Elephant Trunk Hill

Last updated by david at 2015/11/5

Elephant Trunk Hill, which gets its name from the fact that its shape suggests a huge elephant siphoning up water from the river below (the Li River), is the very symbol of the city of Guilin, and as the symbol of Guilin, it appears in books, magazines and travel brochures, as well as on TV. Elephant Trunk Hill, standing, as it were, on the west bank of the Li River, consists of other parts (including "body parts") that have further sparked the imagination of the local populace...

Situated between the elephant's trunk and its torso is a large cave which is said to resemble a full moon drifting on the water, therefore it is named Water Moon Cave. On a clear night with a full moon, the moon in the sky above and the "moon" of Water Moon Cave seem to vie for one's attention, creating beautiful reflections on the river, a phenomenon that has been celebrated by Chinese poets and painters for centuries.

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Elephant Trunk Hill has a number of attractions besides Water Moon Cave, such as Puxian Pagoda, Hongfeng Temple and another "shapely" cave called Elephant Eye Cave. It also hosts a museum that exhibits documents, artifacts, etc. concerning the Taiping Rebellion (the Taiping Rebellion began in Guangxi Province in the small village of Jintian, some 150 kilometers south of Guilin, but the city that later became the capital of the rebellion was Tianjing ("Heavenly Capital"), the name given to the city of Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, after the city had fallen to the rebels in 1853 - and at the price of 30,000 massacred Imperial soldiers, plus the lives of thousands of massacred civilians).

Elephant Eye Cave has an average height of roughly 2 meters, varies in width from 5 to 10 meters, and spans the width of the mountain ridge at that particular spot, which is some 50 meters in length. The two cave entrances are located at what corresponds to the "elephant's" "eyes", hence the cave's name. At the foot of the south side of this ridge is a stone staircase leading up to the "right eye" of the "elephant". The cave leads to the north side of the "elephant's" "head" (it exits at the "left eye" of the "elephant"), which is a sheer cliff. Back at the south entrance of the cave, i.e., the "right eye" of the "elephant", one can access a winding mountain road that leads all the way up to the top of Elephant Trunk Hill.

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Elephant Trunk Hill Park is located in the heart of Guilin, just opposite the China International Travel Service (CITS) office building.

How to Get There?

One can take either bus no. 2 or bus no. 58 and get off at Wenchangqiao Station. A short walk across the nearby bridge that spans the Li River will put you at the entrance to Elephant Trunk Hill Park.

Ticket Price:

25 Yuan per person for adults, 12½ Yuan per person for "juniors" (those whose height ranges between 1 meter and 1 meter 40 centimeters), and free-of-charge for "youngsters" (anyone whose height is below 1 meter).

Opening Hours:

From 7:00AM to 9:30PM, daily.

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