If you wish to escape the bustling tandem to seek reprieve in a placid haven, the lively little Yungshao area is one of the most exquisite tourist destinations in China. The Yulong River, also known as the meeting dragon river, is the biggest tributary of the Li River and flows through the valley. Its rich green water makes it quite popular with the tourists.
The mesmerizing scenery around the River would take your breath away and the harmonious sight of rugged wild beauty, farmers toiling in the fields, fan shaped peaked hills, picturesque mountains, bamboo rafts drifting under the 600 year-old Yulong stone bridge, and simple farms with water buffaloes splashing in the water, is one to behold.
If you wish to see the gorgeous beauty of a natural landscape, the Yungshao area has commendable hiking spots, such as the Yangdi to Xingping and the path along the Yulong River. Hiking along the River also gives you a great opportunity to appreciate the panoramic view of landscape and even learn Chinese cooking and culture along the way. If you wish to plan a hiking excursion along the Yulong River, here’s a suggested itinerary that you can follow:
Day 1: Arrive in Guilin
The city of Guilin is to the northeast of Yulong and you can arrive at Guilin by air, where you would land at the Guilin Airport. From Guilin, you can take the Guilin-Yungshao bus from the Guilin bus station or the Guilin Train station, and get off at the town of Baisha. From there, you can get a ride to Yungshao on a motorbike or a tricycle, depending on what you stumble upon.
The buses, with Yungshao clearly printed on them, leave every 10 minutes during the day so you would have ample opportunity to catch one. If you have arranged for a travel guide, make sure he meets you at the Guilin airport upon your arrival and make your journey easy.
DAY 2: Hiking at Yulong
Hiking the Yulong River from Gongnong Bridge to Yima village tour depicts the traditional Chinese farming culture and flaunts the natural beauty of karsts landscape. The hike is around 7kms and takes an estimate of 4 hours to navigate. You could make a stopover in Yima village and visit any local farming family which is a great chance to experience the real life of China’s rural areas.
Have a scrumptious lunch at the Rosewood Café in West Street, which offers a diverse assortment of western food, as well as a local fare. Along the Yulong river, you would come across Guiyi Original Site, Seven Stars, Fuli Bridge, Rhinoceros Deep Pool, the Zhus'Camp,Chuan Cave, Xiangui Bridge, Ancient Village, Zhaoyang Camp, and other scenic spots. When you are at Yulong, make sure you have some time put off for the cooking class at the Ai Yuan Chinese cookery school.
The class begins at the local farmers market where the students learn about the daily gastronomic habits of the Chinese locals and buy fresh ingredients for the meals. Learn to prepare ingredients, chop and season under the guidance of a teacher. Taste the fruit of labor after all dishes are prepared and have the recipes as a memento.
Day 3: Back to Guilin
Arrange for a drive back to Guilin. Along the way, you can visit various scenic spots, such as the Seven Star Park, the Reed Flute Cave, and the Elephant Trunk Hill.