My Yulong River Rafting Adventure (Part 1)

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, October 16, 2009 | Published in


Before my trip to China, I was advised not to get involved in any activity that involves water. Yet, I went for the Li River Cruise, I sat on the raft to visit The Elephant Trunk Hill and I went river rafting along Yulong River in Yangshuo!

I do not know how to swim and I did not wear any life jacket. Either I was crazy or stupid, or both!

No matter, as I survived to blog about my experiences. Will I do it all over again? Maybe.

I have to admit that when my travel partner and blogger Jam first suggested we go river rafting, I was a little apprehensive. I mean, firstly I could hardly swim. Secondly, they don't provide life jackets over there. Thirdly, I know nuts about steering a raft!

But my apprehension was soon thrown out the window into the Li River when Jam told me that I do not need to steer the raft. All I do is just sit and relax while someone else steers the raft! Well, I have done it all before sitting on a raft to visit the Elephant Trunk Hill, so what else is new, right?

Of course, Jam did not mention about the surprise awaiting me and his friend. You want to know what the surprise was? Keep reading : )

It was our 6th day in China and 2nd day in Yangshuo. The day before, we had arrived in Yangshuo via the Li River Cruise from Guilin. We woke up early around 6am as Thomas, the boss of Xi Jie Hostel where we stayed would be taking us to the Yangshuo Bus Station to catch a bus to Baisha Town.


That is the Yangshuo Bus Station. Notice the beautiful karst hills in the background? Yangshuo is full of these karst hills making it one of the most beautiful town in China! There is a very popular saying that "Guilin's landscape tops those elsewhere, and Yangshuo's landscape tops that of Guilin".


Did you know that you don't have to stand in the bus in Yangshuo? In every bus that I sat during my China trip, I noticed they provide stools for passengers if there were no more seats left. How creative! Maybe the buses in Malaysia should follow their style. Haha!

We were to meet up with our two rafters in Baisha Town. Since Yulong River is not accessible by bus from Baisha Town, our rafters would send us there on their motorbikes! Gosh! This was my first time sitting on a motorbike! And just like everything else in China, safety was not a major concern. We were not given any helmets to wear. Oh well...

Anyway, this being my first time riding on a motorbike, I was initially a little nervous as the biker zoomed past cars and other vehicles! But I soon got the hang of it and was enjoying the ride. In fact, it was nice feeling the wind sweeping my face. And the beautiful scenery around made the ride even more enjoyable.

Thinking back, I scored many firsts on this China trip in terms of transportation. Sitting on a raft on the Elephant Trunk Hill tour, then balancing on a three wheel motorbike to Xi Jie Hostel and now riding on a two wheel motorbike to Yulong River! It's a pity I didn't get to cycle as well for that would have made it complete!

My advice to travelers is to experience the different modes of transportation and not to limit yourselves to just the buses or taxis. It would surely make your trip more fun and memorable!


We finally arrived at the Yulong Bridge Pier at about 8am. Look at the many bamboo rafts there!

Every raft has 2 seats. Since there were three of us, Jam and his friend occupied one raft, whereas I had a raft completely to myself! I was actually not too keen to be alone with the rafter because he could not speak much English and I could hardly speak Mandarin. So I was expecting some chicken and duck talk during my rafting. Haha!

While waiting for our rafts to be ready, I walked around and took photos of the place.


Oh! The raft sure looks imposing from this angle!




Washing clothes by the river bank. I was wondering, wouldn't all these washing pollute the river? But the river still looked so clear! I guess they must have been washing clothes there for thousands of years!

Ooh! Look at this little boy. Can you see the opening at his buttocks?


Here, let me magnify it for you.


No, his shorts was not accidentally torn open. It was done on purpose for obvious reason.

I thought he was such a cute little boy and decided to take more photos. But I think he got a little scared of either me or my camera (I hope it's my camera, LOL!) and refused to face me.

I think this is his mother. She was not too pleased with my photo taking. Oops!


But I could not help it. The little boy was just too cute!! haha!


Soon, it was time for us to get onto our rafts. Jam had earlier told us on the bus to be prepared for a surprise during our rafting. I wondered what the surprise was. At the back of my mind, I already had an idea what it was although I could not be sure.

5 hours rafting on Yulong river! It was exciting! I was determined to enjoy myself! Unbeknownst to me, an accident was waiting to happen.


(69) Comments

  1. Anonymous

    River rafting is a different experience.

    Someday, you must try white water rafting. Gives you that adrenaline rush..nevermind that it's a super scary experience.

    You don't need to know how to swim to raft but provided you must wear a life jacket and I am surprised that safety jackets are not provided?

    October 16, 2009 at 8:36 AM
  2. bluedreamer27 said...

    Hello my friend sorry if i am not being around here in your blog for such a long time... I have so many important things to do, we are affected by Typhoon Ondoy whoi attacked the Philippines recently, Im helping my dad in fixing the damages brought to us by that natural calamity, I know every thing will be back to normal... Its nice to be here again in your blog
    Hope you have a great day and God Bless

    By the way i got a new site, hope you can visit me there if you have time
    Blue Dreamer

    October 16, 2009 at 9:32 AM
  3. eiling lim said...

    would love to experience the river rafting! hahah and now we know why the boy's buttocks is exposed! so cute

    October 16, 2009 at 9:41 AM
  4. khengsiong said...

    Child porn!!!

    How deep was the river? I had bamboo rafting in Thailand too. It's dry season so the water was shallow. No worry, though I was aware that my camera was not water resistant.

    October 16, 2009 at 10:51 AM
  5. manglish said...

    paedophile!!! hahahahh.....stools in the bus in malaysia??? no....we are malaysian we dont do that....hahahha....

    October 16, 2009 at 11:20 AM
  6. manglish said...

    i must say that the river again amazed me...i just looked at my friend's photos when he went to jiu zhai kou (?) very very very beautiful...i think that was before the is in shi chuan province, isnt it?

    October 16, 2009 at 11:21 AM
  7. Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

    What? you do not know how to swim? Hahaha...don't worry. Even the eskimos do not know how to swim because they never have the chance to swim. Who one to jump into a below 0 degree celcius right? Haha

    The river raft is beautiful, I wish i could experience it too. And providing stool in the bus? I disagree because for safety reason, we do not want our bus to be overcrowded. In sarawak, they will not allow more than 40 people to be in the bus.

    The torn pants? gee...i guess because they don't provide diapers to kids, then the kids can poops anytime they want without telling their moms. Hahaha

    October 16, 2009 at 11:39 AM
  8. ladyviral said...

    Obvious reasons eh? I wonder if he does it to the fornt too o_O.. I wonder if they do it where you all raft :P.

    October 16, 2009 at 11:41 AM
  9. ladyviral said...

    Wow the rafts look so nice.. the rattan seats... ouch be it painful be on it for long period?

    October 16, 2009 at 11:42 AM
  10. ladyviral said...

    Buses provide seats... but what happens if the driver jams break.. wouldn't this people be flying out.. especially since there isn't much grip on the floor? and knowing the malaysian bus drivers all thinks they are driving in fast and furious.. not bright to have seats on the floor :x.

    October 16, 2009 at 11:44 AM
  11. foongpc said...

    mei teng, yes I hope to go for white water rafting when I go to KK next time! Missed that the last time I went there!

    But if there's white water rafting in China, I would give it a miss cos they don't provide life jackets! Not going to take that kind of risk! : )

    October 16, 2009 at 12:23 PM
  12. foongpc said...

    bluedreamer27, sorry to hear about the typhoon. Hope the damages were not too serious! Will visit your new blog soon : )

    October 16, 2009 at 12:24 PM
  13. foongpc said...

    eiling lim, yeah, you should try it! The little is soooo cute : )

    October 16, 2009 at 12:25 PM
  14. foongpc said...

    khengsiong, what child porn? The child is not naked, is he? Haha!

    I think the river is not very deep. Cos can see through the water at certain spots. But could be deep at other areas, not sure : )

    October 16, 2009 at 12:27 PM
  15. jam said...

    You have really detailed description on the opening at the boy's buttocks. :)

    October 16, 2009 at 12:29 PM
  16. foongpc said...

    manglish, paedophile just because I took a photo of a child with a slit in his shorts? I don't think so! Haha!

    Yes, Jiu Zhai Gou is in Sichuan Province. This Yulong river is in Guangxi Province : )

    October 16, 2009 at 12:32 PM
  17. foongpc said...

    willie, I learnt swimming when I was small but abandoned it due to an unexpected experience : )

    By right, buses should not overload with passengers. But since they are already breaking the rules, might as well provide the stools. Oops! My sentence rhymes, doens't it? Haha!

    Actually, I think they should provide diapers for the kids! More hygienic! : )

    October 16, 2009 at 12:37 PM
  18. foongpc said...

    ladyviral, I've no idea where the little boy does his big business - probably by the river bank where they wash their clothes! Haha!

    The seats are quite comfortable actually - can sit there for a long time without any problem.

    The Chinese bus drivers do not speed - maybe that's why it is quite safe to sit on the stools. Probably Malaysian buses cannot emulate them. I think even with the proper seats, passengers can still fly out if the driver breaks suddenly : )

    October 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM
  19. foongpc said...

    jam, haha! Well, that's the highlight of Part 1 : )

    October 16, 2009 at 12:43 PM
  20. CheaHSan said...

    Wow 5 hours afloat on a raft on Yulong river, what a great experience. Nice pixs of the rafts. Huh an accident..raft bumped into loch ness? Guess we'll have to wait "Yulongly" for your next post..

    October 16, 2009 at 12:51 PM
  21. Che-Cheh said...

    Nice view of the raft from that angle!

    The mother was really eying you real hard. Haha

    October 16, 2009 at 1:17 PM
  22. foongpc said...

    cheahs@n, I hoped I had bumped into Chinese Loch Ness or water dragon but no such luck! : )

    October 16, 2009 at 1:29 PM
  23. foongpc said...

    che-cheh, yeah, the mother was really not too happy with me : p

    October 16, 2009 at 1:30 PM
  24. Ken Wooi said...

    is the boy's pants torn or what? lol.. =P

    nice pictures btw =)

    October 16, 2009 at 1:46 PM
  25. Shingo T said...

    Stools on buses, how creative.

    With regards to the unhappy mum, if you were a gal snapping photos of her son's butts, she will probably take it as a compliment for her son.

    October 16, 2009 at 1:58 PM
  26. Donna said...

    the stool idea is brilliant, but the stool is stick on floor one ar?

    hahaha.. the kid so cute la.. pants bocor til so wide

    October 16, 2009 at 4:14 PM
  27. Tekkaus said...

    Yupe! You already told us that your feng shui sifu already advised you not to play with water. :p

    October 16, 2009 at 4:45 PM
  28. Tekkaus said...

    Wow! You don't know how to swim and yet your play with water? :p Ouh...what surprise?

    October 16, 2009 at 4:46 PM
  29. Tekkaus said...

    What a gorgeous bus station huh? With the beautiful scenery as their background. Not like ours. :p

    October 16, 2009 at 4:47 PM
  30. Tekkaus said...

    Wow! The rafts have seats? Now that is really something new to me. :p

    October 16, 2009 at 4:48 PM
  31. Tekkaus said...

    Hahaha :D Yerr....why you stalk the little boy? :p Of course the mum will be angry because he was worried mah.

    October 16, 2009 at 4:49 PM
  32. Tekkaus said...

    War...5 hours? Must be worth the money huh! Too'll be in an accident! :p Tell us! Tell us!

    October 16, 2009 at 4:50 PM
  33. Borneo Falcon said...

    Washing cloths by the river bank is a common sight in my place where the natives who live in the longhouses still depends on the river.

    October 16, 2009 at 6:01 PM
  34. Unknown said...

    I also want those pants lah! hahahaha ..... so much easier when poo-pooing.

    October 16, 2009 at 6:38 PM
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    October 16, 2009 at 9:17 PM
  36. eastcoastlife said...

    The rafts look so risky. i dare not take a ride on these. I can't swim.

    October 16, 2009 at 10:07 PM
  37. eastcoastlife said...

    Happy Deepavali foong!

    October 16, 2009 at 10:07 PM
  38. foongpc said...

    kenwooi, it's purposely made that way : )

    October 16, 2009 at 11:55 PM
  39. Reanaclaire said... that also u managed to observant la u.. haha...cute...

    October 16, 2009 at 11:56 PM
  40. foongpc said...

    dolly, no the stools are not stuck to the floor. They have a stack of stools in the bus ready to be given out to those who cannot find seats.

    October 16, 2009 at 11:58 PM
  41. foongpc said...

    tekkaus, yeah am I crazy or what? Haha!

    I stalked the little boy cos he's soooo cute!!

    Will let you know about the accident in my next post : )

    October 17, 2009 at 12:01 AM
  42. foongpc said...

    borneo falcon, I guess when you live by the river and have no water supply, you have to depend on the river to wash your clothes!

    October 17, 2009 at 12:02 AM
  43. foongpc said...

    J2Kfm, you also want to wear? I'm afraid it's only for little kids, not for adults!! LOL!

    October 17, 2009 at 12:03 AM
  44. foongpc said...

    IMCurtain, thanks : )

    October 17, 2009 at 12:04 AM
  45. foongpc said...

    eastcoastlife, I don't feel it's dangerous or risky on the raft. In fact, it's very stable and safe. Happy Deepavali to you too! : )

    October 17, 2009 at 12:05 AM
  46. foongpc said...

    reanaclaire, well we bloggers must be extra observant! : )

    October 17, 2009 at 12:06 AM
  47. HappySurfer said...

    The water looks so clear but is it really green? Interesting about the ladies doing their washing by the river and yet the water is so clean? Amazing! Would you know how deep is the river?

    What a pity we can't see the boy's face because just the shot of his butt (oops!) is already so cute. Good shot, Foong, blown up somemore. Crack me up just looking at the shot.

    October 17, 2009 at 5:06 PM
  48. wenn said...

    wow..5 hours on the draft..

    October 18, 2009 at 12:21 AM
  49. [SK] said...

    haha, i think it's pretty common for kids to wear those kind of pants in china.. you didn't have one?? kekeke :p

    October 18, 2009 at 1:15 PM
  50. lina said...

    people in the old days wash their clothes (and bath too) at the river.

    Foong took photo of a boy's butt. Child porno! LOL

    Sitting on a stool in a bus looks a bit unsafe for me. I'd rather stand.

    October 18, 2009 at 3:54 PM
  51. Ben said...

    Foong, Very good posting on your rafting adventure. You skill can match up with the paparazzi lol :D I can understand why the mommy look angry for you're violating his cute child's privacy :P Take care my friend for shooting & posting this kind of pics. Sometime no matter how innocence or cute we may see, the other party may find it offended and worse may find trouble with you lol just my 2cents opinion ;)

    October 19, 2009 at 12:44 AM
  52. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, yes the water is green. The river has a max depth of 5 metres. Yes, the little boy is so cute I just had to blow up the photo! Haha : )

    October 19, 2009 at 1:31 AM
  53. foongpc said...

    wenn, quite long right? : )

    October 19, 2009 at 1:32 AM
  54. foongpc said...

    SK, no I don't have one. Do you? ; )

    October 19, 2009 at 1:33 AM
  55. foongpc said...

    lina, the child is not naked how can it be child porno? Haha!

    Why is it safer to stand? At least sitting down you are more stable. Btw, the drivers in China do not speed like Malaysian drivers : )

    October 19, 2009 at 1:35 AM
  56. foongpc said...

    benedict chow, my skill can match paparazzi? Of course not! I am not snapping photos of celebrities! Haha! : )

    October 19, 2009 at 1:37 AM
  57. Faisal Admar said...

    you naughty! LOL

    October 19, 2009 at 4:02 PM
  58. foongpc said...

    faisal, where got? :)

    October 19, 2009 at 4:34 PM
  59. Monica said...

    Foong, i oso don't know how to swim :-[

    October 20, 2009 at 4:36 AM
  60. Monica said...

    omg the rafts look a bit risky huh?

    October 20, 2009 at 4:41 AM
  61. Monica said...

    LOL @ the little boy :-D

    October 20, 2009 at 4:43 AM
  62. Ayie said...

    isn't 5hrs rafting too long? oh well you did it anyway... i'm sure it's worth the try

    October 20, 2009 at 6:57 AM
  63. Ayie said...

    that bottom the boy's wearing, i think i saw it in ECL's post before about those chinese people dressing their kids that way to avoid diapers... I hope i remember right

    October 20, 2009 at 6:59 AM
  64. levian said...

    the rafts are kinda scary looking up close like that. definitely scarier for those who can't swim! :p

    October 20, 2009 at 8:21 AM
  65. foongpc said...

    monica, what?! You don't know how to swim? Then why you always like to go to swimming pools? ; )

    Actually, the rafts look risky but are not risky. Haha!

    The little boy is so cute!! Too bad did not capture his face : )

    October 22, 2009 at 3:02 PM
  66. foongpc said...

    ayie, actually you are right - I felt it was a bit too long but we completed it! Maybe if I go there again, I will go for a shorter duration of river rafting!

    I think I also read about the slit in the little boy's shorts somewhere before - was it in ECL's blog? Can't remember! Yes, they don't have to wear diapers. Haha!

    Would you like to do the same next time if you have a baby boy? : )

    October 22, 2009 at 3:05 PM
  67. foongpc said...

    levian, haha! Yes looks scary right? : )

    October 22, 2009 at 3:06 PM
  68. Ayie said...

    nasty you foong! way no!!! I'd rather spend bucks for my baby's diapers or keep wshing if those are the cloth type. What's the use of covering them up if they aren't really covered, agree? That way they might acquire sickness from being "exposed"

    October 23, 2009 at 4:30 AM
  69. rafting cagayan de oro said...

    Oh my god! that's raft is unique ^_^. im interested in that place.. i will add this place for my trips ^_^...see you soon..nice blog! keep it up

    July 28, 2010 at 4:47 PM