Yangshuo County (simplified Chinese: 阳朔县; traditional Chinese: 陽朔縣; pinyin: Yángshuò Xiàn) is a county in Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. Its seat is located in Yangshuo Town. Surrounded by karst peaks and bordered on one side by the Li River (漓江) it is easily accessible by bus or by boat from nearby Guilin. In the 1980s, the town became popular with foreign backpackers, and by the late 1990s packaged tourists began arriving in greater numbers. At that time, domestic tourism represented only a small fraction of the tourists but by 2005 domestic tourists outnumbered foreign tourists by a great margin. Today, the town has become a resort destination for both domestic and foreign travelers.
The Yulong River (Chinese: 遇龙河; pinyin: Yùlóng Hé) is a small tributary of the larger Li River in Southeastern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region that runs through the major city of Guilin to Yangshuo. The Yulong starts in Northern Yangshuo County near Litang and runs for over 35 kilometres (22 mi) through small villages of the Yulong River Valley, including Putao, Litang, Chaolong, Yima and Gaotian town, before emptying into the Li around the town of Ping Le. The Yulong is a shallow river of around 5 metres (16 ft) maximum depth and an average of 25 metres (82 ft) across. As it is not located near any industrial areas, it is clean enough for swimming, though some brownish surface foam is visible in eddys, probably the result of phosphate runoff from local villages.
Unlike the busy Li River, it has no motorized boat traffic and relies completely on bamboo rafts to ferry passengers downriver. This has become a popular tourist activity, with passengers beginning their journey that the Yulong Bridge, a 400-year-old stone bridge. As the local government has improved local roads through the Yulong River Valley, biking has also become a popular tourist activity, as there are many quaint villages along the river, some offering bed ad breakfast accommodation.
The Yulong is prone to sudden flooding which is one of the reasons why there are not more places to stay close by. Local people have built breakwaters (weirs) every kilometer or so to allow their animals to cross the river, though many have fallen into disrepair. It is possible during the dry season (November–March) for people to walk across some of these weirs, otherwise it is necessary to hire local people to ferry passengers across for about RMB 10 per person.
Guìlín (Chinese: 桂林; Zhuang: Gveilinz) is a prefecture-level city in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, sitting on the west bank of the Li River. Its name means "forest of Sweet Osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. The city has long been renowned for its unique scenery of Karst topography and is one of China's most popular tourist destinations.