Yulong River

Written by Vivian Updated Jul. 22, 2021

As the biggest branch of Li River in Yangshuo, Yulong River is honored as the “Little Li River” for the magnificent karst landscape on the riverbank. It’s about 43 km long and flows through five towns and over 20 beautiful villages. The part from Yulong Bridge to Gongnong Bridge is extraordinary with year-round clear water and ancient scenic spots. “Yulong” means “meeting the dragon” in Chinese. It’s said that there is a dragon settled down here because of the spectacular landscape, and villagers saw the dragon and named the river after it.

A legend goes that a dragon from the East Sea traveled here and was attracted by the beautiful scenery and stayed. At first, he just came out at night to enjoy the beautiful but later, he couldn't help coming out in the daytime. So he was seen by the villagers. So the river was renamed Meeting Dragon River. Two ancient bridges over the river are especially attractive: Yulong ( Meeting Dragon Bridge) and Hefuli Bridge. Yulong bridge is grander than the Hefuli Bridge. it's a one-arch bridge. There are 28 big or small bridges over the river, the waterwheel, villages in the Banyan, old fishers, and children make picturesque scenery.

Yulong River

Yulong River is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts as the water is calm is slow, suitable for bamboo rafting. Hiking or cycling is also very popular among backpackers. 2 or 3 hours are needed for the whole trip. And it’s highly recommended to visit between April to November.

Highlights Along Yulong River

Landscapes along the Yulong River are filled with karst hills, bamboo forest, clear water, rice paddies, authentic villagers, water buffaloes, etc. There are ancient houses and historical sites, adding lots of mystique. And the three famous ancient bridges are located here: Yulong Bridge, Xiangui Bridge, Fuli Bridge.

Yulong Bridge

Built in Ming Dynasty, Yulong Bridge is 60 meters long, 5 meters wide, and 9 meters high. It’s an arched bridge with only stones, remaining in perfect condition over hundreds of years. Locals come here to fetch water or washcloth, kids come to play water by the river. The bridge witnessed lives and improvement from one generation to another and now becomes an important cultural relic of Yangshuo Town.

Xiangui Bridge

Listed as cultural relics protection unit, Xiangui Bridge is the oldest stone-arch bridge in Guangxi. It's 25 meters long, 4 meters wide and 2 meters high. The construction is very rare and unique, using paralleling brick. That’s why it still remains in good condition after years of wind, rain erosion, and flood impact. The stone inscription on it is precious information for researching local culture.

Fuli Bridge

Located about 14 km away from Yangshuo Town, Fuli Bridge is the resource of the Yulong River. It’s 30 meters long, 5 meters wide and 10 meters high. Looking from the bridge, you can get a panoramic view, including the waving rice paddies, green hills, clear water around the village, gurgling streams.

Suggested Ways of Visiting

Cycling along with the River Bank

Cycling is very welcomed by young people and the Yulong River is a classic and popular cycle route. When passing by rice paddies, villages, and bridges, you can enjoy beautiful natural scenery as well as authentic countryside views. You can rent a bike near West Street in Yangshuo Town (CNY 20-30). You should wear comfortable shoes, a long-sleeved shirt, and a sunhat as a shape from the burning sun. Follow the road sign or ask locals if you are lost.

Route 1: Yangshuo > Jima village > Chaoyang village > Xiatang village > Jiuxian Village > Yulong bridge > Yangshuo

Route 2: Yangshuo > Chaoyang village > Aishan > Muqiao village > Liugong > Fuli > Yangshuo

Bamboo Rafting

Bamboo rafting is a must-do thing in Guilin. It’s the best way to get close to nature as well as saving energy. Bamboo raft is usually private with 2 people, suitable for couples, families, and children. Hence lots of tourists would like to choose this way to admire the landscape. You can only take the bus to the scenic spot to the dock, where you will start rafting. Take good care of valuable things along the trip and do not jump into the river.

Route 1: Jinlong Bridge Dock> Yulong Bridge > Jiuxian

Route 2: Chaoyang Dock > Hongqi Piaopiao > Wuzhi Mountain > Luotuo Guojiang > Gongnong Bridge


The helicopter is a new way for sightseeing in Guilin. It’s different from stopping on spot to another, you can have a bird’s-eye of the marvels of the river, which is thrilled and spectacular. You need to strictly follow all instructions when taking a helicopter ride and book a helicopter tour at least 3 days in advance.

Yangshuo Yulong River Flying Plans Highlights: Gongnong Bridge > Qifeng Hill > Tianzuo Village > Chaoyang Dock > Yulong Bridge > Shilong Manor > Baxian Cave > Lover Hill > Guiyi Old Town > Xingui Bridge > Gongnong Bridge


Hiking is definitely the most int-touch-with-nature way to explore the Yulong River. You can stop by the local’s house for a cup of tea to feel the simplicity, pick wildflowers when going through rice paddies and wash up with the cool river water. Whenever you feel like stopping for a close look at the landscape, you can do it. It’s flexible, enjoyable, and leisure. Make sure you bring mosquito repellent, sunhat, water, and comfortable sneakers. A cellphone is necessary in case you need help.

Route 1: Zhuangyuan trails and Yulong River tails

Route 2: Baisha Town > Jiuxian Village

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