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Yulong River Rafting

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!

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

On the street of Yangshuo

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Entrance to the world famous West Street

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

At Yangshuo Bus Station

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Notice the karsts peaks in the background?

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Inside the bus!

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!

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Village at Yulong Bridge pier

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

600-year-old Yulong Bridge (click for wallpaper size)

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Yulong Bridge

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

On Yulong Bridge

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Looking down from Yulong Bridge

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Yulong River is surrounded by karsts peaks

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Picturesque Yulong River (click for wallpaper size)

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Picturesque Yulong River

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Bamboo rafts

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Picturesque Yulong River (click for wallpaper size)

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Local folks do washing by the river

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Local folks do washing by the river

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Local folks do washing by the river

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

This little boy cried

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

See the opening at his buttocks?

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!

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Houses by the river

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Houses by the river

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Houses by the river

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Our rafting journey had started!

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Impressive reflection! (click for wallpaper size)

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Does this look like a lion head?

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Does this look like a frog?

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Another bamboo raft ahead of us

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Closer view of the lion head (click for wallpaper size)

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Waterweeds

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Waterweeds

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Waterweeds

Yulong River Rafting picture guilin escapade  photo

Riverbed

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!

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38 comments to Yulong River Rafting

  • foongpc

    Hi Jam, I’m first!!

    Yulong river rafting is another highlights of our trip! And of course I remember this one well, cos I had the accident! And oh yes, the surprise that you only mentioned to us last minute, good ah you! Ok, will not talk about it – don’t want to spoil the surprise for your readers!

    Anyway, I love the view and scenery. Actually some of the scenes are even better than Li River! :smile2_tb:

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  • Haha

    :clap_tb: Wow! Astonishing & stunning photos … fantastic scenic sceneries… :jittery_tb: I love :em70: the bridge photos and 10s for the beautiful wallpapers again, Jam.

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  • Jama

    Stunning photographs! I feel like I’m there travelling with you through your photos. :clap_tb:

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • iWalk

    55~~~still can’t see your photos.

    And still can’t visit Foong’s blog.

    But I must say Yulong River Rafting is a thing you must do if you visit China! Never forget that experience!

    Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • jam

      Still can’t see my photos? You are right, one must not miss out on Yulong River rafting if you visit Guilin and Yangshuo. I actually did plan to stay one night in one of many houses there along the Yulong River!

  • Mei Teng

    Nice bamboo rafts. Come with seats somemore. Makes for a comfortable ride along the river.

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  • Hi Jam,

    Just look at the reflection in the water! What amazing photographs, especially of the Yulong Bridge. I read somewhere that Yulong River is famous for its calm water. Your photographs will surely draw more visitors to Yulong River. You are a pro.

    Foong wrote beautifully of his experience. However, I am sure you will be able to complement his writing, especially with your photos and your own writing style. I believe other readers will agree with me.

    Hope to see you write about your experience and your thoughts on the Li River cruise.

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  • annant

    da scenery is simply breathtaking wei :D
    would lurve to visit china one day ;)

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  • WOW oh WOW the scenery…my GOD so BEAUTIFUL. I like the bridge picture and also the refection picture. Good job. Can’t wait to read what is the surprise you had in stored for your friend and Foongpc. Haha

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  • Bengbeng

    wonderful pics. u are definitely a great photographer. come and join us as a member. there is a registration fee and annual fees. oreoare a self pic too for registraion purposes. contact me if interested

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  • fufu

    yulong bridge is amazing
    yeah love all the reflection pictures =p

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  • Scott

    Beautiful Yulong photos; when I went it was an overcast day and it is nice to see the bright blues and greens in your pics…

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