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China Travel, Guilin

Guilin Overview

Guilin, situated in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regin on the west bank of the Li River, is one of the hottest tourist cities in China. Guilin is a must see when you travel to China. With an area of about 27,800 square kilometers (10,734 square miles), Guilin is a compact city itself comparing with other big cities in China. However, the unique scenery of misty mountains and lush landscaping around Li River has made Guiling one of the most famous tourist attractions in China.

Guilin city center is surrounded by two rivers and four lakes and studded with shear sided karst mountains, Guilin city itself is like most other medium size Chinese cities, though it has a large amount of western-style hotels, tourists and is relatively free of air pollution.

Guilin is also a city enriched with culture and history. There are many ethnic minorities live in this area, which include the Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao, Mulao, Maonan and Dong ethnic groups. The unique customs of each ethnic group have bring rich cultures to the area. Guilin has been the politiccal, economic and cultural center of Guangxi province since the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

The beauty of the Li River and the mystical various shapes of limestone mountains have been a true inspiration of one’s imagination, and thus many beautiful stories were told and famous poets and paintings were celebrated for generations. The beautiful scenery of Guilin has been named the best under heaven. The highlights of Guilin scenery would be the Peak Mountain of Unmatched Beauty, the Hill of Elephant Trunk, Seven-Star Park, the Li River, and Yangshuo Town. Click here to learn more about top 5 things to do while traveling Guilin.

Weather & Clothing in Guilin

Guilin has a damp monsoon climate with four distinctive seasons. The average temperature for the year is 19.3 degree Celsius (66.74 degree Fahrenheit) with a July average temperature of 28.3 degree Celsius (82.94 degree Fahrenheit). Summer could be humid, hot and rainy while Winter is mild. Spring and Fall are pleasant and thus the best time to visit Guilin when you have a chance to travel China .


In Summer, the weather can be hot and humid so light clothing, i.e. cotton and linen, is recommended. Light, comfortable footwear is appropriate, i.e. sneakers, sandals. The sun can be strong in Summer so bring sun screens, sun glasses. A small backpack could be convenient to carry drinks. Western mosquito repellents are hard to find, so bring them if you do not wish to use local brands.

Spring and autumn weather is generally very pleasant, but you should bring light sweaters for chillier mornings and evenings. Rain is expected throughout the year in Guilin , it is advised that you bring a waterproof jacket as well as an umbrella, especially in Spring and early Summer.

Winter is mild in Guilin . Coats, sweaters, scarf, gloves and a hat may be necessary during winter times in Guilin .


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Top 5 Things To Do in Guilin

  1. Cruise on beautiful Li River between Zhujiang Pier and Yangshou town to enjoy the scenery that looks like traditional Chinese landscape paintings.
  2. Take a bike ride tour in Yangshuo to enjoy the charm of this small town: tens of thousands of karst mountain peaks, more than a dozen winding rivers, friendly village people, peaceful farm fields.
  3. Watch the performance of “Liu San-Jie”, one of Chinese largest outdoor performance with Li River as a natural stage and thousands of mountain peaks as background.
  4. Experience the unique folk customs of different ethnic groups such as Zhuang, Miao, Yao and Dong ethnic groups – the colorful outfit, the wedding ceremony, et.
  5. Tour the magnificent terraced fields in Longsheng County.


Guilin Major Attractions

Guilin Top Attraction - The Hill of Elephant Trunk

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The Hill of Elephant Trunk lies on the conjunction of the Li River and Taohua River. It has the shape like a huge elephant stretching out its trunk drinking water by the Li River, and thus it’s named. The full moon shaped Shuiyue (Moon-on-Water) Cave stands on the riverside of Li River. The lovely moon shape limestones over the beautiful Li River water has inspired great human imaginations through generations. On the top of the hill stands the Puxian Pagoda. Puxian Pagoda was built in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), and thus has its history. The Hill of Elephant Trunk as a popular tourist attraction could be dated back to Tang and Song dynasties. One could find many inscriptions in the cave. The most famous one is the poem by Lu You (1125-1210), one of the great poets of Southern Song dynasty.


Guilin Top Attraction - The Li River

The Li River meanders through miles of beautiful countryside from Guilin to Yangshuo. The unique scenery of bamboo greens, rocky cliffs, various shapes of stones and caves along with the clear water has make the Li River sightseeing the highlights of Guilin trip. Cruise on Li River, one could really appreciate the relaxing country living style, the peaceful farms, the quiet villages, the unique architecture along the river banks. The magnificent scenery of the various shapes of stones, peaks and caves has inspired artists for centuries.
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Guilin Top Attraction - The Peak Mountain of Unmatched Beauty

The Peak Mountain of Unmatched Beauty is a 216-meter hill rises abruptly above the ground in the center of the Guilin city. It got its name from a poem “No others can compete with the solitary beauty of this peak.” To reach the top, it requires the steep climb through more than 300 stone steps leads from the west foot of the hill up to the top of the hill. But the beautiful panoramic views of Guilin, the Lijiang River and the surrounding peaks on the hill top are a true reward to one’s efforts to the steep climb.


Guilin Top Attraction - Yangshuo Town

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Yanshuo, a small old town stride the Li River, has been famous as one of the China travel destination for its magnificent scenery and its relaxing country style living. In China, there is an old saying, “Guilin has the most beautiful scenery in China, and Yangshuo is the most beautiful part of Guilin.” Surrounded by 18 peaks, the natural wonders and the peaceful life style in this small old town is very appealing to people who come from busy cities and thus one of the hottest China travel destination.

Yangshuo is the Guilin municipal county, located 65 kilometers (about 40 miles) south of Guilin city. Yangshuo has total area of 1,428 square kilometers (about 551 square miles), of which contains 513 square kilometers (about 198 square miles) of karst formation area. The karst formation produces magnificent landscape in the area. There are more than 20,000 tall mountain peaks, 17 rivers winding between those mountains. Together with thousands various shapes of mountain caves, the tourist would truly experience the natural beauty of Yangshuo: the enchanting mountains, the gracefulness of the water, the magnificent shape of the mountain caves. For China travelers, the most famous scenery attractions in Yangshuo are Yangshuo Park, Bilianfeng Scenery Road, Yangshuo Big Banyan Tree, Yangshuo Moon Mountain.

Though Yangshuo has been listed as separate scenery destination from Guilin for China travelers, Yangshuo is an integral and important part of Guilin landscape. When you make a plan to travel Guilin, Yangshuo is a must stop in your China trip.


Guilin Top Attraction - Longsheng Terraced Fields

Located about 115 kilometers (71 miles) from the popular tourist city Guilin , Longsheng Terraced Fields (also named as “Longi Terraces”, meaning “Dragon Bone” in Chinese) is well known from its unique scenery. Longsheng is a small town with diverse minority culture around the area. The rice terraces were built along the slope of the hillsides winding from the bottom to the top of the mountain. This ingenious creation makes best use of the scare arable land and water resources in the mountainous area. This majestic scenery from the top of the mountain attracts thousands of tourists each year. The local diverse minority ethnic culture are fun to experience, such as the pole dancing of the Zhuang, the harmony folk songs of the Dong, the reed-pipe dancing, and the long drum dancing of the Yao. Longsheng Terraced Fields were first built in the Yuan Dynasty and completed in the Qing Dynasty by the Zhuang people.



Guilin Top Attraction - Seven-Star Park

Seven-star Park is located on the east bank of Li River in the urban area of Guilin. The park contains natural hills and waterways and is the largest park in Guilin. The park has become a delightful place for the local people and visitors to visit. The park takes its name from the seven peaks in the park that resemble the pattern of the seven stars in the Ursa Major constellation (Great bear or Big Dipper). These seven peaks, three peaks on the Crescent Hill and four peaks on the Putuo Hill, forms the main part of the park.

The gateway to the Seven-star Park is the Flower Bridge (Hua Qiao), an elegant arched structure dating back to the Song Dynasty (700 years ago). This stone bridge is 200 feet long, located at the juncture of Xiaodong River and Linjian River.

The famous Seven Star Cave is located at the Putuo Hill. Seven-Star Cave is more than one and a half kilometers (0.93 miles) long. It has a year round temperature of about 68 degree Fahrenheit. The history of Seven Star Cave being a sight seeing spot dated back to the Tang Dynasty (1,300 years ago). Formation over thousands of thousands years of natural forces, the cave is a wonderland of stalactites, stone pillars and rock. It takes about an hour for a regular scheduled tour to explore the cave.

Another attraction point of the park is the Camel Hill, getting its name for the limestone shape looks like a camel resting among the trees. Also, Gui Hai Steles' Forest (Gui hai bei lin) that has more than 2000 stone carvings done in ancient times had gained its fame as "Ancient Calligaphy Art Circles".


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