Yulong River rafting and biking – Option 1
Option 1 (Bike/bus to Fuli Bridge; Raft/bike/hike from Fuli bridge to Gongnong Bridge)
Time: 6 – 7.5 hours
Length: 36.5 km
Costs: CNY140-340, without cost for bike renting
This Option will take you whole day, but it is highly recommended because you will cover best sections of Yulong River and its countryside. If you prefer walking rather than biking, check out Option 1 on foot.
Yangshuo – Baisha town – Fuli Bridge (bike; 40 minutes; 12 km)
Go west on Pantao Road until you reach National Road 321 (G321). Follow G321 for about 8 km to Baisha town, then turn left onto Road X099. After 1.5 km stay on X099 by taking right road at the fork. After about 1 km get off the Road X099 and turn right onto small village road. You will arrive at Fuli Bridge (富里桥) after 1 km. If you are unsure where to take a turn, ask locals.
This 580 years old bridge was built during the Ming Dynasty. Being 30 meters long, 10 meters high and 5 meters wide, it represents the highest stone arch bridge in Yangshuo. Besides Yulong Bridge and Xiangui Bridge it is one of the most interesting ancient bridges in the Guangxi province. It has a distinctive and charming appearance, with the half-moon reflection in the water, which can be quite interesting. However, it is not just about the bridge itself, but also about its beautiful surrounding with hills and fields, since together they make the perfect and striking view.
Fuli Bridge – Jiuxian village (raft; 1.5 hours; 6 km; CNY140 for raft)
Your bicycles can be placed on a raft and sail along with you, while you enjoy the ride along the river. Rafts can usually accommodate two people and two bicycles. This is not a white water rafting, but an easy ride, though there are dozens of small dams and rapids, where you can feel a little excitement. You will definitely enjoy the natural surroundings and the perfect view on the mountains around, being ideal for photographers. The tranquility, clean water and the beautiful scenery are inevitable during this ride. You will also pass under Jinlong (Golden Dragon) Bridge and the famous Yulong (Dragon) Bridge. Yulong Bridge is around 600 years old and its ancient structure is quite appealing, as well as the scenic view of the nature around. You can tell a raft man to make a stop at bridge to take closer look and photos. A break for lunch can be made in the ancient Jiuxian village, which is very interesting.
Jiuxian village (visit; at least 1 hour)
This ancient village along Yulong River dates from the period of the Tang Dynasty and it can serve as an example of a true rustic village, with all those houses made of grey and mud bricks. Similarly like Xingping, it can also be explored completely in several hours, though if you want to experience it fully, you may sleep in one of the guest houses provided. The traditional aspect of the village is amazing, with preserved architecture, ancestral hall and the old farmhouses dating from Ming and Qing dynasty, which combined with stunning natural surroundings offers such tranquility and enjoyment for visitors. You may find several restaurants in the village, but if you want to feel as a part of the village, you must try eating at a farmer’s house, where you will be given fresh vegetables directly from their gardens. The village is definitely worth exploring and while going through it, you will come across the villagers working in the rice paddies, and though just a few kilometers far away from the urban places, you will get the impression that you are hundreds of years back, in the old and ancient China.
Jiuxian village – Gongnong Bridge (bike/raft; 2 hours/3.5 hours; 12 km; CNY200 for raft)
From Jiuxian village to Gongnong Bridge (工农桥) you can either take a raft or ride a bike along the riverbank. Alternately, you can take ride a bike for one section and take a raft for another, because there will be rafts waiting for you all the way to the Gongnong Bridge. On raft, you can enjoy in a peaceful ride and serenity, but on bike, you can better explore countryside of Yulong River. Either way, you will not regret it. If you continue your trip from Jiuxian village on bike stay on left (east) riverbank, as you will pass next to several villages.
Be aware, that most popular section from Chaoyang dock (朝阳码头) to Gongnong Bridge, which is about 4 km or 1 hour rafting downstream from Jiuxian, can be very crowded with rafts so it would be probably better to go through this stretch on bike.
Gongnong Bridge – Yangshuo (bike; 30 minutes; 6.5 km)
On Gongnong Bridge will end your rafting trip. From Gongnong Bridge, follow the G321 in Yangshuo direction (north). After 4.2 km, take a second exit (go straight) on a roundabout. Follow Kangzhan Road and after 900 meters take left turn onto Pantao Road. After 400 meters on your right side will be Xijie Pedestrian Street.