Li River

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The Li River is undoubtedly Guilin’s biggest draw. Sailing down what is widely considered one of China’s most beautiful destinations is a fairy-tale experience.

The karst mountains line the river creating a jagged skyline. The mist from rain envelopes the mountain tops creating an ethereal and peaceful atmosphere. The reflections of the mountain in the early morning mist on the serene river impart unforgettable memories.The cruise takes around four hours and ends at Yangshuo, a charming village about 85km downstream.

Apart from river cruising, hiking is another way of experiencing the natural beauty of the Li River. Trails and routes of varying distances are established, but the most popular is the 22km trail from Yangdi to Xingping.

A fun way to spend an evening is to watch the age-old practice of cormorant fishing. These grand birds with their reptile-like long necks are prized for their fishing abilities and have been used for centuries by fishermen to dive underwater use their keen eyesight to sight fish and catch them in their long beaks and return to their owners with their catch. The birds are then made to spit up the fish. The fishermen used to tie strings around the birds’ necks to prevent them from swallowing the fish. But folklore has it that the birds were allowed to eat every seventh fish.

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