Guilin is a beautiful town located in North Guangxi, China. The literal meaning of the name of this city Guilin is ‘forest of sweet Osmanthus’. The city derived this name due to the presence of large number of Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. The town centre in city is surrounded by two rivers and four lakes and studded with Karst Mountains. Outside the city centre the buildings are comparatively less well kept. However, the main industry in this city is tourism and hence compared to all the other Chinese cities this is the most clean and well kept one. This place is very scenic and a very popular tourist destination in China. The many picturesque limestone mountains and formations make this city more special. Also, it has been the most famous for its scenery of the Karst topography.
HOW TO GET THERE?
The city has its own airport. There are daily flights to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport from all the major mainland cities. There are flights also from Hong Kong, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur, etc. There are flights from Kuala Lumpur to Guilin provided by Air Asia four times in a week. It is always better to book your tickets in advance as the price increases as you approach you travelling day. There are also many trains connecting to Guilin. This city has two train stations. The Guilin train station is in the centre of the town on the Hunan- Guangxi Railway which is the main railway connecting Guangxi to central China while the Guilin North Station is pretty far from the downtown area. There are many trains reaching Guilin from different places like Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Kunming, etc. However, during off season the air ticket prices are cheaper than train tickets. So it is always advisable to check once before booking your tickets.
ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
The Li River that cruises from Guilin to Yangshuo is the main attraction here. The beautifully studded Karst peaks give you surprises at every bend of this river under the clear blue sky. With the breathtaking scenery that it has to offer along the river side it has become one of the most visited tourist destination of China. There are many river cruises trips offered here starting from the downtown area in Guilin or the Bamboo River Dock. This river trip is 83 kilometres long and takes up to four to five hours. But the beautiful landscape and the scenery is sure to never disappoint you.
Reed Flute Cave
This is one of those places that is marked on every travel itinerary with its location just five kilometres away from the downtown area of Guilin. The name of this place is derived from the verdant reeds that grow outside the cave which are used to make flutes by people. This is a beautiful limestone cave having remarkable stalactite and stalagmite formations illuminated by coloured lighting. There are also many formations which resemble the lions, monkeys, the spectacular skyline of Guilin, etc. There is also a laser light show inside the cave which is a must attend.
Elephant Trunk Hill
It is situated in the downtown area of Guilin city at the junction of Li River and Peach Blossom River. This is a hill which has a large natural arch cut into it. The arch somehow resembles to the trunk of the Elephant dipping into the river and thus it is named as the Elephant Trunk Hill. This scene is also used as a symbol of the city and hence has become famous. It is 55 metres above the Li River and 200 metres above the sea level.
Longji Terraced Fields
The Longji or the Longsheng Rice Terraces are situated in the Longsheng County which is situated 2 hours away from Guilin City. The most famous ones are the Ping An Rice Terrace and Jinkeng Rice Terrace. These fields are built along the slope from the riverside going up to the mountain top. The line that starts from the riverside and goes up to the mountain top divides the mountain in layers of water that shine in the sun in spring, layers of green rice shoots during summer, the golden rice layers in fall and the silvery frost layers during winter months.
Moon Hill is located at a short distance from Guilin in the Fenglou village. It is a huge piece of rock which has a round hole at the centre. You need to walk approximately 800 steps on the marble paved mountain path to reach towards the centre area. From various angles it resembles from the new moon to a full moon. The rock is 380 metres in height.
There are so many more scenic spots apart from the mentioned above like the Diecai Mountain, Fubo Hill, Solitary beauty peak, Yaoshan Hill Park, etc. There is also a boat tour across the four lakes and two rivers in the Gulin City. However, the most beautiful sight remains the one that you witness from the Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo with so many hills along the emerald water. Thus, Guilin enjoys some of the best landscapes and is truly called the City of Landscapes.