This is the China I imagined looking at all those paintings of karsts when I was a child. I took a Li River Cruise in August 2013. At first I did not want to be in a packaged tour but looks like I have no choice in this case. I only have three days in Guilin and Yangshou, so as soon as I landed, I took the 250 RMB river cruise from Yang Di to Ping Xing which I arranged with an agent in the information booth of Guilin airport. I paid in the airport and was directed to go to Aviation hotel and wait for my pick-up there. Waited in the lobby of Aviation hotel for more than 30 minutes, and eventually was picked by a big bus full of tourists headed for Yang Di. Jump off point was Yang Di where you will take “bamboo rafts look-alikes” which are actually made of PVC’s which can carry four people plus the boatman. For me this is nicer, than those huge boats cruising the Li river. The toilet in Yang Di scenic area is an experience in itself. And it was quite a welcome in rural China. All part of the adventure I must say but if you low tolerance, then better not use the public toilet here.
The cruise was just two hours in total and you would get to see the most scenic part of the Li River from Yang Di to somewhere close to Xing Ping. The weather that day was cloudy which added to the mystic feel of the place. The sight that I saw while cruising along Lijiang is something I will remember for the rest of my life, beautiful karsts amidst fog and rain (if only they were not broken by the humming of the raft engines).