A Custom Guilin Journey (7D6N)
At a Glance
- Day 01, Arrival in Guilin – Sanjiang
- Day 02, Sanjiang
- Day 03, Sanjiang – Longsheng
- Day 04, Longsheng – Yangshuo
- Day 05, Yangshuo
- Day 06, Yangshuo
- Day 07, Yangshuo – Guilin – Departure
Day 1. Arrival in Guilin – Sanjiang
Welcome to China!
Your Journey Begins
Today is the day, the start of your China adventure. Step off the plane in Guilin and meet your local guide in the airport arrivals hall. They’ll be waiting to welcome you and will have your private vehicle on standby, ready to whisk you off to your hotel for check in.
Drive to Sanjiang
The ride from Guilin airport to Sanjiang will take around 2 hours.
Not often frequented by tourists, Sanjiang has impressive architecture and elaborate culture preserved by the village’s isolation. But Sanjiang is diverse as well; while Dong people make up 56% of the local population, people from Zhuang, Miao, Yao and Han ethnic minority groups also inhabit the area.
Sanjiang Chengyang Wind Rain Bridge is also named as Chengyang Yongji Bridge, a typical Dong architecture, constructed by wood and stone, without any nails or rivets.
Overnight in Sanjiang
Day 2. Sanjiang
Follow the tea farmers up the mountain to pick tea in the morning, and then return to the village to visit and participate in tea making and enjoy the tea tasting. (In winter, there is no tea. Can be replaced by other activity like local Chongyang wine tasting in the village.)
Visit Local Dong Family
Later you will visit a Dong minority local family, learn Dong dialect, learn to sing Dong songs, taste local oil tea and snacks (lunch not included).
In the afternoon you will wander around the village, visit the Drum Tower, the Wind and Rain Bridge, watch local song and dance performances, and visit the Wooden Structure Museum.
Overnight in Sanjiang
Day 3. Sanjiang – Longsheng
Next Stop: Longsheng
Nearly 75% of Guangxi’s inhabitants are non-Han, and Longsheng is home to a colorful mixture of Dong, Huang, Yao and Miao people. In Longsheng, we will have the opportunity to experience Guangxi’s rich minority cultures.
The highlight of Longsheng is the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, a group of large-scale rice terraces built into the hillside dating back more than 650 years. Just as they were in the past, these sprawling terraces are still carved out of the mountainside using simple traditional methods. It is no wonder that these pre-industrial feats continue to survive as popular motifs in Chinese paintings.
The ride from Sanjiang to Longsheng will take around 2 hours.
Longsheng: Making Bamboo Rice
Step away from modern cookware as you test your cooking skills using traditional and authentic local methods. Nestled between the fields of the lush Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces, Ping’an village of the Zhuang minority uses a traditional method of steaming rice in bamboo tubes stuffed with meat, spices, and beans over an open fire, giving the rice a subtle but enhanced flavor.
Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces
A vibrant green stairway for much the year and a patchwork of mirror-like pools for the rest, the hills of the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces are an enchanting land of ethnic minority villages where locals still don exquisitely embroidered traditional clothes. Hiking in Longsheng may be a little challenging, but, with several routes to choose from, can be tailored to your preferred level of difficulty, through the lush valleys and traditional wooden houses of the people who call this place home.
Making local snack
Return to hotel for relax. Learn to make Baba, a local sticky rice cake, popular among the ethnic Zhuang and Yao people of Longji rice terraces.
Overnight in Longsheng
Day 4. Longsheng – Yangshuo
Drive to Yangshuo
The ride from Longsheng to Yangshuo will take around 2.5 hours.
Next Stop: Yangshuo
Yangshuo is one of the most famous towns in all of China, offering travelers a laidback atmosphere, plentiful Western fare, and picturesque scenery to those lucky enough to pass through it. While thoroughly on the beaten path, Yangshuo is a wonderful place to unwind and enjoy Guangxi’s pastoral beauty. With breathtaking hidden splendor and a thriving cross-cultural environment, Yangshuo provides the perfect backdrop for nature lovers, poets, and trendsetters alike to congregate in a relaxed environment.
Bamboo Rafting on the Yulong River
To slip down the Yulong, a calmer tributary of the Li River, on a bamboo raft is to enter the canvas of an ancient Chinese painting, where crystal waters meander through a surreal landscapes of karst peaks and lush foliage, water buffalo periodically plowing the fields beside the riverbank. As you set off on your morning ride, sit back, relax, and take in the landscape on this restorative, hour-and-a-half ride with your very own gondolier punting you downstream.
Yangshuo’s main thoroughfare is where it all began for this idyllic town more than 1,400 years ago. Today, West Street is still a bustling commercial hub lined with restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops which, despite being hugely popular among visitors, still manages to retain much of its traditional small-town charm once you venture off the central road. Surrounded by the poetic beauty of the encompassing hills, West Street is a great place to grab a beer or coffee and watch the world rush by.
Overnight in Yangshuo
Day 5. Yangshuo
Peruse Yangshuo’s Market
Snake through the makeshift maze of shops in Yangshuo’s bustling city market. The market is split into two main rooms: in the first, you’ll see vendors selling produce (and some dry goods) from tarps or newspaper spread out on the cement ground. In the second, stroll down rows of vendors selling meat, prepared and semi-prepared food, and produce from stalls and carts.
Fan Making in Fuli
Embedded in the glorious Guangxi countryside and surrounded by karst hills, the village of Fuli offers more than just traditional rural charm. Fuli is the ancient hometown of the paper fan, and even today many of the locals still make their living with this time-honored craft, so peruse their exquisite wares and have a go at crafting one yourself in this atmospheric and historical setting.
Wild Cave Exploration
Yangshuo’s unique karst landscape is heralded for the spectacular limestone formations it produces aboveground, but beneath the Earth’s surface lies an even weirder and more wonderful world. Devoid of the technicolor lighting that illuminates more touristy Chinese cave systems, this secret wild cave relies on natural beauty to impress its visitors. The entrancing ensemble of peculiarly shaped stalactites and passageways here are full of wonder and ripe for exploration, proving that the beauty and magic of the natural world can be found even in the darkest of places.
Overnight in Yangshuo
Day 6. Yangshuo
Cooking Lesson in a Traditional Courtyard Home
Boil, sauté, and stir fry your way through Guangxi’s culinary heritage in a traditional mud-brick courtyard overlooking a fantastical landscape of karst peaks. After sourcing ingredients yourself at a local wet market, your instructor will impart knowledge passed down through generations of locals and help you rustle up tasty versions of local classics including everyone’s favorite Yangshuo specialty, beer fish.
Yulong Bike Trail
When it comes to immersing yourself in the sublime landscape of emerald fields, misty karst peaks and gently winding rivers that make up the countryside around Yangshuo, two wheels are often better than four. So saddle up and pedal along the banks of the Yulong, the Li River’s more tranquil tributary, gliding along flat paths and past remote villages with the sun on your face and wind in your hair on this two-hour ride.
If there’s one thing that Yangshuo is famous for, it’s breathtakingly beautiful landscapes that look like a traditional ink wash painting brought to life. And without a doubt, there is no better place to take it all in than from the top of Xianggong Hill. Once an obscure karst hill until a local photographer took an international award-winning photo from its crest, today Xianggong Hill is a mecca for photography lovers. After a 15-minute climb up stone steps to the summit, reward yourself with panoramic views of the lazy Li River as it snakes past lush pastures dotted with pastoral villages, fishermen in search of the catch of the day, and a myriad of jagged karst peaks.
Overnight in Yangshuo
Day 7. Yangshuo – Guilin – Departure
Drive to Guilin – Sit back and enjoy the winding montage of karst peaks during your 1.5 hour drive back to Guilin.
Two rivers and four lakes area (if your time permit)
Morning walk along Guilin’s ancient water system – Banyan Lake and Fir Tree Lake. Along the way. you will see the 800 years old city south gate and twin pagodas, followed by a visit of the Elephant Hill.
Your guide will escort you to the airport and help you check in for your flight home.