On Day Two of our Yangshuo bicycling adventure we told our local guide we wanted to see something different than the Moon Hill area of the greater Yangshuo area. Little did we know that we would end up in a magnificent Qing and Ming Dynasty era village on the Li River. To get there, you take the road that passes by the famous Yangshuo light show area. You keep going, staying on the main road for more than a few miles. You will need a tour guide or a very good map to get there as there are several important forks in the road that must be taken correctly. Another way to get to the village is by hiring a small boat in Yangshuo for the trip down the river.

The Li River was flooded on the day we visited Luigong. We saw entire trees floating down the river, which was shut down to boat traffic. As a result we had the village, and the restaurant overlooking the Li River, all to ourselves.

The brick buildings, the roofs, the doorways, the people of the village, and the stunning scenery of the Karst mountains as a backdrop, were fascinating to see.

There’s a certain three-story house in the village with strategic views of the village and river. A small fee (a couple of dollars converted) will gain you access to the rooftop if you ask the owner nicely (or better have your guide ask). It’s the house with the solar water heater on the roof, paid for by all the rooftop admissions.

It was also fascinating to see the small Buddhist shrine that is located on a hill adjacent to the village that overlooks the river. (The shrine is located on the hill that can be seen just upriver from the restaurant.) Our guide told us it was a fertility shrine, but so far I am not a grandfather even though Alex paid tribute with some burning incense. (Update May 2017 and I am a grandfather.)

Luigong is far from the beaten track, but if you’re in the Yangshuo area a local guide can get you to this wonderful village full of history, culture, architecture and beauty. In my view, Luigong is the hidden treasure of the entire Yangshuo area.

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