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Biking And Rafting In Yangshuo, China


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Kirbie Gagliano



China is a country steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. From the bustling cities to the tranquil countryside, this vast nation offers a wealth of experiences for avid adventurers. One destination that should be on every outdoor enthusiast’s radar is Yangshuo, located in the Guangxi province.


Yangshuo is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, picturesque karst mountains, and the winding Li River. It’s a haven for outdoor activities, including biking and rafting, making it an ideal destination for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike.


Biking through Yangshuo’s stunning countryside is an unforgettable experience. The region boasts a network of well-maintained and well-marked biking trails that take you through rice paddies, limestone peaks, and traditional villages. As you pedal along, you’ll be greeted by the sight of farmers tending to their fields, locals going about their daily routines, and the occasional water buffalo crossing your path.


Rafting is another popular activity in Yangshuo. The Li River, with its gentle currents and crystal-clear waters, provides the perfect setting for a thrilling rafting adventure. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rafter, there are options to suit all skill levels, from leisurely floats to adrenaline-pumping white-water rapids.


In this article, we will explore the best biking routes and popular rafting spots in Yangshuo. We will also provide some essential safety tips to ensure a memorable and safe biking and rafting experience. So grab your helmet, strap on your life jacket, and get ready for the ultimate outdoor adventure in Yangshuo, China!


Biking in Yangshuo, China

Biking is a fantastic way to explore the stunning landscapes of Yangshuo. The region offers a variety of biking routes, catering to both beginners and seasoned cyclists. Whether you prefer leisurely rides through picturesque countryside or challenging mountain trails, Yangshuo has something for everyone.


One of the most popular biking routes in Yangshuo is the Yangshuo Countryside Loop. This scenic 20-kilometer loop takes you through traditional villages, past emerald rice fields, and alongside the majestic karst mountains. The route is relatively flat, making it suitable for all fitness levels. Along the way, you’ll have opportunities to stop and interact with friendly locals, try delicious street food, and admire the breathtaking views.


If you’re up for a more challenging adventure, the Xingping to Yangdi route is a must-try. This 30-kilometer ride takes you along the Li River, offering panoramic views of the karst peaks and limestone cliffs. The route involves some uphill climbs and downhill descents, adding an exciting element to the journey. As you pedal through the rugged terrain, you’ll be rewarded with unforgettable vistas and a sense of accomplishment.


For adrenaline junkies seeking an off-road experience, the Moon Hill Mountain Bike Trail is perfect. This thrilling trail takes you on a 15-kilometer off-road adventure, navigating through rocky terrain, forested areas, and steep slopes. The trail leads to the iconic Moon Hill, where you can rest and take in the mesmerizing scenery before heading back.


Another highlight of biking in Yangshuo is the opportunity to combine cycling with exploring ancient landmarks. The Ancient Yulong Bridge and the Big Banyan Tree Scenic Area are popular stops on biking routes. The Ancient Yulong Bridge is a stunning example of ancient Chinese architecture, while the Big Banyan Tree, standing over 1,400 years old, is a majestic sight to behold.


It’s important to note that bike rentals are readily available in Yangshuo. Numerous bike shops and guesthouses offer affordable bike rental services, including mountain bikes, road bikes, and electric bikes. Additionally, guided biking tours are available for those who prefer a more structured experience or want to learn more about the local culture and history.


Overall, biking in Yangshuo is not only a fantastic way to get active and enjoy the beautiful landscapes, but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local charm and culture. Whether you choose a leisurely countryside ride or a challenging mountain trail, biking in Yangshuo is an experience that will leave you with lasting memories.


Rafting in Yangshuo, China

Rafting in Yangshuo offers an exhilarating way to experience the natural beauty of the region. The pristine waters of the Li River, coupled with the breathtaking karst landscapes, create the perfect backdrop for a thrilling rafting adventure.


One of the most popular rafting spots in Yangshuo is the Xingping to Nine Horses Fresco Hill route. This 8-kilometer stretch of the Li River offers a mix of calm sections and exciting rapids, providing an ideal experience for both beginners and experienced rafters. As you navigate through the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be awe-struck by the towering limestone peaks that line the river, creating a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.


If you’re seeking a more challenging rafting adventure, the Jinbao River is the perfect choice. Located about an hour’s drive from Yangshuo, the Jinbao River provides a higher level of difficulty with fast rapids and swirling eddies. It’s recommended for experienced rafters or those looking for an adrenaline rush. The scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains and dense forests adds to the excitement of the journey.


For those who prefer a leisurely rafting experience, the Yulong River is an excellent option. Known as “Little Li River,” the Yulong River offers a tranquil and picturesque rafting experience. With its slow-moving currents and gentle rapids, this 15-kilometer route is perfect for families or those who wish to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. Lined with lush vegetation and traditional farmhouses, the Yulong River provides a serene escape from the bustling city.


It’s worth noting that rafting tours and equipment rentals are readily available in Yangshuo. Local tour operators provide experienced guides who will ensure your safety and offer insights into the region’s history and culture. From inflatable rafts and life jackets to helmets and paddles, all necessary equipment can be easily rented at reasonable prices.


While rafting in Yangshuo is an exciting adventure, it’s essential to prioritize safety at all times. Always listen to your guide’s instructions, wear a life jacket, and be mindful of the water conditions. Avoid overcrowded areas and respect the local environment. By adhering to these safety guidelines, you can fully enjoy your rafting experience while preserving the natural beauty of Yangshuo.


Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure or a peaceful journey immersed in nature, rafting in Yangshuo offers a range of options to suit different preferences. Be prepared to be captivated by the incredible landscapes, the thrill of the rapids, and the serenity of the gentle currents. With rafting options for all skill levels, Yangshuo is truly a paradise for water enthusiasts.


Best Biking Routes in Yangshuo

When it comes to biking in Yangshuo, there are several routes that offer breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist, these biking routes cater to all skill levels and provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.


1. Yangshuo Countryside Loop: This 20-kilometer loop takes you through the picturesque countryside, passing by traditional villages, lush rice fields, and towering karst mountains. The route is relatively flat, making it accessible for all fitness levels. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to interact with local farmers and experience the authentic rural lifestyle of Yangshuo.


2. Xingping to Yangdi: This 30-kilometer route follows the Li River, offering stunning views of the iconic karst peaks and limestone cliffs. The ride includes some challenging uphill and downhill sections, which are rewarded with breathtaking panoramic vistas. The route takes you through quaint villages, past ancient landmarks, and allows you to experience the tranquil beauty of the Li River up close.


3. Moon Hill Mountain Bike Trail: For those seeking an off-road adventure, the Moon Hill Mountain Bike Trail is a must-try. This 15-kilometer trail takes you through rugged terrain, dense forests, and steep slopes. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the countryside and the opportunity to visit the famous Moon Hill, renowned for its natural arch. Be prepared for an adrenaline-pumping ride that combines excitement and natural beauty.


4. Yulong River Cycling Path: The Yulong River Cycling Path is a peaceful and scenic route that stretches for approximately 35 kilometers. This path takes you along the banks of the Yulong River, passing through bamboo groves, ancient bridges, and quaint villages. The route is relatively flat, making it suitable for leisurely rides and family adventures. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the river as you pedal through the heart of Yangshuo’s countryside.


5. Xingping Ancient Town to Xianggong Mountain: This route combines the charm of Xingping Ancient Town with the breathtaking views from Xianggong Mountain. Start your journey in the ancient town, cycling along the Li River towards Xianggong Mountain. The ride involves some uphill sections, but the reward is well worth it. Once you reach the top of Xianggong Mountain, you’ll be greeted with a panoramic vista of the Li River and the surrounding karst peaks, creating a picture-perfect moment.


Remember to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the stunning sights along these biking routes. Additionally, it’s advisable to check the weather conditions and plan your rides accordingly. Whether you choose a leisurely countryside loop or a challenging mountain trail, biking in Yangshuo offers a unique and unforgettable way to explore the natural wonders of this region.


Popular Rafting Spots in Yangshuo

Yangshuo is blessed with picturesque rivers and stunning landscapes, making it a paradise for rafting enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rafter, there are several popular rafting spots in Yangshuo that offer thrilling experiences and breathtaking scenery.


1. Xingping to Nine Horses Fresco Hill: This section of the Li River is a favorite among rafters due to its mix of calm waters and exciting rapids. The 8-kilometer route takes you through the heart of the karst landscape, with limestone peaks towering on both sides of the river. The crystal-clear waters and occasional small rapids create an exhilarating ride, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.


2. Jinbao River: For those seeking a more adventurous rafting experience, the Jinbao River is a must-visit spot. Located about an hour’s drive from Yangshuo, this river offers thrilling rapids and fast currents that will get your adrenaline pumping. The route is more challenging and suitable for experienced rafters. As you navigate through the rapids and twists, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and the stunning scenery of the surrounding mountains.


3. Yulong River: The Yulong River, often referred to as the “Little Li River,” is a serene and scenic spot for a peaceful rafting experience. This 15-kilometer route takes you through bamboo forests, traditional villages, and past ancient stone bridges. The gentle currents of the Yulong River make it suitable for families and beginners. Rafting along this tranquil river allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Yangshuo while enjoying a relaxing and enjoyable ride.


4. Gongnong Bridge to Yangshuo: This rafting route starts at the Gongnong Bridge and takes you on a 12-kilometer journey down the Yulong River. The route offers a mix of calm stretches and small rapids, making it a perfect option for both beginners and experienced rafters. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking, with lush vegetation, karst limestone peaks, and picturesque villages dotting the riverbanks.


5. Liugong Village to Xingping: This rafting route combines the tranquility of the Li River with the charm of Liugong Village and the beauty of Xingping. The 8-kilometer ride takes you through calm sections of the river, allowing you to appreciate the stunning karst landscape and the iconic scenery that has inspired countless artists over the centuries.


It’s important to remember that safety is paramount when rafting in Yangshuo. Always listen to the instructions of your guides, wear a life jacket, and be aware of the water conditions. Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit to ensure the preservation of this beautiful region.


Whether you’re seeking thrilling rapids or a peaceful journey through scenic landscapes, Yangshuo offers a range of popular rafting spots that cater to different preferences and skill levels. No matter which spot you choose, you are guaranteed an unforgettable rafting experience surrounded by the natural beauty of this region.


Safety Tips for Biking and Rafting in Yangshuo

Biking and rafting in Yangshuo offer thrilling adventures amidst stunning landscapes, but it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a memorable and incident-free experience. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:


1. Wear appropriate safety gear: When biking in Yangshuo, always wear a properly-fitted helmet to protect your head in case of a fall or collision. Additionally, wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes to ensure comfort and prevent accidents. When rafting, always wear a properly-sized life jacket to stay buoyant and safe on the water.


2. Check your equipment: Before setting off on a biking or rafting adventure, thoroughly inspect your equipment. Ensure your bike is in good working condition, with properly inflated tires, functioning brakes, and gears. If renting a bike, double-check that it is in good condition before starting your ride. For rafting, inspect the raft to ensure there are no leaks or damages that could compromise safety.


3. Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun: Yangshuo can have hot and humid weather, so it’s important to stay hydrated during your biking or rafting activities. Carry plenty of water and drink regularly to avoid dehydration. Apply sunscreen before starting your adventure and reapply as needed to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.


4. Follow traffic rules and be aware of your surroundings: When biking in Yangshuo, adhere to traffic rules and ride in a predictable manner. Stay on designated bike paths or share the road with other vehicles when necessary. Be aware of your surroundings, including pedestrians and motorized vehicles. When rafting, be mindful of other rafts, obstacles in the water, and the instructions of your guide.


5. Know your limits and choose appropriate routes: Assess your fitness level and skill level before embarking on a biking or rafting adventure. Choose routes that match your abilities to avoid overexertion or getting into situations beyond your capabilities. It’s always better to start with easier routes and gradually progress to more challenging ones as you gain confidence and experience.


6. Listen to your guides and follow instructions: If you’re taking a guided biking or rafting tour, pay close attention to the instructions provided by your guide. They are experienced professionals who are familiar with the area and can offer valuable guidance to ensure your safety. Always follow their directions and ask questions if you’re unsure about anything.


7. Be prepared for emergencies: Carry a basic first aid kit, including bandages, antiseptic ointment, and pain relievers. Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and nearby medical facilities. If participating in organized tours, ensure they have adequate safety measures in place and are equipped to handle emergencies.


By following these safety tips, you can enjoy biking and rafting in Yangshuo while minimizing risks and ensuring a safe and enjoyable adventure in this beautiful region of China.



Yangshuo, China, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering exciting opportunities for biking and rafting amidst stunning natural landscapes. Whether you choose to explore the picturesque countryside on a bike or navigate the crystal-clear waters of the Li River on a raft, Yangshuo has something to offer for everyone.


With well-maintained biking trails and a variety of routes catering to different skill levels, biking in Yangshuo allows you to immerse yourself in the region’s beauty while enjoying an exhilarating adventure. From leisurely rides through traditional villages to challenging mountain trails, the biking routes in Yangshuo offer breathtaking scenery and a chance to connect with the local culture.


For those seeking a thrilling water adventure, rafting in Yangshuo provides an adrenaline-pumping experience. With options ranging from calm sections of the Li River to more challenging rapids in the Jinbao River, rafters can enjoy the breathtaking karst landscapes while navigating through the twists and turns of the waterways.


It’s important to prioritize safety during biking and rafting activities. Wearing appropriate safety gear, checking equipment, staying hydrated, and being aware of your surroundings are crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. Following traffic rules, choosing suitable routes, and listening to experienced guides are also essential for a smooth and incident-free adventure.


Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure enthusiast, or simply looking to explore the beauty of China’s countryside, biking and rafting in Yangshuo offer unforgettable experiences. From the mesmerizing karst landscapes to the warm hospitality of the locals, Yangshuo truly captures the essence of China’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.


So, gear up, embrace the beauty of the countryside, and embark on an exhilarating journey through the stunning landscapes of Yangshuo, China. Whether you’re biking through rice fields and traditional villages or rafting down the Li River surrounded by towering limestone peaks, Yangshuo guarantees an adventure of a lifetime.