Swimming in Dragon River at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat hotel

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Swimming in Dragon River at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat hotel

The view from our room at the Mountain Retreat hotel in YangshuoWe arrived hot and sweaty to our hotel in Yangshuo, the lovely Mountain Retreat. The heat of the sun was intense and we had come direct from our countryside cycle. As we checked in everyone was looking forward to a cool shower.

The hotel is a simple but pretty building set in a beautiful location right next to an offshoot of the Li River known as the Dragon River. As we checked in our guide explains that the hotel has no pool but that there is an area of the river that you can swim in. Gone are thoughts of showers and within minutes of getting to our rooms, the boys are dressed and ready for a swim.

The river is about 20-30m wide and the warning sign by the steps that lead down from the hotel says that it can get up to 2m deep. We made our way down to the edge where a large bamboo boat is securely moored and acts as a pier to allow you to either dangle your feet in or climb into the water.

Swimming in the Dragon River beside the Mountain Retreat in YangshuoThe hotel helpfully provides rubber rings (large tyre type ones) and with limited persuasion required we all get in; first in the safety of the rings and then soon after plunging directly into the river.

The Dragon river is warm and by the bank fairly shallow although the floor us uneven. In places it is easy to stand on pebbles. In others there are reeds that reach up to the surface and some places the water is clear but the footing in the riverbed is squelchy mud.

Swimming in the river was fun and relaxing. The kids dived for pebbles and snail shells but we also lay back in the water and watched the bamboo boots go by.