Guilin is a city in southern China famous for its natural scenery, including its clusters of limestone Karst hills and its beautiful still waterways, made up of four lakes and two rivers. Discover the beautiful city of Guilin and its stunning landscapes by night with the Guilin night cruise: one of the best ways to take in the city’s different scenic areas. It’s a great option for an evening activity that can be added on to your tour of China with Distant Journeys during your time in Guilin.

Board the charming river boat before setting all around Guilin on a 90-minute after-dark Guilin river cruise. You’ll get to see all of the waterways that pretty Guilin has become famous for: the two rivers of Li River and Taohua River, and the four lakes of Ronghu, Mulong, Shanhu and Guihu. Together known simply as Two Rivers and Four Lakes, the waterways act as a kind of moat around Guilin city. During the Ming and Tang dynasties, the four lakes were connected to the rivers, and waterway travel was popular during this period. After some of the lakes dried up, the popularity of the waterways waned, but in the late nineties, the city government worked to once again restore the waterways and Guilin’s reputation as an ancient prosperous city of water.

During the cruise, the Guilin river tour makes its way through three scenic areas of the city. Ronghu and Shanghu Lake are two connected lakes, separated by the Yangqiao Bridge, home to traditional Chinese gardens, with banyan and cedar trees surrounding the lake shores. Made of bronze, you can see one of Guilin’s most famous landmarks in the centre of Shanhu Lake: the Sun Tower, which is the world’s tallest bronze tower. The second area you’ll visit is Guihu Lake, surrounded by landscapes and nature. In the distance, enjoy the views out to Laoren Hill, while closer to the lake’s edge, you’ll see lily magnolias, cedar trees and ginkgo trees. Mulong Lake is the last scenic area, steeped in the history and culture of the Song Dynasty. Landmarks to look out for here include the ancient Song city wall, the Mulong arch bridge, the Mulong Tower and Diecai Hill.

The cruise will prove that Guilin is equally as stunning by night as it is by day, with twinkling lights illuminating every bridge, tower and pagoda surrounding the lakes. Occasionally you’ll also see performers on the lake shores, adding even more entertainment to your Guilin cruise with performances of Zhuang bronze drum dance, Guangxi Gui opera and much more.

This Excursion is featured in the following itineraries:

The Very Best of China