The Li River (漓江 / Lí Jiāng) is the main river slowing through Yangshuo. Starting in the Mao’er Mountains in Xiang’an county. It runs through 83km (Roughly 52Miles) of beautiful countryside. And the stretch between Guilin City and Yangshuo has achieved international renown for its stunning beauty. It continues down past Yangshuo through to Pingle where it joins Lipu and Gingcheng rivers. And then continues its journey south as the Gui River which in turn joins into the Xi Jiang before finally joining Pearl river in Wuzhuo.
The River offers the superb Li-River cruise which can be an incredible way to introduce the area. As the cruise boats make there way down the Li River through countless beautiful Cartse mountains and countryside passing small villages before finishing in Yansghuo. All along the banks of the Li river you will see countless small villages. Which originally started as small fishing communities and many have now developed in large towns. Such as Fuli And Xingping. You can also see countless small fish farms that have sprung up over the years.
The Li river is closely associated to the images you may see of Cormorant fishermen. And remains one of the few place in the world where this ancient technique is still practiced on a regular basis.
Due to government support the river still remains very clean and is a popular swimming spot for the local in the area. Though it does have strong current towards the center so caution is recommended. The river also offers a variety of options for bamboo rafting. Though this is now done with plastic rafts with engines due to the strong currents on the water. Most of the Rafting now takes place in what is considered the most scenic part of the river near Xingping. Though it is also possible to take rafts from Yangshuo to Fuli and beyond.