6 Days Yangtze River Cruise from Idyllic Guilin
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR
- Relaxing on a cruise from Guilin to the quaint town of Yangshuo along the Li River is the best way to enjoy the natural beauty with jagged karst mountains of the area.
- Decide which is your favorite way to explore in the countryside of idyllic Yangshuo - hiking, cycling, bamboo rafting, or by sightseeing bus, and meet the most beautiful Yulong River;
- Enjoy 4 days Yangtze River cruise from Chongqing to Yichang aboard a luxury 5 star ship with interesting arrangement everyday. Relax yourselves with endless scenic sightseeing along the beautiful Three Gorges;
- Take a walk to witness the Three Gorges Dam and marvel at the world famous project which generates the biggest amount of hydroelectric power.
Sampling Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1 Guilin ArrivalElephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave
Ni Hao! Welcome to Guilin, the city with the most beautiful landscape under the earth! You will be met by local tour guide at airport / train station, then be escorted to explore the highlights in Guilin.
First, make a visit to the symbol of Guilin landscape - Elephant Trunk Hill. A giant rock hill vividly shapes like an elephant which is drinking water. Besides, there are many historical sites here for you to explore, such as stone carving, Buddhist temple, relic exhibition, etc. Then, drive about 7 kilometers to next attraction - Reed Flute Cave, a majestic underground palace with sparkling different colors. The magical Mother Nature condenses millions years of natural efforts to form the incredible stalactite, stalagmite, stone shield and stone waterfall of different sizes and shapes.
Arrival Ideas: Guilin Liangjiang Airport has flights connecting Guilin with Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Hangzhou, Lijiang, Kunming and more cities. Also, Guilin Railway Station or Guilin North Railway Station has high speed trains well linking Guilin with Guangzhou (about 2.5~3hrs), Shenzhen (about 3hrs), Guiyang (about 2.5hrs), Changsha (about 3hrs and 20mins), Wuhan (about 5hrs), Kunming (about 7.5hrs), and Shanghai (about 9.5hrs), etc.
Reed Flute Cave, the Art Palace of Nature
The Famous Elephant Trunk Hill
Day 2 Guilin - Li River Cruise - Yangshuo (B, L)Li River, Yangshuo Town, Yulong River, West Street
As the declaration in Chinese textbook "Guilin’s landscape is the best under heaven", today you will explore this best landscape starting with a relaxing sightseeing cruise along the Li River from Mopanshan Pier to Yangshuo Town. Along the 84-kilometer cruise, dazzling scenery overwhelms your eyes like a vast endless Chinese painting of winding river, green limestone karst mountains, fascinating countryside views, amazing scene of A Painting of Nine Horses, and notable view printed on the back of the 20 RMB note. (Please note: Lunch is served by the cruise with simple local Chinese cuisine. And you can take some snacks when getting on board.)
After about 4 hours’ cruise, disembark in Yangshuo Town, and check in your hotel. After a short break, start your impressive exploration of the best charming sightseeing and ideal countryside ease at Yulong River. Let all the refreshing scenes please your eyes and souls to the utmost. Just enjoy every moment with the Karst hills dotted around, chatting stream, rippling mountain reflection, swaying floras, patches of vivid crops, comfortable breeze….There are diverse kinds of ways for your enjoyment of the fun and beauty, including biking, hiking, sightseeing bus, bamboo rafting and scooter. You can easily choose and combine your ideal way(s) and part of Yulong River. (Please tell your likes to your travel consultants before booking the tour, as the final prices will differ by activities you choose.).
Biking (some physically demanding & sightseeing by the river) - Ride to enjoy the river view and the real fields (route: Yangshuo - Jima - Shuiedi Dock - Gongnong Bridge - West Street; for 1.5-2 hours).
Bamboo Rafting (relaxing and interesting & sightseeing on the river) - have fun with the classic bamboo rafting (Route A: Shuiedi Dock - Gongnong Bridge for 40-50 minutes; Route B: Jima Dock - Gongnong Bridge for 1.5 hours) to see the more serene view like pieces of traditional Chinese landscape ink paintings.
Sightseeing Bus (most leisurable and comfortable & sightseeing on the road) - sit leisurely on the bus from Jima to Gongnong Bridge to appreciate the lovely countryside view (about 0.5 hour). You can get off and on anywhere on the middle way to explore more about your interested place.
After that, walk leisurely on the ancient West Street to witness how the western culture and Chinese culture perfectly and peacefully coexist here. Whether you want to enjoy a cup of drink in bar, taste some local food, or just experience the relaxing atmosphere, you get it here.
Note: according to the regulations of Yulong River Tourism, children less than 1 meter high and elders over 70 years old are not allowed to take the bamboo rafting.
Optional evening activity: Watch the splendid evening performance of Impression Liu Sanjie with the Li River itself as the stage, which was directed by famous director - Zhang Yimou (usually performs for an hour between around 19:45 and 22:20).
Idyllic Countryside Scenery in Yangshuo County
Heaven-like Scenery in Yangshuo
Guilin Li River Landscape
Day 3 High Speed Train to Chongqing & Board Yangtze Cruise (B)Pick up at the train station and board your ship at Chaotianmen Dock
In the morning, your guide and driver will escort you the railway station for your high speed train to Chongqing (about 4.5-5hrs). Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to board your ship during 18:00~21:00. Your 4-day relaxing downstream Yangtze River cruise will sail at 21:00!
Tips for boarding: 1) Please call the ship one day ahead or at least in the morning on the boarding day to have clear idea about which pier you are going to use; 2) There are 13 sub-pier of Chongqing Chaotianmen Port that tell the exact pier to your driver to avoid too much walking; 3) The boarding time and departure piers may change based on the ship line, water level, season, weather and other factors. Please pay attention to the important info your travel consultants sent to you before your boarding.
Chongqing Chaotianmen Port for Yangtze Cruise
Day 4 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)Shibaozhai Pagoda, Captain’s Welcome Party
In this morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil Yangtze River. You can either follow the Taichi master to play Taichi on the sundeck or enjoy a cup of coffee to stretch your mood to start your beautiful day. It will be colorful and interesting no matter you stay onboard or go shore excursions at river stops.
Onboard you will enjoy different kinds of cultural activities and entertainment, like attending a Yangtze River History and Culture Lecture to know deeply about the third longest river in the world, taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party to make new friends, or having great fun at the wonderful evening shows with sing, dance and music.
Also, you will follow a local English-speaking tour guide and make a shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda, a pearl of Yangtze River in Zhongxian County. Reputed as one of the eight extraordinary architectures in the world, this 12-story, 16th century red wooden pagoda leans against the side of the rocky and craggy hill about 200 meters tall. Climbing up to the top of Shibaozhai, you can not only visit the Buddhist temples and halls but also have panoramic view of Yangtze River. (Please note: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be many stairs to climb up the pagoda.)
Optional excursion: Have a shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City today with an extra fee. Called “the Homeland of Divine Comedy in China”, it consists of buildings, structures, dioramas and statues related to the afterlife in hell. Entering this “City of Ghosts”, you will know many mysterious stories about underworld and cruel tortures and different kinds of devils and Chinese demons. (Please note: the visit to Fengdu Ghost City requires much walking and comfortable shoes highly recommended!)
Shibaozhai Pagoda, a Pearl of Yangtze River
Play Taichi in the Morning on Sundeck
Fengdu Ghost City
Day 5 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)Three Gorges, Shennv Stream, Captain’s Farewell Party
Today you will sail through the spectacular Three Gorges! Follow the guide’s live interpretation and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge respectively.
On this day, take an enjoyable shore excursion to Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream), a tributary of the Yangtze River in Wushan County. You will be switched to a smaller boat to sail down this primitive stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of steep mountains and hanging coffins high on the cliffs as well as hear some of the local history. Besides, you will be entertained with local music and dance offered by the Tujia ethnic group.
In this evening, enjoy the well-prepared Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates onboard and have a pleasant dinner together.
Optional excursion: Enjoy a shore excursion to White Emperor City today with an extra fee. Located at the entrance of Qutang Gorge, this excursions gives you the chance to know Romance of the Three Kingdoms and offers the best pot to appreciate the magnificent “Kui Gate”.
Shennv Stream with Primitive Gorge Scenery
Magnificent Qutang Gorge
Breathtaking Wu Gorge Scenery
Day 6 Yangtze Cruise to Yichang & Yichang Departure (B)Three Gorges Dam
After breakfast, you’ll go through a check-out procedure and disembark at Maoping Port. Then, take a morning shore excursion to visit the world-famous project - Three Gorges Dam. The dam is the largest hydropower station in the world with an annual energy output of 84.7 billion kilowatt-hours. The Three Gorges Dam includes three areas: the dam itself, a hydroelectric, and a system of locks. The height of the Three Gorges Dam is 185 meters (607 ft) above the sea level. The dam is about 2,300 meters (7,546 ft) long and about 115 meters (377 ft) wide. With a water capacity of 39.3 billion cubic meters, the dam will hold a huge reservoir which will efficiently prevent flooding in the middle and lower portions of the Yangtze River. (Optional experience: you can choose to sail through the world’s largest ship lift - Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift to very closely marvel at the huge dam which is a totally fresh and exciting experience for travelers.)
After the dam visiting, you’ll take the tourist bus arranged by the cruise company transferring you to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal around 12:30~13:30. Here you’ll be picked up and escorted to Yichang Airport / train station for your flight or train to next destination.
Tips & Note: No matter you take Ship Lift or not, you’ll do check out procedure in this early morning. (1) Only dam visiting: you’ll take bus from Maoping Port to Three Gorges Dam for sightseeing. You’ll arrive at Yichang downtown around 12:30. (2) Dam & Ship Lift Experience: travelers who are interested in Ship Lift will first switch to a sightseeing boat to sail through the Ship Lift and then visit Three Gorges Dam Site. You’ll arrive at Yichang downtown area around 13:30.
Departure Ideas: You can take flights from Yichang Sanxia Airport to Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, etc. Or you can take high speed trains from Yichang East Railway Station to Wuhan (about 2hrs), Shanghai (about 8hrs), Beijing (about 7.5hrs), Hangzhou (about 7.5hrs), Chengdu (about 7hrs), Guangzhou (about 7hrs) and more cities.
Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift, the Largest Ship Lift in the World
Three Gorges Dam with Ship Locks
Recommended Add-on Options
+ 3 more days to explore the capital city of China - Beijing
Get into the imperial capital city whose story goes back at least 3000 years.
Beijing’s opulent royal palaces, temples and magnificent walls and gates make it the first tourist destination in China. A wealth of history, both ancient (Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace) and more recent (Tiananmen Square, Bird’s Nest & Water Cube) will inspire your imagination. A visit to the Great Wall, the longest manmade structure in the world, is absolutely essential.
+ 2 more days to explore the Ancient of Heart - Xian
Explore the glorious past in the ancient capital of China for 13 dynasties!
With a history of over 3000 years, Xian is the birthplace of Chinese civilization and capital of most important dynasties in early Chinese history. It is known as the eastern terminus of the famed Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army along with many other historical sites, like Ancient City Wall, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and so on.
+ 2 more days to visit the largest metropolis in China - Shanghai
Experience the past, present and future of China all at once!
The Huangpu River splits Shanghai into two districts: Pudong and Puxi. The Pudong skyline with stunning tall buildings like Shanghai Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and Oriental Pearl TV Tower gives you a flourishing scene of modern Shanghai. On the Puxi side, walk along the Bund to get a taste of old Shanghai. What a huge contrast!
+ 2~3 more days to step into the World Geological Park - Zhangjiajie
Reputed as “a miniature fairyland” and “a maze of nature”, Zhangjiajie is a surreal world with hundreds of grotesque peaks, beautiful waters, towering trees, deep valley, marvelous caves and exuberant forest. In Zhangjiajie, you’ll fully explore Zhangjiajie National Forest Park to catch the outstanding landscape and experience the world’s longest and highest glass bridge in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon.
- Entrance fees of the scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
- Meals as specified in the itinerary.(Exceptions: If the western breakfast is not available in some of the hotels, breakfast would be either Chinese breakfast or Chinese and western breakfast.)
Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with
or a king size
bed; All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or
Please note double bed room is on request basis which is subject to Hotel's
and re-confirmation upon check-in.
Service, room facilities and breakfast might be not up to standard in some remote areas.
- Transportation: Flights or train as listed in the itinerary.
- Sightseeing As listed in the Itinerary will be escorted with English-speaking guide;
Service of local guide and van is for a maximum of 8 hours
the full day individual
* Please note that our English-speaking guide and driver provided for you in each city or area will not fly with you from one city to another.
- Private Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in each city or area by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver and English-speaking guide as listed in the itinerary.
- Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & Government Taxes.
- Luggage Transfers between airports, trains and hotels.
- Flights (Economy class) not as listed in the itinerary.
- Accommodation not as listed in the itinerary.
- Visa Fees: Please make sure that you have got your valid passport and visa before your entry to China. We can send you a free official invitation letter to assist you in obtaining your visa after the reservation deposit is received.
- Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
- Meals not listed in the itinerary.
- Personal expenses such as room service, internet charge, laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional activities, etc.
- Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
- Excess Baggage Charges.
- Life Tourist insurance. Please kindly note that the full coverage travel insurance from your country of origin should be purchased in advance on your own.
- Optional activities.
Read what other travelers think about this China trip / Yangtze cruise trip. We only accept reviews from actual, confirmed travelers who purchased the tour / activity from us, so you can be sure the reviews are unbiased and authentic.
Thank you for planning our trip so well.
I wanted to let you know that our first driver was really excellent. Because we didn’t have a guide, he took care of our check ins at the hotels and also purchased our entrance tickets. We all really appreciated his hard work and patience.
I also would like to ask you if you could please forward our fapiaos via email? Thank you!
Finally, Mike and I are thinking of taking another trip from December 19th for about 5 to 7 days. We would like to visit the Panda Research Center in Chengdu and Lhasa, Tibet. We are also open to visit other areas of interest in that area. Let me know what you have.
(The following picture was shared by Ruth)
Ruth from Canada at Jiayuguan on October 3, 2021, tour tailormade by Riley
Ruth from Canada at Pingshan Lake Grand Canyon on October 5, 2021, tour tailormade by Riley
Ruth from Canada at Pingshan Lake Grand Canyon on October 5, 2021, tour tailormade by Riley
- Ruth - October 11, 2021‚ ,
Hi Leo, all fine thank you!
The cruise was good, and the food was also fine.
There was in particular, one girl, Natalie, she was really sweet and treated us very special.
- Sofia - October 10, 2021‚ ,
Here are recent candid photos of this China trip / Yangtze cruise trip. If you want to share your own tour photos, simply email your photos to email@example.com with your Booking ID Number. Thanks in advance for sharing!
Essential China Travel Information & Service
To help you have a further understanding of your tour, we provide some essential travel information like your tour guides, drivers, private cars/vans, accommodations and meals that you could know more about how is your China Yangtze cruise tour going. All the experience will be vivid and memorable in any time in any destination.
Your Private Tour Guide
The tour guides in all destinations are qualified, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and responsible!
All of our guides in every destination are locals. They will be greeted you punctually upon arrival at airport, train stations or cruise ports. And escort you to your hotel and tourist attractions and make you have full understanding about the local life, scenic spots as well as show you the fun places for more featured activities and things to do according to your time and interests.
“All our guides, especially those who we had a chance to spend more time with (Guilin, Chengdu, Lijiang, Zhangjiajie) were great. Always very accommodating, punctual and attentive.” - Review from Zane, Canada
Your Private Driver & Car
Taking our private transportation will make you comfortable, relaxed and worry free!
All our drivers are licensed with many years’ driving experience. They are always polite, friendly and helpful, glad to offer more service you may need during the transfer. Our vehicles are air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and expertly maintained. We use different types of cars/vans to guarantee your comfort. Besides, there is need to worry about your luggage for we use vehicles with extra space for your luggage.
"With respect to the drivers, we can state that they are excellent drivers and very friendly. They are pleasant with smiling face and helpful too." - Review from Pedro Corro‚ USA
Comfortable & Homelike Hotel
In each destination, we guarantee you a comfortable stay!
The hotels we choose are based with star rating, great location, well-pointed facilities and high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot and you could decide where to stay on your own. When taking a Yangtze River cruise, you are guaranteed a comfortable cabin or suite with private balconies to enjoy breathtaking scenery.
“All the hotels were comfortable and in good locations. The food was generally good with a wide choice of both western and Chinese choices for breakfast. The room sizes even with the extra bed for Jessica were also fine.” - Review from McHale, USA
Dining, Meal & Local Food
On Yangtze River cruise, you are offered three meals (usually buffet with western and Chinese dishes) each day. In other cities of China, breakfast and lunch usually are included in your tour packages. You’ll dine in local restaurants, follow local customs and enjoy local dishes. The food quality and dining environment will suit for your taste. If you have any suggestions or special requirements (vegetarian or food allergies), just let your travel consultants and guides know. They will arrange the suitable food and restaurants for you. Recommended evening dining options are: Peking Roast Duck in Beijing, Dumpling Dinner in Xian, and Hot Pot in Chengdu etc.
“We had very good breakfasts in all the hotels and were given a substantial lunch every day.” - Review from John, United Kingdom
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