How to experience a local life in Guilin?
This is a small selection of the most attractive spots to be seen and to be experienced during your stay in Guilin, whether it is in the city centre, in Yangshuo or in other surroundings counties. Rarely the nature neither was so beautiful, nor so highlighted.
Guilin City Centre
The Seven-star Park is the largest and most beautiful park in Guilin; it features fantastic hills, rivers, caves and rocks. The tourist attractions are numerous. The Camel Hill (Tuofeng shan) which is 20 meters high and Seven-Star Cave (Qi qing yan) which is more than one and a half kilometres long are two illustrations.
The park shelters also Guilin’s zoo where you will have the opportunity to see the sweet (but very lazy) pandas. Those who are courageous enough to do some physical effort can rise to Putuo Mountain, where Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is worshiped, the main body of the park. At halfway up the mountain, you will see Putuo Jingshe (a two-storied pavilion) to enjoy a magnificent view.
Zhongshan Road Night Market
Every evening of the year, except that of Chinese New Year, Guilin’s main street Zhongshan lu, is changed into a gigantic market for the biggest enjoyment of Chinese people and foreign tourists.
You will be pleased about the vast assortment of street stalls serving many kinds of Guangxi and Guangdong foods and offering crafts, souvenirs, paintings, local specialties, postcards... Everybody can find something there. And if you are not amateurs of shopping, it is at least an excellent digestive leisurely walk after the dinner!
Reed Flute Cave
Located in the Northwest of Guilin City, Reed Flute Cave also known “the Palace of Natural Arts” is one of the most extraordinary scenic spots in Guilin. According to a legend, Reed Flute Cave got its name because people believed that the reed by the cave's mouth could be made into flutes.
Counted as "must-see" sights in Guilin, these remarkable scenes in the cave can evoke breathless admiration from domestic and foreign visitors which visit this site for more than 1000 years!
Elephant Trunk Hill
More than a symbol for the city, Elephant Trunk Hill is one of the parks not to be missed during your passage in Guilin. You will be surprised by the shape of this karst landscape: it outlines a vivid image of an elephant sipping water from the river with its trunk.
It located at the confluence of the Li River and Peach Blossom River in the downtown area of Guilin city. Inscriptions from the Tang (923-936) and Song (960-1279) dynasties were found on the walls inside this cave, praising the beauty of the hill and waters nearby.
Li River Cruise
Also known as, the Lishui River, this clear waterway feeds the lush, green vegetation that offers people such perfect scenery. The reflections created by the waters of the Li River are one of its finest characteristics.
No matter the time of year you travel to Guilin, taking a cruise down the Li River should be at the top of your list for things to do. Just outside of Guilin is a place called Bamboo Wharf. From there, an official tour boat leaves every morning, travelling the Li River about five hours until the city of Yangshuo is reached.
Two rivers and four lakes
The Two Rivers (the Li and the Taohua) and the Four Lakes (Rong, Shan, Gui and Mulong), form a continuous picturesque waterway through the centre of Guilin City.
The 1.5-hour cruise is well worth the price as it offers a chance to admire Guilin’s tranquil mountain in the background, water scenery, silver and gold pagoda along with attractive water shows as well as traditional music performances.
Another manner to enjoy the beautiful panorama along the lakes is to take a walk on its banks. The stroll can be done both for daytime and the evening, as the lake colourfully lit.
Other recommended sites
Guilin Merryland World
Merryland Holiday World in Xing’an County Guilin is a scenic area which proposes the perfect family relaxation recipe. The park is made up of 6 zones, the access to every section looking like an arrival in a New World: Merry China Town, American Wild West, Dream World, Pirate Village, Europe, and South Pacific. It combines entertainment, accommodation and golf leisure area into one as one of the top ten theme parks in China.
Take a shuttle bus from Guilin to Xing'an at the Guilin Bus Station or at the square in front of the Guilin Railway Station. It takes about 90 minutes' drive (63 kilometres). If you are interested in Lingqu, which is one of the oldest canals in the world, you can spare some time visiting the canal that is only several kilometres away from the Merryland.
Travel tips: There is a very interesting rule for the entrance fee of the Merryland Park: on some special days such as summer holiday, girls in mini skirt (about 38 cm) can get the entrance ticket of the park at a discounted price.
Longsheng Hot Springs
Longsheng Hot Springs are right in the heart of a dense forest zone located hundred kilometres from the city centre of Guilin. There are actually sixteen hot springs with a water temperature that varies from 45 C (113 F) to 58 C (136 F).
Waters are clear, pure, and contain more than about ten beneficial micro-elements such as lithium, iron, or zinc. Bathing in the springs offers a pleasant and therapeutic moment.
Longji terraced fields
Located in Longsheng County about two hours from Guilin, Longji (Dragon's Back) is a feast for the eyes. The Terraces were first built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and were completed in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) by the Zhuang people and Yao people.
Every season gives a new beauty to the landscape and recovers the terraces with a new colour; those pass from the green to the yellow and white; from mid-April to mid-June the fields are well-watered and you can see water glittering in the sun in spring.
Longsheng is a county where live Zhuang, Yao, Dong and Miao ethnic minority. The Ping'an Terraces are located in Ping'an Zhuang Village. The key attractions are "Qi Xing Ban Yue - Seven Stars Surrounding the Moon - and the "Jiu Long Wu Hu”- Nine Dragons and Five Tigers; it is stunning. The nearby Longji Old Village is also attention-grabbing.
Crown Cave is located in Caoping Town and it's about 29 km (18 miles) south of Guilin. The “guan yan" cave possesses all means of exploration including boating, hiking, taking light rail and elevator along with an original artistic lighting.
Crown Cave was listed in the Guinness World Records as a cave with the most ways of travelling inside.
Easily accessible by bus or by boat from nearby Guilin: Yangshuo County.