Li River was selected as one of the world's top 10 watery wonders by America's National Geographic magazine, who quoted on their official website: "China's Li River snakes through a fairy-tale landscape of conical limestone peaks, its smooth waters exquisitely mirroring the magical scenery."
The highlights of the Li River can be seen along the 84km waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo. Pinnacles covered in deep foliage (shrouded in mist on rainy days), clear water, deep ponds, dangerous shoals, and vistas of idyllic countryside can be seen along the river banks. The scenery varies according to the weather and season. On sunny days the Li River looks like a bright landscape painting, with clear reflections of green peaks rising straight out of the water. On foggy and rainy days, the Li River is shrouded in mist and appears mysterious and magical.
Beautiful Li River
Li River is one of the world’s most picturesque and beautiful rivers with the length of 160 kilometers, which constitutes the highlights of Guilin’s natural beauty. The upstanding verdant mountains on both sides contribute to the beauty of the river. It’s known to all that cruising is usually the most popular way to go sightseeing on Liver. However, for people who prefer to feel and do physical exercise instead of only appreciating the scenery, hiking along the picturesque river is no doubt a more suitable choice. The most fantastic route of hiking along Li River is between Xingping and Yangdi which present the natural highlights of Li River and relatively flat terrain, covering the length of about 18 kilometers. Walking through characteristic villages, bamboo forests and rice fields and enjoying picturesque mountain landscape will help you to relax yourself and purify your mind and soul.
Hiking along the Li River
Hiking Route: Xingping to Yangdi
Time: about 4 hours
Best time to visit: April to October
Langshi Village and spectacular mountains
Each turn of the river holds new surprises. In the green forests on the left bank lies a village named Langshi Village, where the houses are built with black bricks and red tiles. Mountains such as Dahuang Mount, Wenbi Mount, Bijia Mount and Lion Mount line the right banks of the river; whereas Guanyin Mount, White Rabbit Mount, and Gold Cock Peak line the left banks. The origins of these names have been lost in history.
The Fresco Hill - The Nine Horse Mount
Nine Horse Mount is 61km from Guilin and 4km from Xinping(a small fishing village on the river bank). The cliff face has images of what appeared to be a group of horses. Variegated in yellow and white, dark and light, the horses assume a variety of poses: some seem to be running, some just lying there and others playing. These images have been present on the mountain side for centuries.
The number of horses there depends on your imagination. Legend has it that the horses came from heaven. They escaped to earth when the Monkey King was not watching closely. When they were drinking by the Li River, a painter saw them and wanted to draw them. But the horses became startled, escaped into the hills and stayed there forever. This unusual cliff view has attracted many poets, painters, scholars and tourists over the years.
Yellow Cloth Reflection
The most famous of the reflections of the mountain scenery along the Li River is Huangbu beach. The clear water reveals a yellow rock board at the bottom of the river for about 100 meters. The rock resembles a piece of yellow cloth spreading over the river bed; hence its Chinese name. On the bank near the beach, a group of seven peaks are named "seven fairy sisters". Legend has it that these sisters descended from the heavenly palace one day to tour the Li River. They were so taken by its scenic beauty that they forgot to return. When the King of Heaven found out, he ordered them to come back, but the sisters chose to remain on earth. They changed themselves into stone peaks by blowing gusts of miracle air.