Guilin Travel Guide
If you are traveling around China, your journey will not be complete until you have visited Guilin. The landscape which surrounds the city is truly stunning and the modern city has everything a tourist could want.
It is regarded by many people as being the ‘Pearl of China’s thriving tourist industry’ because of its natural beauty and historic importance. When compared to other cities in the country, it is actually very compact and easy to get around. Most of the main tourist sites are located close to one another and the roads are easy to navigate.
Just outside the city, tourists will be spoiled with beautiful hills, fields and rivers, imposing mountains and an abundance of wildlife living in the forests. Some of the most popular attractions include: Elephant Trunk Hill, Li River, Reed Flute Cave and Seven-Star Park. There are also a number of museums, temples and historic buildings to see.
Guilin is a very important cultural city as it has been in existence for over 2,000 years. It has been the political, economic and cultural hub of Guangxi since the 1st century BC and boasts a number of ancient sites.
There are many ethnic minorities living here including the Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao, Mulao, Maonan and Dong. They all have their own cultures and traditions, making the city a very colorful one. It is a great opportunity to see ancient hill tribes first hand and learn more about them.
Guilin has a very developed tourist infrastructure with an abundance of accommodation options, excellent transportation links, a wealth of bars and restaurants to choose from and many tourist agencies that will help you to organize your trip.
Getting There & Away
Guilin has its own international airport with daily flights to cities across China as well as to Asian destinations such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore. Flight times to Beijing are approximately 3 hours and from here there are a great number of international flights to destinations across the world. Guilin also has its own train station and bus station, although journeys to other parts of the country are very long, often over 24 hours.
Things to Do
- Li River
Believed to be one of the top attractions in china, this is one of the most picturesque places in the country. there are many local restaurants located along the banks as well as the opportunity to fish or take a boat out.
- Elephant Trunk Hill
Is located at the confluence of the taohua river and the li river. it is one of the famous symbols of guilin and a highlight of the river area.
- Diecai Hill
Is famous for its stunning scenery and stone carvings. it is popular with climbers of all levels and offers panoramic views from the top.
- Seven-Star Park
Located on the bank of li river, this park is home to seven peaks and is the largest park in the city. it boasts caves, hills, carvings and parts of the river.
- Bear and Tiger Park
Is the largest wild animal center in the region. it houses four different breeds of tiger as well as 400 bears. it concentrates on those which are severely in danger of becoming extinct and runs a successful breeding program.
- Guilin Ocean World
Located just outside the city center, this aquarium is home to an abundance of sea life and mammals. it is popular with children and adults alike and is a bit of light relief from the cultural and historical sights on offer.
Side trips from Guilin
- Tombs of Prince Jingjiang
This is a cultural masterpiece and a must-see for any history buff. it is located in an eastern suburb and is the site of tombs and relics from the 2nd century ad.
- Reed Flute Cave
Located five kilometers from downtown guilin, this cave is popular among the adventurous. it is easy to explore and sits in a beautiful setting which can also be explored. lush green forests act as a barrier between the cave and the city center.
- Merry-land Resort
Is an extensive resort with a five-star hotel, golf club, forest village and a campsite. there is also a theme park for the young and the young at heart to enjoy.
- Fireworks Festival
This is a unique holiday celebrated by the dong people. the day it is held on changes every year as it is guided by the lunar calendar, but it is a wonderful sight if you happen to be around when it takes place. firework displays are held around the city and three large fireworks are lit for the community’s prosperity, good fortune and a good harvest.