The whole Li River cruise may be divided into three sections.
The first part is from Guilin to Ox Gorge; the second part from Ox Gorge to Water-Dropping Village and the third part from Water-Dropping Village to Yangshuo. From Guilin to Ox Gorge (Total 46km; 4 hours' voyage)
The first part is from Guilin to Ox Gorge;
After boating out of Guilin city, comes the Elephant Trunk Hill and Pagoda Hill. Downstream a while, two hills named "Chuanshan", on the east bank and, Gamecock Hill across the river with a moon-shaped cave, resembles a pair of fighting roosters, hence the name "Rooster Fighting Hill". Southward, Jingping Hill (Clear Vase Hill) jumps into your eyes, elegant and simple, like an overturned vase lay in water.
Rafting downstream from Jingping Hill, on the banks near Daxu town, a range of hump-like peaks rises steeply- famed as "Forest of Odd Shaped Peaks". It is a typical Karst land formation in Guilin.
At the spot where the Li River meets Liangfeng River lies Father and Son Hill. The name comes from the two human-like stones on the hill, which according to legend is a man that refused to build boats for a landlord and instead sheltered himself in a cave with his son.
South of Father and Son Hill is Millstone Hill where a dock situates 28km from Guilin and where 3,000,000 people pass through annually.
Boating south from this dock, and passing Nine Dragons Playing the Water, the ship enters the Ox Gorge, where the next highpoint of the trip arrives.
From Ox Gorge to Water-Dropping Village (Total 17km; 40 minutes' voyage)
After passing the Ox Gorge, the water becomes calm and wide. Wangfu Rock, a human-shaped rock, stands on the west bank of Li River as the first scenic spot in this section. Boating south, about 29km from Guilin, is Caoping Village where the famous Crown Cave locates. Continue south for about 10km is "Half-side Ferry". Different from other ferries, the ferries of these two villages are in the same side instead of two sides. Boating south one would see a group of peaks in various shapes rising out of the river.
About 61km from Guilin and on the east bank of Li River lies Mural Hill. It was said that nine horses were contained in this huge painting, and anyone who can tell all of them would be the Number One Scholar.
Going downstream and turning right is Yellow Cloth Shoal, where is the best place to view the reflections in the water.
Xingping town is the place where the second section basically comes to end.
From Water-Dropping Village to Yangshuo (Total 20km; 2 hours' voyage)
Snail Hill, with a huge vein spiraling up from the bottom to the top, situates near Li River like a huge snail. Passing it, the boat straightly advances toward Yangshuo, where is the termination of this exciting cruise.
About 2 hours later, the boat is near Yangshuo. A dragon-head-shaped hill stands by the river welcoming the tourists to this town.
Yangshuo is an enchanting town, where the limpid water, verdant pinnacles and hillocks, and spectacular caverns compose a captivating tableau. Green Lotus Peak, Schoolboy Hill and Snow Lion Ridge add more charm to this beautiful town. No wonder people often say: "Guilin has the most beautiful scenery in China, and Yangshuo is the most beautiful part of Guilin."
The best suitable time to tour Li River is flood season, which covers the period from July to November in each year. Normally, visitors get on boat out of Guilin City in the morning and get off in Yangshuo in afternoon. The local travel branches have prepared many bus taking visitors back to Guilin from Yangshuo after the Li River cruise.