Guilin: Into the Scroll

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5 Days
Spring, Fall

Dramatic karst peaks, the sun-dappled river Li, jade-green rice paddies – the scenes of Guilin are like the brushstrokes of an unseen artist. Experience rural life on the spectacular “Dragon’s Backbone” rice terraces, bike, hike and raft between villages, and learn to cook like a local.

About this Journey

Step into a classical scroll painting in Guilin, whose harmonious landscape has inspired the brushstrokes of traditional Chinese landscape paintings for centuries. From the calm waters of the Li River, set against a backdrop of dramatic karst peaks, to the mesmerizing manmade tiers of the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, Guilin is full of stunning scenery.

Venture headlong into the inspiring region by wandering through ethnic minority towns amidst a backdrop of wood-tiled hamlets and rice paddies, floating across the Li River, and exploring the area’s verdant rice terraces.

What we love
  • Standing amidst a sea of green as you hike through undulating rice fields
  • Floating on a bamboo raft on the Li River past spectacular oblong mountains, terraced rice fields and tiny villages
Where you're going

Day 1 - 2Longsheng

Hike at your own pace through minority villages along the verdant, softly undulating Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces • Enjoy lunch with a local farmer in the comfort of his home • Return to Guilin for the night.

Day 3Yangshuo

Embark on either a bamboo raft or boat on the Li River, considered by many to be the most beautiful river in China, to Yangshuo • Explore the village of Xingping, famous for its harmonious setting in the midst of the placid waters of the Li River and surrounding sharp karst peaks • Hike or bike near the calm Yulong River • Enjoy the spectacle of Impression Liusanjie, choreographed by the mastermind behind the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, in a natural amphitheater.

Day 4 - 5

Spend the morning hiking or biking through small villages and untouched landscapes • Hone your cooking skills in a private local cooking lesson.


Shangri-La Guilin

5 star

Located on the famously picturesque Li River, the Shangri-La Guilin offers weary travelers comfortable, elegant rooms as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

Yangshuo Resort

4 star

A local 4-star hotel, the Yangshuo Resort has spacious guestrooms equipped with private balconies offering river views.


Recommended seasons



What’s Included

  • All overland transfers with private chauffeur and in-transport refreshments
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary
  • All meals as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • Services of an English-speaking WildChina guide
  • Private chauffeur service to and from airport at start and end of your trip

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers

Optional Extension

Day 1Dali, Yunnan

Learn the process of making China’s most famous drink in a tea plantation at the foot of the soaring Cang Mountain • Travel back in time by walking around Dali’s picturesque old town, a mixture of pagodas, red lanterns and mountains • Attend a traditional Bai minority “Three Cup Tea” ceremony and dinner

Day 2Dali, Yunnan

Immerse yourself in the traditional Bai architecture of Xizhou, characterized by ornate gateways and honeycomb patterns • Learn the secrets of making rushan, a local cheese • Bike through Erhai Lake’s verdant surroundings • Hone your cooking skills in a cooking lesson in a local home

Day 3Dali, Yunnan

Hike up Taoist Weibao (“Magnificent Treasure”) Mountain, where you will learn to meditate with a Taoist master • Travel along part of the Ancient Tea and Horse Road to a Hui Muslim village

Day 4Lijiang, Yunnan

Continue along the Ancient Tea and Horse Road to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang, taking a break in the historical market town of Shaxi

Day 5 - 6Lijiang, Yunnan

Explore the small paths and canals that weave through Lijiang Old Town • Head over to the Dongba Culture Museum for a closer look at local minority culture and history • Travel to Yuhu village, located in the Lijiang basin • Visit the former residence of Austrian-American botanist Joseph Rock • Enjoy a leisurely hike around the scenic surrounding countryside

Why WildChina

We’re on the ground with you

Our team of advisors will design every detail of the trip with you through close consultation, then orchestrate your entire journey while on the ground. We’re in the same time zone as you, so we can fulfill requests and handle issues without a hitch. With over 40 staff in Beijing and an expansive network of operational partners across the country, we have the manpower to ensure your journey is safe, reliable and comfortable from beginning to end.

Your trip, your way

Flexibility is our highest-ranking compliment. We pull off journeys for pioneers with a 6-hour layover to Hollywood’s elite, and everywhere in between. Our team regularly pulls off unprecedented logistical feats; nearly any time frame or budget is within our realm. No matter how you wish to experience China, we are here to bring that dream to life.

We embody passion

WildChina guides are carefully handpicked for their knowledge and charisma, then meticulously trained to maintain our exceptional service standards. They are expert storytellers and passionate natives of the regions where they guide, having the perfect combination of local insights and service know-how to bring you seamless once-in-a- lifetime moments all across China.

The little things, the big picture

Supporting inspired local economies allows you to experience the soul of the destination, while also protecting and cultivating China’s artisanal culture. From watching artisans hand make shoes in Yunnan, to picking organic vegetables for dinner on a local farm in Fujian, our tours are designed to showcase and protect China’s heritage, both natural and human.