Guilin Travel Guide

Written by Sally Guo Updated Apr. 2, 2021

Thanks to its unique Karst landform, Guilin is regarded as China's most picturesque city; Chinese people think it is "the best under heaven". It also ranks second on the "Ten Best" list of Chinese tourist destinations, i.e., second only to Beijing.

Guilin is located in south China, close to Hong Kong and Guangzhou to the southeast. It is only about a 2-hour train ride from Guangzhou. 

 The city's name means "forest of Sweet Osmanthus" ("GUI" means "osmanthus tree" while "lin" means "forest", Osmanthus fragrans, or sweet osmanthus. The city of Guilin, the former capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (or "Guangxi"), is considered by the Chinese themselves as China's most picturesque city. 

Climate and Best Time to Visit

Guilin is located in low latitude, enjoying a subtropical monsoon climate. It has a mild climate, with abundant rainfall, sufficient sunshine, and ample heat. Guilin has four distinct seasons, with very long summer and short winter. The annual temperature averages 18.9℃. The highest temperature falls in July and August, with a monthly average temperature of 28.3℃. The coldest month is January, with a monthly average temperature of 15.6℃.

Guilin is suitable for traveling all year round, with unique natural scenery in different periods. During the rainy days, the whole of the city, including the green mountain, the beautiful rivers, and the fragrant flowers are shrouded in mist, looking enchanting and mysterious.

Best Visiting Time

The best time to visit Guilin is from April to October when the weather is comfortable and the unique natural scenery is at its best. However, the peak tourist seasons, including the May Day festival and National Day festival (Oct.1st to 7th), should be avoided, as there will be crowds of Chinese travelers during this period, causing inconvenience to transportation and accommodation, such as ticket booking and hotel reservation. Thus, tourists had better avoid these periods. 

Top Things to Do in Guilin

Of course, Yangshuo plays a key role in the Guilin trips, but other areas around Guilin should be included in any visit. Based on our local knowledge these are the top things to do in Guilin.

1. Take a Li River Cruise to Yangshuo

The Li River is the main reason for people to travel to Guilin. Taking the Li River cruise is the best way to enjoy this natural beauty.

The peaks stretch along the river create interesting stories: fishermen ride bamboo rafts to catch fish and each turn of the river offers a surprise. Read more on Li River

Take a Li River Cruise

2. Cycle around Yangshuo Countryside

Yangshuo's countryside is known for its idyllic scenery, oddly shaped hills thrusting to the sky, and leisurely local farming life. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, with karst peaks, rice fields, clear waters, green bamboos…

Cycling around the Yangshuo countryside is a popular way to enjoy the scenery and get a close look at rural China.

3. Hiking Longji Terraced Fields and Pay a Visit to a Minority Family.

Guilin is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Besides beautiful mountains and rivers, there are also terraced fields and minority cultures for you to explore.

Hiking along Longji Terraced Fields is a nice experience. The scenes of farming and the beautiful village scenery will feast your eyes with a pure country lifestyle. You will have a chance to visit a minority family and contact locals.

Hiking along Longji Terraced Fields

Top Attractions in Guilin

Guilin has a lot to see and do, with its exotic culture and traditions, including nature parks, minority inhabit villages, and interesting outdoor activities as we list below.

Guilin Attraction Map
Guilin Attraction Map

When Is the Best Time to Visit Guilin?

The best time to visit Guilin is from April to October when the weather is comfortable, and the unique natural scenery is at its best.

The rainy season falls in spring and summer, concentrating mainly in April, May, and June. Read more on Guilin Weather

How to Travel to Guilin?

Guilin is one of China's most famous tourist cities. It is located in south China's Guangxi Province. It is very convenient to travel to Guilin from China's gateway cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. There are also bullet trains and flights connecting Guilin with China's other major cities. Read more on How to Get to Guilin

What to Eat in Guilin?

The food in Guilin has a sour and spicy flavor and is mainly adopted in the stir-frying and steaming cook ways. Fish and rice noodles play an important role in people's life in Guilin.

Guilin rice noodles

Guilin was one of China's first cities to develop tourism and open to overseas visitors. There are vegetarian, Muslim, Western, and Indian restaurants in Guilin and Yangshuo. Read more on the best dishes to eat in Guilin

Travel Guilin with Us

As a team of native Guilin travel experts who know every corner of Guilin, we provide you with private Guilin tours with the most flexibility, to enhance your tour with extra experiences. Here are the top 3 of our Guilin itineraries.

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