In Chinese the word “Yulong” means “meeting a dragon”. Local legend has it that a dragon from the East Sea strolled along the river and, being deeply impressed by the landscape, he decided to stay there forever. From then on, the villagers saw the dragon several times, and hence named the River Yulong.
Known as little Li River, Yulong is about 43km (26 miles). The scenic part is stretching from Yulong Bridge in Baisha Town, to Gongnong Bridge near the Big Banyan Tree. The meandering river is lined by green bamboo and rolling hills. Local people use bamboo rafts as daily transportation up and down the river between their houses, markets, and rice paddies. Sitting on the reclining chair on the raft, you can enjoy an all-around view of the river and hills.
Yulong River has a long history on a site; this site is Guiyi county site. According to the Yangshuo County Annals, in Tang dynasty Wude forth years (AD 621), Guiyi County was set from Yangshuo County. And in Zhenguan period the first year (AD 627) Guiyi County was repealed and merged into Yangshuo County.
Guiyi site now covers an area of about 40000 square meters, in the Tang dynasty can be called a big county town. Today, of course, any one of the villages and towns are much larger than it. Now the whole county site, only remained the northwest corner of the old well and the two families. On the edge of columns of that ancient well, there was engraved with 2 characters in Chinese “Xun Jiu” (means Finding Old) but today’s Yulong River is brand new.
What to See
The three most famous ancient bridge in Guangxi was Yulong bridge, Xiangui bridge, Fuli bridge and they are all in Yulong River scenic area; And Jiuxian village which known as “general mansion” is in the Yulong riverside; Tang dynasty Guiyi county site, Panzhuang village site, Xubeihong studio and the Ming and Qing dynasty old houses, make people meditate on the past. However, the most exciting and romantic is drifting in Yulong River by a raft.
There is a stone arched bridge over the Yulong River, located beside Longcun village Baisha town. It was built in Ming dynasty, the bridge is 60 meters long, 5 meters wide and 9 meters high, all built with stone and unused mortar, after hundreds of years it was undamaged, and it is key cultural relics of Yangshuo County. Bridge is spectacular, on both sides of the stone bridge crawling ivy leaves, which is antique; under the bridge the villagers come here to fetch water, wash clothes for the generations. Yulong bridge bear witness to the world in the age and it is still strong.
The stone arch bridge of Yulong River tributary is the oldest bridge in Guangxi. The bridge is 2.2 meters high, 26 meters long and 4 meters wide. It was built in the Song dynasty Xuehe period fifth years (AD 1123), the bridge structure is unique that it used rare method of paralleling brick. Stone arch build by laying bricks with 9 groups of keystones, and 281 pieces of stone paralleled. Eight hundred years of wind and rain erosion and flood impact, the bridge is still in good condition.
A distance of 500m in Yulong Bridge upstream, there is a single arch stone structure, whose bridge deck, railings, stairs are ashlars, and it was built in the Ming dynasty Yongle period. The bridge is 30 meters long and 5 meters wide, 10 meters high, and it is one of the three largest ancient bridges in Yangshuo. In the bridgehead there is an ancient tree, looking from a distance, bridge arch inverted reflection in water and connected with the reflection, like a full moon.
Travel Guide of Yulong River
【Recommended Visiting Time】The whole raft drift costs 4 hours and every raft has 2 seats.
【Best time to go】The best time to visit Yulong River should between April to November, avoid rainy days.
【How to get to Yulong River】In both sides of Yulong River bank, there is less modern transport vehicle, along the country path people can go there on foot or ride on bicycle. Biking+drifting is the most enjoyable
There are two ways to Yulong bridge by riding bicycle. One is going Huiyang highway where the road condition is not very good, but it just takes 1 hour. Second is going along the river. Starting from Gongnong Bridge in Big Banyan Tree Scenic Area and turning right, going against the current of Yulong River by country path. That even though it is a long way and hard way to go, the scenery along the way is very good. Through this way it takes around 3 to 5 hours to Yulong Bridge.
If you do not want to ride bike, only want to drift, you can take passing bus to Baisha town, and then transfer to electric tricycle to Yulong bridge.