Taking a bamboo raft ride on the Yulong River (or dragon river), a tributary of the Li River, is a very relaxing way to enjoy the highly scenic area south of Yangshuo. Here you can enjoy the stunning scenery and views of country life on a non-motorised raft in the traditional way with a gondolier who steers you over the breakwaters past many small mud-brick villages and farmlands. Once you’re on the bamboo raft, sitting and enjoying the peaceful countryside, the limestone mountains, the beauty of this experience opens out before you. Even if you have cycled the area with a few hidden stretches approaching the river, the view from the river is very different.
Bear in mind that the Yulong river valley and in particular the most accessible stretches of the Yulong river where rafts are available count as one of the most touristic areas of Yangshuo. On the most popular stretch, from Chaoyang to the Gongnong bridge, you are likely to be joined by hundreds of rafts floating down this Dragon river. The second most popular starting point is the stone Yulong (Dragon) Bridge famed for its beautiful rounded curve.
Available and recommended river stretches:
- Fuli Bridge → Jiuxian docks (1hr 40min, 350) (1hr 45min, less crowded)
- Jinlong Bridge (金龙桥) → Jiuxian docks (旧县) (1hr 30min, less crowded)
- Yu Long Dragon Bridge (遇龙桥) → Xiu Niu Tang (犀牛塘) (60 min return, crowded)
- Yima (骥马) → Shui E Di (水厄底) (60 min, crowded)
- Chao Yang Dock → Gong Nong Bridge (2 hrs, crowded)
- Yulong Bridge → Gong Nong Bridge (4-5 hrs, crowded)
- Yulong bridge → Xia Tang Zhai (1hr 30min, crowded)
Your trip could start at the Dragon Bridge like everyone else but at Yangshuo Insider we tend to do things a little bit different and avoid the masses.
We start our trips a bit more upstream at the larger Jinlong bridge or, depending on the time you prefer to spend on the river, starting from the most scenic bridge of Yangshuo with the mountains as its backdrop, the Fuli bridge. With a more scenic and relaxing start you would then float towards the Dragon Bridge enjoy the river all for yourselves and admire its beautifully rounded shape straight in front of you from the river (offers great views and photos), then float underneath the bridge and our rafts man could stop at this Dragon bridge and let you go ashore for a wander around or stand on the bridge yourself. After this you would then continue your river trip to Jiuxian old village where you can explore and have lunch in this charming Ming Dynasty village. Same price with us just a less standardised and more personalised experience for you.
We combine some of these rafting trips with cycling in our Yangshuo Tours, and provide bicycles for all ages and sizes (with gears, helmets, kids chairs, …) where your bikes can be transported to the arrival docks while you enjoy your river cruise so you can continue you bike ride to visit either jiuxian village, Moon Hill or one of the stunning underground caves in Yangshuo, to name a few. Visit our Yangshuo Tours page for more information about this river tour or just tell us the routes and sights you would like to combine and we will compose your own personalised tour for you.
|Getting There: By bicycle – scooter – private car/mini-van.|
|Times/Duration: From 1 to 5 hours as part of a half or full day tour.|
|Prices: Prices vary depending on the stretch. With the high government taxes applied since February 2016 prices for the bamboo rafting have tripled to about 250¥ – 350¥ per raft that sits 2 persons.|
|Booking Information: Contact us to organise your Yulong river tour on a more secluded part of the river|
|Tips: To have the river nearly all for yourselves get up early or ask for our sunset trips beyond the tourist hours.|