Guilin is well-known thanks to its unique Karst landform and as a stopping off point before visiting Yangshuo and other areas close to Guilin. Of course Yangshuo plays a key role in trip planning but other areas in around Guilin should be included in any visit. Based on our local knowledge these are the top things to do in Guilin.
What to see in Guilin?
Reed Flute Cave
Reed Flute Cave is the most notable cave of the many in Guilin. It is located on the side of Taohua River and about 6 km away from the city center.
Known as the Palace of Natural Arts the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites in the huge cave are let in a spectacular way to bring them to life. Each has its own story and a guide will be helpful. Allow 1 1/2 hours for a visit.
- Add: NO1, Ludi Road, Xiufeng District, Guilin City
- Tel： 0773-2695075
- Admission: 90 Yuan/person
- Opening Hours: 7:30-18:00 between Apr. 1 and Nov. 31; 8:00-17:30 for Dec.1 to Mar.31
- Getting there: Take Bus NOs 3/58 and get off at Ludi Yan Station (芦笛岩站)
Recommended Guilin Reed Flute Cave Tour:
Folded Brocade Hill (Diecai Hill)
Folded Brocade Hill is one of the highest points overlooking the city, along with Fubo Hill and Solitary Beauty Peak. Folded Brocade Hill is special in that it provides breathtaking views at sunrise or sunset and therefore great for many photographers.
Because Folded Brocade Hill overlooks the Li River and other nearby peaks including Elephant Trunk Hill it is an excellent place to get a birds-eye view of Guilin. Pavilions from the Ming Dynasty provide a place to rest. Tree-lined paths lead to the hill top and the stone sculptures without faces are the result of the Cultural Revolution. The caves provide cool relief during summer. A 1 1/2 hour visit includes the time of the climb to the top.
- Add: No 2, Longzhu Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin City
- Tel: 0773-5635206
- Admission: 35 Yuan/person
- Opening Hours: 6:00-18:30 during Apr. 1 and Nov. 31; 6:30-18:00 from Dec.1 to Mar.31
- Getting there: Take Bus Nos 2/58 or Tourism Bus No.1 and get off at Diecai Shan Station (叠彩山站)
- We can customize a Guilin tour for you including the Folded Brocade Hill.
Longji Terraced Fields
Longji Terraced Scenic Areas are in Longsheng County, 77 km away from Guilin. The highest point is 1,180 meters above sea level and the lowest 380 meters. The Scenic Area includes 3 main terraced fields. They are Jinkeng, Ping'An and Gu Zhuangzhai Village.
Each has its own specialty. Ping'An was the first to be developed and is also the location of the famous attraction—Seven Stars accompanying the Moon. Jinkeng is a village home to the Red Yao Ethnic group. The terraced fields are surrounded by mountains which look like a natural hole. A cable car is available at Jinkeng. The Terraced fields at Gu Zhuangzhai are dotted with ancient stilted houses and there are 7 houses over 100 years old.
Ping'an and Jinkeng are very commercial while Gu Zhuangzhai still keeps the natural appearances. 2 days hiking is recommended. May and October are the best time to visit there when offering lots of photo opportunities.
- Add: Longji Terraced Field Scenic Area, Longsheng County
- Tel: 0773-7583031
- Admission: 80 Yuan/person
- Getting there:Take a non-stop bus from Guilin to Longsheng costing 20 Yuan/person for about 1 1/2 hours.
To Dazhai(Terraced Fields in Jinkeng):
Transfer to Dazhai from Longsheng Bus Station costing 7 Yuan/person and another 1 hour.
To Ping'an Village:
Transfer to Ping'an costing 6.5 Yuan/person and another 1 hour and then walk for 20 minutes.
To Gu Zhuangzhai:
Walk to Gu zhuangzhai from Seven Star Accompanying the Moon at Ping'an for 40 minutes.
On the way to Longsheng County from Guilin, visitors can get off at Heping Village and take a car to one of these 3 villages for about 15 Yuan/person.
Recommended Guilin Reed Flute Cave Tour:
Impression of Liusanjie
Impressions of Liu san jie is the largest show performed in natural landscape in the world. It is directed by Zhang Yimou who also directed the opening ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. There are almost 600 actors who are all local villagers. It uses both the Li River and the bank as its stage and tells a love story of Liu Sanjie who was a very famous figure in the folklore of the area. Watching this show in this environment is considered to be an experience of a life time.
- Add: 1, Tianyuan Road, Yangshuo, Guilin
- Tel: 0773-8811 983
- Admission: 90 Yuan/person for March to November and 65 Yuan/person for other months.
- Show Time: 19:30-21:00
- Prices: Ordinary Seats (RMB 220), VIP 1(RMB 238), VIP2 (RMB 320), Vice president VIP A2 (RMB 480), President VIP A1 (RMB 680).
We can customize a Guilin tour for you including the Impression of Liusanjie show.
What to do in Guilin?
The famous Li River Cruise
Li River is the main reason for people traveling to Guilin. The curise from Guilin City to Yangshuo on the Li River is 83 km of uniquely beautiful karst landscape. Taking the Li River cruise is the best way to enjoy this natural beauty.
The peaks stretch along the river creating interesting stories, fishermen ride bamboo rafts to catch fish and each turn of the river offers a surprise to make the 4-hour cruise enjoyable. Some point of interest on Li River are:- Jiu Ma Hua Shan (Nine Horses in Mountains) and Huang Bu Dao Ying (the Reflection of Yellow Cloth) will be seen as you cruise. Cruise ships for foreign people are dock at Zhujiang Pier while the Cruise ships for Chinese visitors are dock at Mo Panshan Pier.
- Add: Zhujiang Pier, Yanshan District, Guilin City
- Tel: 0773-28-28232
- Price: 285 Yuan/person
- Opening time: 9:00-18:30
- Getting there: Take a taxi from the city center to Zhujiang Pier at 80 Yuan
Recommended Guilin Li River Tour:
Yangshuo Countryside Cycling
Yangshuo has some of the area's most beautiful scenery and biking is a popular way enjoy the scenery and get a close look at like in rural China. The route is about 20 km long taking in Moon Hill, passing Gong Nong Bridge and Yulong River. Bike renting is available everywhere in Yangshou for about 20 Yuan/bike a day. When booking with chinatravel.com, a biking tour will include a local family visit to allow customers a deeper insight into the local life of the villagers.
Recommended Yangshuo Biking Tour:
Chinese Cooking Class in Cloud 9
Chinese cooking class are very popular with foreign travelers in Yangshuo. Cloud 9 Restaurant was one of the earliest and best Chinese Restaurants offering delicious local dishes, Sichuan food as well as cooking classes every day. It is conveniently located in busy West Street.
The chef not only teaches pupils how to cook but also talks about Chinese culture. Each student cooks their dishes and then enjoys their own labor by eating the result.
- Add: Chengzong Road, Yangshuo
- Class time: 9:30-11:30; 16:00-18:00
- We can customize a Guilin tour for you including a Chinese cooking class in Yangshuo.
Learning Tachi in Yangshuo
Learning Taichi can be an interesting activity for foreign people. A Taichi school in Yima Village of Yangshuo County is very popular. It is around 20 minutes from the county by bike. The school located in an Qing Dynasty house in a beautiful setting.
Teachers are passionate but easy-going. They are happy to talk about Taichi and Chinese culture. They provide teaching at different levels and the class times are flexible according to students' requirements. Many consider it a-once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Add: NO 88, Yima Village, Yangshuo County
- Getting there: take a local electric car or rent a bike to get there for 20 minutes
- We can customize a Guilin tour for you including a Tachi lesson in Yangshuo.
Mud Bath in a Water Cave
The Water Cave at Longmen Village, near Moon Hill is not a very attractive cave compared to other many caves in the area. At the end is mud bath and hot spring. In summer the mud is really cool. This is especially fun for kids and first-timers. Change rooms are available in the cave.
- Add: Yiling Village, Yangshuo County, Guilin City
- Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
- Admission: 168 Yuan/person
- Getting there: take a local electric car or rent a bike to get there in 20 minutes
- We can customize a Guilin tour for you including the Mud Bath in a Water Cave.
Where to eat in Guilin?
Mcfound is a local restaurant offering typical Chinese northern food. This means that wheat products are more often used instead of rice which is typical in the south. There are 4 locations in Guilin and many locals are regulars. The ambience is good and the service is friendly. Most staff cannot speak English so that foreigners have to order by pointing to different pictures on the menu which are in English. Dishes offered include dumplings, black-pepper flavored fried noodles, pork with bean sauce, chili beef and pancake dishes.
- Add: NO.7 Xinyi Road, Guilin 桂林市信义路7号
- Tel: 0773-5832926
- Opening Hours: 11am to 2pm; 5pm to 9pm
- Price range: 60 Yuan/person
- Getting there: Take Bus No.22 at bus stop of Guilin Coach Station and get off at Children's Palace Station(少年宫站), then walk about 100 yards for the restaurant; Take Tourism Bus NO 1 or Bus NO 5 and get off at Nanmen Bridge Station(南门桥站), then walk for another 711 yards.
Little Italian 唐纳德 Café
Little Italian on Binjiang Road along the Li River in the city center attracts many foreigners. The friendly staff could speak English. This small restaurant has good pizza, Spaghetti Bolognese and pasta. Coffee, beer and desserts are also available.
- Add: 18 Binjiang Road, Guilin
- Tel: 0773-3111068
- Opening Hours: 10:00-23:30
- Price range: 100 Yuan/person
- Getting there: Take Bus NO 2 and get off at Jie Fangjiao Station (解放桥站).
Kali Mirch (black pepper) Indian Cuisine
This Indian Restaurant is situated in Shanghai Shui Street. It has a capacity of about 30 people.
The chef is from India and uses imported the raw materials. The staff speak good English. They feature samosas, garlic naan and there diskes dishes.
- Add: No.15 bin jiang street zhengyang pedestrian street, Guilin
- Tel: 13737396451
- Opening Hours: 11:30-22:30
- Price range: $7 - $12
- Getting there: Bus NOs 2/100/10/30/14 reach bus stops near Zhengyang Pedestrian Street
Shangshui Street (Guilin Folk Culture Shopping Street)
Shangshui Street is a newly-developed part of the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street in Guilin which in the center of the city. The buildings in the street are built in northern Guilin style. It is popular for snacks from all over China at moderate prices as well as some foreign foods.
- Add: Near the Drum Tower, Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, Guilin City
- Tel: 0773-2818881
- Opening Hours: 10:00-23:00
- Getting there: Bus NOs 2/57/100/10/30/14 reach stations near Zhengyang Pedestrian Street
Where to Buy in Guilin?
Tea Plantation in Yaoshan Mountain Scenic Area
The Tea Plantation is located near the hill foot of Yaoshan Mountain. This free attraction provides an insight into the growing and production of many categories of tea - from white to green and black tea. A tea tasting is available. It is possible to buy samples of the many type of tea (including flavored teas) produced on sight.
- Add: 17, Jinji Road, Diecai District, Guilin City
- Tel: 0773-5609969
- Getting There: Bus No.24 passes the plantation. Or take a taxi at 25 Yuan from the city center.
Xicheng Night Market
Xicheng Night Market is located in and around Xicheng Pedestrian Street. The market runs over almost 600 meters and has 380 stalls.
Local specialty products are widely available. These include hand painted paper fans and clothes with local characteristics. The delicious, cheap snacks are worth trying. It attracts many locals and visitors every night.
- Add: Xicheng Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin
- Opening Hours: 19:00 pm -2:00 am
- Getting there: Take Bus NO 10 and get off at Yangqiao Station(阳桥站); Take Bus NO 16 Station and get off at Xicheng Lukou Station(西城路口站).
Tailor-make Your Trip to Guilin:
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