The trip starts from the dock south of Liberation Bridge in Guilin downtown area. Otherwise some agencies will transport tourists to take a one-hour bus ride to the Bamboo River Dock (Zhujiang Dock) or the Millstone Hill Dock to start the cruise from its essential part. The river trip is over 83 kilometers (52 miles) long and is estimated to take four to five hours. The eye-feasting landscape and country scenery will never disappoint you.
Situated majestically on the western bank of the river, the hill resembles an elephant sucking water from the river with its long trunk. It is supposed to be the landmark of Guilin landscape, which you can find on travel brochures or books. The most impressive is said to be the water reflection of a moon-like cave when the moonlight sprinkles over the river, hence the name 'Moon over the Water'.
A few minutes down from the Elephant Hill on the west bank is a small hill topped with a pagoda. The hexagonal pagoda is called Longevity Buddha Pagoda (Shoufo Ta) dating from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is said the second floor has stone Buddha figurines on display and the hill is compassed in Chuanshan Park. In autumn, the hill illuminated with red maples is very charming.
When the cruise ends in Yangshuo, tourists will disembark at the Shuidongmen Dock near the Green Lotus Peak or Fu'an Dock near the Schoolboy Hill. Walking to the famous West Street is a great choice if you disembark from the Shuidongmen Dock. The West Street lined with western cafes, restaurants and hotels is a wonderful place for people who want to explore Chinese life.