If Guilin is a living entity, the Li River is absolute soul. Originated from Mao’er Mountain, Li River starts its journey from Guilin down to Yangshuo, just like a jade ribbon winding among the green hills to form a most poetic beauty spot. The reflection of the fantastic karst peaks in the water, the cowboys, the fishermen at leisure and the simple households along its banks are mesmerizing. The section from Xingping Town to Yangdi is the highlight of this magnificent picture scroll. While cruising down the river, you will see Ox Gorge, a narrow gorge and Wangfu Rock, a stone in the shape of an ancient Chinese.
The landmark of the city, also known as Elephant Hill, looks like a giant elephant drinking water from the river with its long trunk. Other famous spots here include Shuiyue Cave (水月洞), Puxian Tower (普贤塔), Xiangyan Rock (象眼岩), Dagoba Tower (舍利塔), Yunfeng Temple (云峰寺) and three amusement islands by the lake. The park is great for spending an idyllic afternoon.
Main sites in this park include the Flower Bridge, Camel Hill and Seven Star Cave. The Seven Star Cave is a fantastic karst cave with a large number of stalagmites and stalactites, which transform the cave into a surreal place. If you can only visit one place in Guilin, this should be it.
The Longji terrace fields date from the Ming Dynasty, about 500 years ago. Winding from the base up to the top, it divides the mountain into layers. Sights alter here as the season changes: water glittering in the sun in spring, green rice shoots in summer, golden rice in fall and silvery frost in winter. It is advised to stay overnight, so that you can see the sunrise and sunset, which should not be missed.
The Yulong River is a big tributary of the Lijiang River, flowing along scenic hills, plains and villages down to Gongnong Bridge. Hiking and riding around the river is popular. Drifting on a bamboo raft is especially recommended for views that you cannot see from the banks. There are usually two seats on the raft and the space is large enough to have bikes onboard as well. With many docking places on the route, it is possible to choose to tour the river for the whole length or in sections. The river is good for swimming too.
Sanjie Liu is the goddess of singing in legends. Against a natural backdrop, the large-scale performance creatively combines the classical Sanjie Liu’s Songs, ethnic groups’ culture and the fishing lights, reflecting a harmonious atmosphere between the people and the nature here. Enjoy the spectacular Li River, the colours of the ethnic groups in Guangxi province and the imagination of the excellent artists in China, for whom it took five years to produce the show. The performance lasts for 70 minutes and 600 persons plus actors and actress are involved.
Discovered by native villagers, the cave is extensive and unaltered, full of narrow, maze like and sometimes dangerous passages. It is not advised to go without a guide, a crash helmet and a flashlight. A trip may require crawling through muddy holes, climbing up and down stalagmites, and easing in between stalactites with the aid of ropes. Here you can find a mineral mud pool and underground waterfall pool, perfect for a dip.
With its unique landforms, Yangshuo is known as a paradise of rock climbing and has become a holy land for enthusiasts. There are dozens of climbing lines in Yangshuo with a wide range of difficulty levels. This provides options for both the complete beginner and an experienced climber looking for a new challenge. Recommended are www.blackrockclimbing.net. They are familiar with every climbing line in Yangshuo and have experienced rock climbing guides, both foreign and Chinese.
This is a theme park that mainly displays landscape art of modern sculpture and caves. It is divided into many parts according to different themes, such as Sculpture Area, Historical Caves, Palace of Mural Art, Craftworks Gallery, Global Flower Hall, Artists Working Room and more.
Yaoshan Mountain is a great spot for top angle Panaroma of Guilin and its mountains and to enjoy breathtaking views of the nature. Whether you decide to take the cable car or to walk up to the peak which takes a bit more than 2 hours, you will be rewarded with an amazing scenery.
Eating Adventures guides tourists to a local food market as well as some of the best-kept secret places to eat that only true locals know of. Try authentic Chinese Cuisine in quaint restaurants and listen to tour guides sharing their knowledge and love for traditional cuisine and flavours. If you are a food-lover this tour should definitely be at the top of your list.
Whether you are a tea-lover or not, Guilin Tea Research Institute is worth a visit. Learn about the tea making process and how the tea is made from the fresh leaves, followed by a lovely Chinese Tea Ceremony with sampling of different types of delicious organic tea.
The natural beauty of this area is breathtaking. Tiny mountains pop up out of the flat landscape and forests of unusual trees and plants cover the mountains like fur. Changing with the seasons, the landscape in this lush nature park is the ideal place to relax a tired body and mind while listening to the melody of nature.
The best way to explore the iconic Karst limestone mountains and the Li and Yulong rivers in Yulong county is by bike. Whether you are simply looking for a pleasant circuit along quiet scenic roads or for a more challenging adventure, there are many types of roads and tracks for different physical fitness levels.
There is an endless number of rice noodle restaurant and for tourists and it is almost impossible to distinguish between authentic restaurants and tourist traps. The following restaurants are the most popular choices in Guilin: You Yi Xuan on Jie Fang Road, Rong Gui, Liu Bo Niang, Shi Ji in Jie Fang Road, Niko Niko Do Plaza Sheng Li at the crossing of Wayao Road and Wei Xiang Guan in Zongshan Middle Road or Yiren Road.
Guilin Boy is the perfect combination of tradition and modern edge. Its architecture and food are characterised by the local cuisine and cultures of the 12 counties of Guilin. That means you find a lot of traditional regional dishes such as Beer Fish and Lipu Taro or Looped Meat and Gingko stewed with Old Duck.
The interior of Longze Tea & Drink house is decorated with a white wall and beautiful Guilin landscape as well as wooden decoration and a number of bookshelves to choose some interesting literature. The tea banquet with dish names that related to a famous landscape or scene in Guili gives you an insight into Chinese tea culture.
This is claimed to be the most popular bar among young locals. 100 Degree Bar is very much a Chinese-style club, but is also very accessible for foreigners. There is no actual dancefloor, but spontaneous dancing occurs regularly, mostly to dance-pop and hip-pop. There is not much of a drink selection, but prices are reasonable and the interior is well designed.
The Guilin Sheraton is located in central Guilin with a large outdoor terrace overlooking the Li River and nearby mountains. At the restaurant and Luo Tuo Bar they serve both Chinese and western style cuisine. During dinnertime you can enjoy piano and violin performances as well as Chinese style musical performances in the restaurant. The bar is a good spot to unwind with a cigar and drink to live performances by singers.
The night cruise on the rivers and the four lakes Banyan Lake, Wooden Dragon Lake, Gui Lake and Shahu Lake in Guilin is spectacular. Due to the innovative use of lighting in the gardens and buildings along the lakes, the bridges, buildings and pagodas are beautifully illuminated. Singers and dancers along the shoreline complement this fantastic experience.
Already a fascinating place during daytime, the thousand year old street is even more charming at night, Take a night stroll and roam from the east end to the west end with the archaic city wall of Jingjiang Palace. The ancient street is 666 meters long for a reason, namely because 6 is a lucky number in China.
You cannot miss the red tents of Guilin Night Market lining in long rows. Locals sells all kind of handicrafts like embroidery balls, brocades, flutes, snacks and local specialties, porcelain and ceramics products like smoking pipes, Chinese seals, paintings as well as calligraphy.
In Longji, a territory hidden in mountains and ridges, lives a minority people with their own culture and traditions. Inspired and originated from their life and traditions, Longji Guilin Theater performs a dance show with folk spirit about the coexistence of human beings and nature. The colourful, dream-like and wild looking costumes are of a unique and rare style.
West Street is most popular with tourists and expats and usually full of backpackers. English is the most heard language here and so it is no wonder a lot of pubs have English names: M.C Blues, Blue Bird Bar, Solo, Climbing, The Stone Roses, Buffalo Bar and Cafe, Global Cafe, a film bar and The Balcony, a place for western style food just to name a few.
On three floors this luxury travel boat combines a club, bar and karaoke hall. Located on the pier on Li River, this shining boat under the night sky is not easy to oversee. The first floor is for dancing, the second floor is used as a Karaoke bar and a Cabaret can be found on the third floor.
West Street - blended with Chinese and Western cultures - provides shopping, leisure and entertainment. It has become the shopping destination for many tourists. Some of the products available here are hand painted T-shirts, original CD’s, ethnic handicrafts, Tibetan jewellery, batik fabrics and snacks such as ginger sweets.
You cannot miss the red tents of Guilin Night Market lining in long rows. Locals sell all kind of handicrafts like embroidery balls, brocades, flutes, snacks and local specialties, porcelain and ceramics products like smoking pipes, Chinese seals, paintings as well as calligraphy.
Not as famous as Zheng Yang Pedestrian Street, but a popular shopping spot as well which is just as as suitable for leisure, strolling, shopping and delicacies as the legendary Zheng Yang. The builings lining the Street all date back to the Ming and Qing dynasty architectural style.
Fuli Town is home to the 100-meter long street full of fans in all shapes and colours made by skillful craftsman. The poetic fans are decorated with poems paintings and calligraphy and their materials are locally grown like bamboo from the river side, native paper and the pictures depict Guilin landscapes.
This Art school exhibits real masterpieces by famous painters as well as university students and painting schools. The collection is huge and includes some real centuries-old treasures. The most popular motif is without a doubt the picturesque Guilin landscape.
When in Guilin, don't forget to bring home some delicious delicacies and specialities from the region. Guilin is famous for its Sanhua Liquor, Fermented Bean Curd and Chili Sauce, Osmanthus tea and sugar, Luohanguo, a dried brown fruit, special candies Nan Tang and the savory rice wine Sanhuajiu. The items can be found in large supermarkets or local specialty stores.
Binjian Road is not only a shopper's paradise, but also a tourist attraction. Located along Li River, Fubo Mountain, Shan Lake and Elephant Trunk Hill are just a stroll down the river in the shade of the amazing old trees. At night, you can watch locals in their every day life when they sell their arts and crafts.
In Guilin you can find post offices along the Zhongshan Rd. Post offices as well as post boxes in China have a green logo to look out for. General opening hours are from 8 am-6 pm. Yangshuo Post Pantao Rd, Yangshuo County +86 773 8822 317 8 am-6 pm Guilin Post Rongmeng Rd, Xiufeng, Guilin, Guangxi Mid Zhongshan Rd, Guilin +86 773 2151 885 8 am-6 pm