Yulong River bamboo rafting – Dragon Bridge to Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
The Yulong River (also called Dragon River) is a small tributary of the larger Li River in Southeastern Gungxi Zhuang Province, and runs through the major city of Guilin to Yangshuo. The Yulong starts in Northern Yangshuo County near Litang and runs for over 35km through small villages of the Yulong River Valley, including Putao, Litang, Chaolong, Yima and Gaotian town, before emptying into the Li around the town of Ping Le. The Yulong is a shallow river of around 5 meters maximum depth and an average of 25 meters across. As it is not located near any industrial areas, it is clean enough for swimming, though some brownish surface foam is visible in eddys, likely the result of agricultural runoff from local villages. Unlike the busy Li River, it has no motorized boat traffic and relies completely on bamboo rafts to ferry passengers down river. So Yulong River bamboo rafting trips have become a popular tourist activity, with passengers beginning their journey that the Yulong Bridge, a 600 year-old example of a classical Chinese stone arch style. The river just North of the Yulong bridge is also a natural swimming area, with clear pools and gentle currents.
Yangshuo Village Inn or our sister hotel, Yangshuo Mountain Retreat can help arrange Yulong River bamboo rafting trips at a fair price, which will save guests from having to haggle with local touts. For more information, please contact us at 0773 8777 091.
Li River and Yulong River bamboo rafting trips
Taking a bamboo raft ride is a relaxing way to enjoy amazing views of the Yu Long (Dragon) and Li River. You can start at different places along both rivers and the rides range from ½ hour to five hours. This is not the same as whitewater rafting, as the current in both rivers is very gentle, so in fact you’re just floating down river with a gondolier who steers you over the breakwaters. Both rivers have their advantages; if a quiet ride is what you’re after, try the Yulong River for a lazy afternoon. For a more varied landscape with karst mountains towering hundreds of meters up from the river, we recommend a motorized bamboo raft along the Li River. Generally the rafts have enough room for 2 bikes so you can always combine it with a biking tour.
Yulong River bamboo rafting trips 1&2
Tour #1: Jiu Xian Village to Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Duration of rafting: 2 hrs
Take a twenty minute taxi ride or walk upstream to Jiu Xian Village and then gently drift down the river from Xian Gui Bridge to the Mountain Retreat where there are cold refreshments and delicious food . Always negotiate the prices in advance, particularly in high season when they are likely to be higher.
Tour #2: Yu Long Bridge to Moon Hill Bridge
Duration of raft trip: 4 hrs
Take a taxi (45min), bike (1.5 hours) or walk (3.5 hours) up to the Yu Long Bridge. Here you can float back down river with a cold beverage or two and see the Yu Long River valley from a unique perspective. If you have bikes, you can put them on the back of the raft.
Li River bamboo rafting
Tour #3: From Xingping to Lengshui/Yangdi
Duration of raft trip: 45 min/ 2.5 hrs
Take a local bus from Yangshuo to Xingping (50 min) and walk to the town docks. Here you can find many bamboo rafts which can take you upstream either to Lengshui or even further to Yangdi. If you want to walk back to Xingping make sure you have enough daylight left or arrange pick up in either Lengshui or Yangdi.
Tour #4: From Lengshui to Xingping
Duration: whole day
This Yangshuo tour combines both walking and a bamboo rafting trip on the Li River. Catch a local bus to Yangdi which takes about 1 hr 15min. From there you can walk for about 3.5 hours along the banks of the Li River to Lengshui which is about three quarters of the way between Yangdi and Xingping. In Lengshui, enjoy a 40 min bamboo raft trip downstream. Note that gondoliers may want to drop you off outside of Xingping as the bamboo taxis try to avoid paying the mooring fee at the jetty. This is not a problem as many electric carts run from the drop off point taking you directly to the Xingping bus station where you can catch a local bus which leave regularly for Yangshuo.