Added by Michael Gabbert
This strenuous but rewarding hike features unbelievable mountain and river views and allows you to experience the diverse landscape of China. Start before dawn and enjoy a stunning sunrise over the Karst Mountains.
For a landscape with panoramic dramatic views, there might be none better than that of the Fairy Maiden Peak. The launching point for this hike will be out of the town of Xingping.
To get to Xingping, you have a couple options via highways and main roads, as its 39 miles from Guilin & 15.5 miles from Yangshuo. However, the best route is to take a bamboo raft down the Li River. Starting at the city of Yangdi, the motorized bamboo raft heads North up the river and arrives at the city of Xingping after about 90 minutes
Once at Xingping, you’ll need to hire local help. The trail and path is only known by locals who call it ‘Luosishan’. Tour guides and tour companies unfortunately don’t know of the hike, but several local shops with those who have lived in Xingping their whole life will know the place and how to hire local guides.
To catch the sunrise over the karsts you’ll start about 2 hrs before dawn. You’ll begin by crossing the Li River to the other side on a quick 2 minute raft ride. From here you’ll get into a tuk tuk which winds and weaves through the local villages and into the karsts. The drive is about 15-20 and is very bumpy. The trail starts innocently enough (note: the image with the fallen oranges is the trailhead). However, after the first 5 minutes the trail climbs steeply and continues so for the remainder of the hike. While steep, the trailhead is straightforward. After ~2500 vertical feet and 2.75 miles of hiking you’ll encounter the peak. A couple of oddly placed concrete slabs at the top make for spectacular viewing platforms. As you look below you’ll see and appreciate just how high you are compared to where you departed. A horseshoe bend in the Li River just below along with dozens upon dozens of karst mountains surrounding you in every direction create a surreal environment and one which will be hard to forget.
- Hiking Shoes
- Water (a Liter or so)
- Jacket (the easily morning hike yields some chilly temps)
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