Flag for China Walking Holidays in China - Guilin - Rivers and Rice Terraces

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Southern Delights in Guilin

Guìlín means "forest of Sweet Osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. Located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China, Guilin has a sub-tropical climate and is a low rise flower covered city. The stunning landscape in which the city is situated has a kind of magic that is all its own. The strangely shaped hills or karsts, with the verdant vegetation ranging from bamboos to conifers together with crystal clear waters of the Li River and thousands of colourful bamboo rafts make the city such an appealing destination. It is also an important cultural city with a history of more than 2,000 years. The city has been the political, economic and cultural centre of Guangxi since the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). This is one of China's most popular tourist destinations. Ask any one in China and they will say the Guilin landscape is the best!

Guilin’s Diverse Walking Landscapes

One of the most appealing aspects of hiking in the Guilin area is the variety of walking it offers.  Part of the time will be spent north of the city amongst the most famous Rice Terraces in the world – The Dragon’s Backbone. In contrast, you then travel south of the city to idyllic Yangshuo in the heart of the karst hills.

The Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces

Located 2 hours’ drive north of Guilin, is the most photographed landscape in all of China; the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces of Longji.  These stunningly beautiful terraces rise to over 1000m and construction of them began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when construction was completed. The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces are the culmination of both the profound wisdom and strenuous labour of the Zhuang people. They continue to farm the terraces today using much the same methods with little intervention from the modern day.

Dotted amongst the terraces lie traditional wooden Zhuang and Yao villages with inhabitants dressed in colourful hand woven clothing. Their hospitality is warm and welcoming to visitors and they are rarely seen without a smile. Hiking between the villages and through the terraces is a unique experience.

Yangshuo and the Li River

Heading south from Guilin to Yangshuo, you immediately enter a landscape and way of life that truly sums up China.  Against a backdrop of the mysterious karst hills buffaloes wallow in rice paddies, farmers tend their crops under wide brimmed cooly hats and rickshaws line the streets transporting all manner of goods. The wide Li River slowly passes through this idyllic landscape and side tributaries are full of bamboo rafts and floating shops selling tropical fruits and brightly coloured goods. Walking here is a soothing way to sample life and nature close-up and the delicious, varied cuisine is also reputedly the best in China. This is a place to linger, relax and enjoy life to its full.

Accommodation

With the exception of Ping’an, we offer standard and higher grade options for a stay in this region. Hotel styles vary according to their location and are described below to help you make the right choice. Please note that in Longji rice terraces there are no roads linking the villages and all goods have to be transport by human porter which restricts availability of some items. Electricity is also erratic and hot water showers unreliable. All rooms have private bathrooms facilities and we only reserve rooms with western style toilet. 

Luggage transfer

Your main luggage will travel with you in the car.  However, there is no road access to the villages in the Longji rice terraces and therefore we ask you to pack sufficient items for 3 nights into smaller bags which we provide as these have to be carried by local porter up to your accommodation. During your stay in the terraces, porters will transfer these bags from hotel to hotel for you. The rest of your luggage will be kept safe by your driver.

Independent guided walking

Walking in China with New Experience Holidays is different from most companies which only feature group holidays with fixed itineraries.  We provide an experienced, English speaking hiking guide for individual clients with the support of a private driver. They accompany you throughout your stay and tend to everything in support of your trip.  With their extensive knowledge of the regions, you will eat in the most authentic local restaurants, have luggage transferred with you in the car, and have a personal guide around key historical sites. We are able to feature Chinese Homestays and special hotels which generally cater for individuals travellers.  

We feel that China has now developed tourism to the point where it is no longer necessary or as beneficial to be part of a group.  However, due to language difficulties and considerable cultural differences, a guide is still essential to ensure one receives the most out of a journey through China. This does increase the price, but actually not by a great amount and offers the traveller all the following benefits:

Flexibility can be introduced into your itinerary in the walking and places visited.

Walks can be modified according to weather or your energy levels!

The walking pace will be yours alone – no need to wait for others or speed up.

Dining can be in more select restaurants with dishes ordered to your specific tastes.

Road transfers (some up to 4 hours) will be by comfortable air conditioned car as opposed to mini bus or coach.

Your guide can explain about history, culture, flora and anything of particular interest to you with the opportunity to have personal conversations on his culture.

No chance of cancellation of a holiday due to insufficient group numbers.

Walk Grading

Guided - Easy to Moderate


Group departure dates

We have group departure dates in addition to our Independent guided walking offerings for the Charms of China which includes Guilin Rivers and Rice Terraces. Please go to the Charms of China page for more information.


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Accommodation Details Click to View Accommodation Details

Guilin

Standard Grade

Guilin - Hotel Jing Guan Ming Lou Museum

With a lakeside setting in a quiet part of Guilin, the small ‘Museum’ hotel offers a very Chinese experience with an air of sophistication. The owners have a great interest in Chinese porcelain and have several rooms of teapots, vases and other artefacts beautifully displayed.

Longji – Ping’an Hotel

Just 20 minutes walk from the car-park, the Yao village of Ping’an clings to the hillside and is divided by a small ravine with rushing streams. Red lanterns dangle from every doorway creating a beautiful spectacle after dark. Further up the hillside are viewpoints over the terraces and narrow stone trails lead to other villages in the valley.  Our stay here is at Ping’an Hotel and is a traditional wooden house.  Rooms are furnished in Yao style and are spacious and comfortable with good private shower rooms and balconies.  Their restaurant serves excellent Chinese food as well as a few western dishes and it is possible to eat inside or out on the wooden terrace.

Dazhai/Tiantouzhai – Hotel Jin Keng

This lovely wooden Yao house has fabulous views down the valley and across to the far side of the terraces. 

Yangshuo - The Village Retreat

Your Belgian host and Chinese hostess have created a very comfortable retreat where everything is thought of and you should be relaxed and well looked after.

 

Higher Grade

Guilin - Hotel Bravo

Hotel Bravo was formerly a Holiday Inn and enjoys a pleasant lakeside location.  The hotel is extremely well run and has an international air about it.

Longji – Ping’an Hotel

Just 20 minutes walk from the car-park, the Yao village of Ping’an clings to the hillside and is divided by a small ravine with rushing streams. Red lanterns dangle from every doorway creating a beautiful spectacle after dark. Further up the hillside are viewpoints over the terraces and narrow stone trails lead to other villages in the valley. Our stay here is at Ping’an Hotel and is a traditional wooden house. Rooms are furnished in Yao style and are spacious and comfortable with good private shower rooms and balconies. Their restaurant serves excellent Chinese food as well as a few western dishes and it is possible to eat inside or out on the wooden terrace.

Dazhai/Tiantouzhai – Panorama Hotel

The hotel is aptly named as the view is simply stunning from this newly built hotel high above the terraces.

Yangshuo - Moondance

Moondance  This is a delightful award-winning escape in a riverside setting surrounded by bamboo and lush vegetation.  The riverside garden is a perfect place to relax with a book after a good days walking.

Walking holiday in China -   Guilin - Rivers and Rice Terraces - Click Here For Full DetailsVIEW MORE INFORMATION

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Accommodation Details Click to View The Itinerary

Day 1  Depart UK to Hong Kong or other gateway city.

Day 2  Arrive Hong Kong or other gateway city and fly to Guilin. Met and transferred to Guilin Hotel for free afternoon, overnight and dinner (not included).

Day 3  Meet your guide and driver and transfer to Longji/Ping’an taking lunch en route at a Yao Restaurant.  In the afternoon climb to viewpoint 2 for first views of the terraces followed by optional walk to Zhuang Village. Overnight and dinner Ping’an hotel. Ascent 130m Descent 110m 2 hours 3 miles.

Day 4  Hike over the mountains, through Bamboo forest and rice terraces to Tiantouzhai/Dazhai. Rest of day free in your hotel. Overnight and dinner Tiantouzhai Hotel of your choice. Ascent 525m Descent 340m 4.5 hours 5.75 miles.

Day 5  In the morning, take a circular walk through the terraces and bamboo forests with the help of a local guide who knows the intricate network of pathways so well! Take lunch at Jin Keng Hotel then rest of the afternoon is free. Overnight and dinner in Tiantouzhai Hotel of your choice.

Day 6  After breakfast, walk down to Dazhai village (1 hour) passing by locals busy in their fields, children skipping to school and ladies working at their looms. Meet with your driver and transfer to Yangshuo, taking about 3.5 hours with a lunch stop on the way. In the afternoon take a 2 hour walk along the pretty Yulong river to the ancient village of Jiu Xian. Your driver will meet you here and transfer you to your chosen hotel. Ascent 5m Descent 365m 1 hour 2.25 miles and Ascent 65m Descent 70m 2 hours 4.5 miles.

Day 7  Set off this morning through the jungle and magnificent karst landscapes on a wonderful hike exclusive to New Experience Holidays! The route takes you from Village Retreat up and over to the point where yesterday’s walk ended. From a plateau high above the Yulong River enjoy a picnic in this tranquil setting before return to your hotel for a relaxing afternoon or climb 800 steps to the top of Moon Hill for more fabulous views.  Overnight and dinner in your chosen hotel. Ascent 230m Descent 185m 3 hours 4 miles.

Day 8  Your delightful stay in southern China ends today with a very memorable 10 mile walk from Yang Di along the Li River.  Wandering this flat, well-marked trail along the riverside, you pass through orange groves, small riverside villages and rich, fertile fields abundant with produce. This walk is enhanced even further by three raft crossings as the trail switches between the karst hills from one side of the river to another.  The walk ends at picturesque Xing Ping – a colourful boat and river raft terminus. Your driver meets you here to transfer back to your hotel for dinner and overnight. Ascent 330m Descent 315m 5 hours 10 miles.

Day 9  Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hong Kong or other gateway city and onwards.

Day 10  Arrive home.

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Accommodation Details Click to View When it's Best To Go

Guilin is warm all year round with high temperatures and most rainfall from June to early September. During April and May the vibrant green of the foliage intensifies and is offset by brightly coloured tropical flowers, however the rice terraces are at their least interesting at this time.  From May onwards the terraces are waterlogged and the shoots sprout bright green creating a stunning spectacle through to the harvest in October.  In winter, they are often snow covered and very beautiful.  During the rainy season the Li River may flood the banks affecting one of our walks.



When to book your walking holiday in China - Guilin - Rivers and Rice Terraces
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Accommodation Details Click to Find Out How To Get There

Getting to China from the UK is very easy with a choice of airlines serving Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong non-stop from London Heathrow.  Alternatively, from many other airports in the UK it is possible to fly via a point in Europe or the Middle East to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

From your Chinese gateway city you fly on to the starting point for your Chinese adventure.

For the Guilin - Rivers and Rice Terraces itinerary, flights would be best to Hong Kong and return with a flight or train connection between Hong Kong and Guilin. A stopover may be included in Hong Kong in either direction or both. Or you can use Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shanghai as your gateway.

Between modules, (including Xi’an) you can either travel by air or by train, in both instances we will book these. Train is normally an overnight sleeper and is a very comfortable way to travel.

We will send you details of all travel options to/from and inside China with your personalised quotation.

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Costs and Booking Details Pricing Details

Prices displayed in Sterling. View prices in £GBP  | View prices in $USD  | View prices in €EURO

Guilin – Rivers and Rice Terraces

Guided Trek

Included:

  • Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary - normally lunch, dinner and breakfast

  • Transfers between the airport or railway station and the first/last hotels

  • Other local transfers as indicated in the itinerary

  • Personal English speaking guide and driver

  • Our unique walking booklet written by one of our team and local walking map

Not Included:

  • China Visa (approx £85)

  • Drinks with meals

Please note these prices may differ from our current brochure price list and are the current correct prices.

All prices are valid for 2017/18

Prices are per person in GBP / UK £ and are based on sharing a twin/double standard room.

Period

Type

Number of nights in China

2 Travellers

4 Travellers

Single room supplement No sole travellers

Approximate air seat price*

Higher Grade room in hotel total stay 7 nights**

All Year *

Standard Hotels

7

1015

775

165

650

34


Higher Graded Hotels

7

2015

875

258

650

43

 

*   Typical economy seat price from London to Guilin if booked more than 3 months in advance. Will be higher in Chinese and major UK holiday periods. To Guilin for Guilin – Rivers and Rice Terraces.

** Please note that this supplement for Higher Graded rooms in hotels means that you will receive a higher grade of room at each hotel where possible

Flight and train costs between holidays will be quoted to your needs. i.e. Beijing to Xi’an and Xi’an to Guilin.

# Supplements will apply for nights during main Chinese holidays:-                                                         

Spring Festival

3 Jan – 4 Feb

Qingming Festival

4-6 April

Labour Day

1-3 May

Dragon Boat

29 May – 3 Jun

Moon Festival

3-5 Oct

National Day

1-7 October

 

 

 

 

 






On other smaller holidays, supplements may apply.

Update: QE25x

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General Information Click to View General Information
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  • Children
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  • Deposits and balance payments
  • Holiday insurance
  • Fuel supplements
Please click here

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