My travel mate, Foong has blogged about Li River (漓江) these few days. Guess what, Li River cruise is one of my most memorable experiences in this trip too! Since Foong had already blogged about Li River cruise; I switched my attention to Yulong River rafting (遇龙河漂流) in this post. First of all, let’s read a brief introduction on Yulong River.
Located approximately 15 kilometers west of Yangshuo town (阳朔), Yulong River (遇龙河) is actually a tributary of Li River and has a total length of 43.5 kilometers. The river runs through small villages of the Yulong River Valley including Putao (葡萄), Baisha (白沙), Jima (骥马) and Gaotian (高田). Offering similar spectacular scenery of Li River, Yulong River is also known as “Mini Li River” (小漓江). Not everyone comes to Guilin (桂林) aware of Yulong River. If Li River is a beauty admired by everybody, then Yulong River could be seen as a beautiful maiden hiding herself in her boudoir. Yulong literally means “meet the dragon”, which was named after an ancient bridge located at middle reaches of the river. Hustle and bustle of city life is nowhere to be seen here, everything along the river are so original, natural, simple and pure.
It was on the 6th day of my Guilin Escapade that we went for Yulong River rafting. We had arrived in Yangshuo via Li River cruise the day before. Yangshuo is really a beautiful town, in my opinion, even more beautiful than Guilin itself! You can see karsts peaks as its backdrop everywhere in this small town. I shall talk more about Yangshuo in my upcoming posts. I planned to tour Yulong River by bike. After that, take a bamboo raft for a relaxing cruise down the river. But the plan backfired as Foong does not cycle. Plus we had been offered a price of 250 Chinese Yuan per raft by our hostel owner Thomas in which the price also includes bus transport from Yangshuo to Yulong Bridge. After discussion, we decided to take the offer.
We woke up at around 0600. We were deemed to meet Thomas at the reception down stair at 0700. Thomas brought us to Yangshuo Bus Station to catch a bus to Baisha Town (白沙镇). In Baisha Town, we met our rafters. The route from Baisha Town to Yulong Bridge is not accessible by bus. Our rafters transferred us using motorbikes to Yulong Bridge. We took 2 bamboo rafts as 1 raft only sits 2 persons. Thus, Foong had the luxury of having 1 whole raft to himself!
At around 0800 in the morning, we arrived at Yulong Bridge pier (遇龙桥码头). Yulong Bridge (遇龙桥) is one of the 3 ancient bridges on Yulong River. The other 2 are the Xiangui Bridge (仙桂桥) and the Fuli Bridge (富里桥). Built in the year of 1412 during the Ming Dynasty (明朝), Yulong Bridge is 60 meters long, 8 meters wide and 9 meters high. The bridge is the largest single-opening stone arch bridge in Guangxi Province (广西). Yulong Bridge is entirely built with bluestone and without using any mortar filling. And yet it still stands unmoved after a few centuries of rain, water and wind erosion. This shows the wisdom and superb technical excellence of the ancient Chinese people. While waiting for our bamboo rafts to be ready, we got a rare chance to witness daily life of folks living by the river. We saw men and women washing clothes on the river bank. There was this little boy wearing short with a big opening at his buttocks. He cried when we aimed our cameras at him. I think Foong had scared the hell out of the little boy!
Our rafting journey started at around 0815. The scenery on both sides of Yulong River is indeed very charming, living up to its reputation as “Mini Li River”. There are hundreds of karsts landforms resembling the shapes of all kinds of animals, you name it. Yulong River is a shallow river with a maximum depth of around 5 meters. The water is so clear that at certain shallow points, you can see right through to the riverbed. We could even see small fishes swimming in between stones and waterweeds!
I told my 2 travel mates that I would have a surprise awaiting them during the rafting. Stay tuned to find out what the surprise is in my next post!
The Yulong River Rafting by Life Is Like That, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Malaysia License.