearly triple, many if not all big tour group agencies now avoid the area. Ticket times have also been limited and rafts now only leave the docks at Yangdi and Xingping between 07:30-09:00 in the morning, without large boats on the river, and 13:00-15:00 in the afternoon, when the tour boats return empty to Guilin.

Yangdi to 9-horse fresco hill:

This trip starts with a taxi, minivan or bus (leaving Yangshuo/Guilin South Bus station) from either Guilin or Yangshuo to Yangdi. There you will find a few noodle shops where you could have a local breakfast before boarding your private raft to 9-horse fresco hill where an open golf cart will take you further to Xingping. You have plenty of time to explore this old riverside town and can take the bus (back) to Yangshuo or have us pick you up per taxi. This tour can also be enjoyed as part of a Guilin to Yangshuo transfer.

Getting There: Local bus – Private Taxi/Mini-Van
Times/Duration: Transfer time 1.5-2hrs / Time on the river 1h10min
Departure Times: Yangdi dock 07:30-09:00 or 13:00-15:00
Ticket prices: These prices vary depending season.
Ticket Booking: Include it in your itinerary or book your tour here.

Yangdi to Xingping:

Since April 2018, it is not possible anymore to take the raft from Yangdi all the way to Xingping, due to government restrictions.

Xingping to 9-horse fresco hill:

This trip starts with a taxi or local bus to the Xingping bus station, just a 5 min stroll away from the old town centre, where you will meet our raftsman or lady who will guide you directly to the boat landing (15min beautiful walk), or if you would like to explore Xingping first, discuss a meeting point in the old town centre to meet later on. After a 40 minute scenic ride that includes the view printed on the back of the 20CNY note you will dock at 9-horse fresco hill, probably the most famous mountain on the Li river, and take a cart back to Xingping.

Getting There: Local bus – Private Taxi/Mini-Van
Times/Duration: Transfer time 1.5-2hrs / Time on the river 40min
Departure Times: Xingping dock 07:30-09:00 or 13:00-15:00
Ticket prices: These prices vary depending season.
Ticket Booking: Include it in your itinerary or book your tour here.

Xingping to Yangdi return Xingping:

Since April 2018, it is not possible anymore to take the raft from Xingping all the way to Yangdi, due to government restrictions.

Xingping to Yucun Fishing Village (return):

From Xing Ping hire a small farmers boat at the Xingping landing, from there travel down the river to the Fishing Village (famously visited by Bill Clinton in 1998). The boat tour takes around a couple of hours for the round trip including enough time to visit the Fishing Village. Apart from the well preserved Ming Dynasty architecture and wood carvings dating back more than five hundred years, the Fishing Village is worth seeing for its natural Feng Shui alone. Encircled by seven forested peaks and two stone guardians at the village entrance, the modern world has largely bypassed this highly spiritual place.

Getting There: Local bus – Private Taxi/Mini-Van
Times/Duration: 5-8hrs; river cruise 1.5hrs
Ticket prices: These prices vary depending season.
Ticket Booking: Include it in your itinerary or book your tour here

Raft or boat cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo?

Below we outline the pros and cons of coming on a Li river raft (Yangdi to 9-horse or Xingping) or Li river cruise as part of your Guilin to Yangshuo, or Rice Terraces to Yangshuo transfer.


If all goes smooth and the weather is nice you will only see the best scenery of the river and be able to visit an old town, Xingping.
It will cost much less than a private/group transfer + cruise boat and you can stay in bed a bit longer that day.


A self arranged bus + raft trip is for adventurous people who do not mind the difficulties of trying to find your way in areas where people may not speak your language and arrange and haggle activities yourself with luck needed with the willingness of locals. You need help from the driver to tell you where to get off in Yangdi. Some do forget. In Yangdi you need to haggle a ride to the riverside, about 10km away. As with the rafts they can be overpriced as locals know you’re left without other options… You’d also need to take your luggage with you on the rafts and in Xingping for quite a distance to the bus station.
In the event it rains rafts are far from enjoyable and your luggage need to be properly packed to prevent it from getting wet. We therefore recommend the large cruise boat as part of a transfer here, particularly during the rainy season (March-June) as your arrival day is fixed and the experience heavily depends on weather conditions.

Also, coming on a raft from Guilin (or the rice terraces), you’d spend about 2.5 hours on the bus to Guilin (from the rice terraces), 1 hour on the bus to Yangdi (this all counts for both), 20 minutes on a three-wheeler or taxi to the riverside, 20 minutes on an electric cart from the end wharf at 9-horse hill to Xingping, and another 50 minutes to Yangshuo bus station. Coming on a cruise it is only 40 minutes from Guilin center to the wharf (3.5 hours from the terraces) in an air-conditioned taxi/minivan to the wharf here in Yangshuo where you will arrive earlier having enjoyed double the time on the river. Not just that section offers amazing scenery, it starts right from the wharf outside Guilin.

Last but not least, the experience on a large cruise boat offers a less touristic feel than the rafts now, which used to be the other way round. On the higher deck of a cruise boat you’ll usually see only 3-4 boats ahead in a line and 3-4 behind, which leaves 99% of the (outside the Yangdi and Xingping stretch) just river and mountain scenery. Rafts on the other travel up and down that relatively short section in large amounts so being lower on the river there are rafts everywhere all made of PVC and motorised (none of bamboo) with a (noisy) engine…

So there are pros and cons to each, just thought we’d share our knowledge here with feedback about both options so you can make a most informed decision to choose the best experience for your precious holiday time here in the area!

Yangshuo – Fuli – Liugong Li-river raft trips

You can also enjoy the Li-river south of Yangshuo which is perhaps a bit less impressive but generally much quieter during peak times. Rafts – that all sit 4 people – start from Yangshuo and can take you passed the artistic old town centre of Fuli – famous for its fan painting and little art galleries – and Liugong, a sleepy old riverside village with authentic Qing Dynasty houses and amazing scenery around. Below we have summoned the most common start and ending points for your Li-river raft tours. Unless otherwise specified, these rafts are legal and licensed. Note that the prices for Li-river rafting trips have increased recently under new government regulations since 2014.

Yangshuo to Fuli / Liugong:

It is also possible to take a bamboo-raft from the docks near West Street, either just floating around the river alongside Yangshuo or you can drift down south to Fuli, famous for its paintings or further down to Liugong, an 800-year old sleepy riverside village.

Li River Bamboo Rafting and Hiking Combination:

This trip will take you from Yangdi to Lengshui and finally to Xingping. There is a great hike along the river (it’s not really hiking as the path is fairly flat) between what is said to be the most beautiful part of the Li-river, Yangdi and Xing Ping. You could combine walking and floating down the river which gives you an experience the scenery from different perspectives. To start catch a local bus to Yangdi which takes about 1 hr 10min. From there you can walk for about 4 hours along the banks of the Li River to Lengshui which is about three quarters of the way between Yangdi and Xingping. From Lengshui, you can enjoy a 40 min bamboo raft trip downstream. Note that gondoliers may want to drop you off outside of Xingping as they try to avoid paying the mooring fee at the jetty. From there you can either continue to walk to Xing Ping (20min) or take one of the many (disturbing) electric carts run from the drop off point to the Xingping bus station where you can catch a local bus back to Yangshuo.

If you would like to combine the rafting with a cycling trip – which is highly recommended – you can rent bicycles and arrangements can be made to take them from your departure point in a van to the point where you end your bamboo trip so you can continue by bicycle.

You could also enjoy the scenery on a larger cruise boat either from Guilin to Yangshuo or since shortly as one of the few on a boat from Yangshuo upstream to Yangdi in the direction of Guilin. For details, schedules and pricing see our Li-river cruise Yangshuo to Guilin page.

Getting There: By bicycle – scooter – taxi – local bus
Times/Duration: Minimum times are 2 hrs.
Booking Information:Include it in your itinerary or book your tour here


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17 Comments to “Li River cruise per raft, Yangdi-Xingping, Yangshuo-Liugong”

Due to the volume of enquiry comments we receive, only few comments, generally with new & relevant information, will be posted here. We reply to all comments by email.

  1. Barb says:

    Yangshuo to Yangdi cruise, can we take our luggage since we won’t be returning to Yangshuo?

  2. JUAN says:

    I want to walk from Yangdi to Xingping June 23, 2014. I will overnight in Yangshuo.
    I travel alone and I want to know if you can give an Internet address to dowload a GPS route that cover the trail.
    Also I want to know if there is a travel agency whare I can join a group that want to walk this trail or if there is some place where I can find a person that want to walk with me for all day foe a fee.

    Thank you,


    • Jono says:

      Hi Juan,

      I don’t know if you can download the route, but this website gives a decent view of the trail from Yangdi to Xingping There are many travel agencies in Yangshuo but knowing which one might be taking a group on the specific day you want would be a real lottery. We can arrange a guide for you for the day for 250Y. This is an area of exceptional natural beauty and there is a fee to enter the area of 118Y you will also need to pay for three river crossings, these are about 20Y per person per crossing. I’ve heard stories of people sometimes being overcharged for the river crossings. If you take a guide with you then they will organise all of the river crossings on your behalf.

      Kind regards

      • JUAN says:

        Jono, thank you very much for your answer… It looks interesting.

        For me will be 118+20+20+20+bus from Yangshuo to Yangdi+ bus from Xingpin to Yangshuo. May I have the amount I have to pay?

        In adition to the ¥250 for the guide, How much I have to pay for “extras” like transport, food, etc?


        • Jono says:

          Hi Juan,

          I would suggest getting a private car to take you to Yangdi for 200Y, then hike to Xingping, and take the local bus back to Yangshuo for around 10Y.

          You will not have to pay for the guide’s food or transportation, just your own.

          Kind regards

          • JUAN says:

            Thank you for your answer, Jono.

            Why you suggest me to have a car instead a bus?

            Does the guide (local person) have to pay the same fees than me (tourist)? (Buses, entrance fee, river crossings)

            Greetings, Juan

            • Jono says:

              Hi Juan,

              Purely convenience, the local bus takes ages to get to Yangdi, sometimes you have to change buses. to get to the bus stop that will take you to Yangdi takes time, it can be a bit of a pain. All in all I just think it’s better to take a taxi, it’s what I would do.

              The guide lives in the area and as such doesn’t pay for entry to the national park. As a resident they cane come and go as they please. Their local knowledge is really valuable, that’s why we use them. They’re really awesome and friendly too.

              All the best

  3. frank says:

    Li-river bamboo raft tours

    Please tell me if it is allowed by the Government and is it possible for 2 adults in Mid April of 2014. Which tours are available that include motorized and/or NON motorized Bamboo rafting. What are the prices


    • Jono says:

      Hi There,

      All of the tours on the Li river use motorised bamboo rafts. However, on the Yulong river they are all non-motorised.

      So, Yangshuo to Liugong one way for two people is 400Y. Yangshuo to Fuli and back to Yangshuo is also 400Y. This included the government fees and everything is allowed.

      Kind regards

  4. Vallari says:

    We would like to take the bus to Yangdi, hike to Lengshui, then take the bamboo raft down to Xing Ping and then cycle to Yangshou one way OR do we need to rent the bikes from Yangshou and take them with us on the bus and back?


    • Yangshuo-Insider says:

      Hello Vallari,
      It would be a bit of a hassle to take your bike on the bus to Yangdi, walk it along with you on the hiking trail, dragging it on your raft and continue to XingPing. But what you could do is cycle from Yangshuo to XingPing, then enjoy a relaxing ride upstream from XingPing to Lengshui (Wave Stone View) and hike the river trail back to Nine Horse Fresco Hill (2 hours) and either walk or take one of the electric mini-buses further down to XingPing. If you locked your bike well, it will still be there to get you back to Yangshuo. You can get your chances and ask for the bus driver if you can take it with you on the bus XingPing to Yangshuo, if so, do let us know, always a great pleasure to hear good willing experiences with locals!

  5. Eugene Kim says:

    We are coming to Guilin/Yangshou as a family (of four) this weekend. I did not know about the Yangshou-Yangdi option, but am very interested now that I have read about it on your website. Here are some options I am considering:

    Bus: Guilin-Yangdi (is there such a bus?) ==> Bamboo Raft: Yangdi-Xingping ==> Bus: Xingping-Yangshuo (again, is there such as bus?)
    [from an overnight in Guilin at the start of our trip]

    Bus: Yangshuo-Yangdi (is there such a bus?) ==> Bamboo Raft: Yangdi-Xingping ==> Bus: Xingping-Yangshuo (again, is there such as bus?)
    [middle of our trip from Yangshou]

    Cruise: Yangshuo-Yangdi ==> Bus: Yangdi-Guilin (Is there such a bus?)
    [on our way to Guilin Airport at the end of our trip]

    I would appreciate your advice on the matter and how I can book tickets through your service (including cost).

    My children are 11 and 7 (on the small side), so will get the kids’ discount as you mentioned on your website.


    • Yangshuo insider says:

      Hello Eugene,

      Of your 3 options here there is only the second option available but there is a very convenient alternative to your third option.

      There is no direct bus between Guilin to Yangdi, one would need to get on a local bus on the Yangshuo – Guilin route that runs between the train station in Guilin and the bus station in Yangshuo and stop at the crossing with the road to Yangdi. From there motorized tricycles could get you to and from Yangdi, 15km further, on irregular times, not convenient for families traveling with children and very time consuming as well. It would be hard to tell when you would arrive Yangdi which would make it impossible to arrange such a cruise from beforehand and then you would need to haggle down the price with the locals there being in a very vulnerable situation. They know that after all the efforts you made to get there you will be more likely to settle for a higher price than to return with nothing. Nonetheless many backpackers have returned though not willing to pay greedy locals the overcharged rates.

      The tour from Yangshuo, the second option is possible, with plenty of buses between Yangdi and Yangshuo (from 7.30) and XingPing and Yangshuo (until 18.30) After a short taxi ride to the bus station the taxi driver will inform the rafts men in Yangdi of your bus number and the latter will be waiting for you in Yangdi. The bus fees are payable at the Yangshuo bus station for the bus to Yangdi (1h10m, 14Y) and on the bus leaving XingPing for Yangshuo (50min, 10Y). The raft from Yangdi to XingPing sits 4 people and costs 150Y per seat with 30Y per empty seat. In your case all seats would be taken with a price of 600Y. So the total of this tour for your family would come down to about 700Y.

      As for the third option, there are no direct buses between Yangdi and Guilin but if you are going to the airport or the center of Guilin that day and need to carry your luggage a taxi would give you a most convenient and comfortable transfer. We can book your tickets for the Li-river cruise from Yangshuo to Yangdi and arrange a taxi for you to pick up your luggage that you prepared and left at the reception of your hotel and have him pick you up in Yangdi at the time you will arrive there and then take you further in the same direction to either the center of Guilin or the Guilin airport if that suits with your flight time. If you would like us to arrange such a tour just give us your flight number and scheduled arrival time and we will check if this is a possible route. Costs for the Li-river cruise from Yangshuo to Guilin with a private transfer would be 190Y per adult for the cruise and 95Y per child between 1.1-1.4m and either 310Y for the taxi Yangshuo – Yangdi – Guilin center or 390Y to the Guilin airport. If you would like a more spacious mini-van this would be 380Y to Guilin center or 520Y to the airport. These taxi prices are calculated from Yangshuo‘s center or nearby, if you would be staying at a hotel near the Yulong river prices may be a little higher.

      Just send us an email which option would suit your family best, the name of your hotel in Yangshuo and the time of your arrival in Yangshuo upon we can make the most suitable arrangements for you without a pre-payment needed. One of our guides will visit you in your hotel to re-confirm the itinerary and deliver the tickets.

      Hope this information suits you well.



  6. Jett says:

    Hi. I came across your website while searching for Li River Bamboo Rafting. I would like to ask whether you could help to book the Li River Bamboo Rafting departing from Yangdi Pier and ending at Xing Ping Pier. I would prefer a trip for 6 people after lunch if possible. Thank you.

    • Yangshuo insider says:

      Hi Jett,

      Sure we can help you to arrange this but since the government has regulated this service the prices have gone up quite a bit. A bamboo-raft on the Li-river from Yangdi to Xing Ping which sits 4 people costs 150Y per person, empty seats cost 30Y per seat per raft. So your party would require 2 boats with a total price of 150Yx6 + 30Yx2 = 960Y. To get to Yangdi from Guilin you would need a mini-van for 5-8 people which costs 400Y, your luggage can then be taken to your hotel and you could then either take the bus in Xing Ping to Yangshuo or have the mini-van pick you up in Xing Ping. The detour to XingPing (to get to XingPing from Yangdi he needs to pass Yangshuo since they are located on different sides of the river with the nearest bridge in Yangshuo) would be 200Y. (they currently charge more since the road from Yangshuo to Xingping is under construction and now not only takes longer but their cars suffer a lot too). So not the most affordable tour to do in Yangshuo, bamboo-rafting trips on the Li-river South from Yangshuo to Fuli and Liugong, and the ones on the Yulong river are much more affordable for 60Y-100Y per person. Alternatively you could also enjoy the scenery between Yangdi and XingPing on the river with the return Li-river cruise from Yangshuo passed XingPing to Yangdi for 190Y per person. please check our Li-river cruise Guilin Yangshuo page for more details. Which place are you staying at in Yangshuo?
      Hope this helps and if you would like us to provide more information or help you to arrange something, feel free to let us know in an email at
      Yangshuo Insider