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Guilin Travel Tips

Located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin is considered to be the pearl of China's thriving tourist industry on account of the natural beauty and historic treasures. Covering an area of about 27,800 square kilometers (10,734 square miles), the city is rather compact when compared with other leading cities in the country. However, situated within this area one may find green mountains, crystal clear waters, unique caves and beautiful stones.These include Longsheng with its famous Longji rice terraces; The Li jiang river, a scene of which is printed on the back of 20 RMB bank notes; Yangshuo, a small county downstream from Guilin; and much more. This makes Guilin an excellent base for exploring the northern end of Guangxi region. Guilin is a beautiful city. The town center is surrounded by two rivers and four lakes and studded with shear sided karst mountains. Outside the city center, the buildings are less well kept. The main industry in the city is tourism so the city is much cleaner than other Chinese cities.

Guilin is also an important cultural city with a history encompassing more than 2000 years. The city has been the political, economic and cultural center of Guangxi since the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Solitary Beauty Peak and Prince Jingjiang City is considered to be the oldest place of interest and has been so since the far off days of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). The prosperity enjoyed by the city during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is epitomized by the Tomb of Prince Jingjiang.

Guilin itself is like most other medium size Chinese cities, other than that it has a large number of western-style hotels, tourists and is relatively free of air pollution. Many Chinese domestic tourists also flock to this area. What makes it special is its proximity to many picturesque limestone mountains and formations.

Guangxi and Guilin are home to 12 different ethnic minorities besides the Han Chinese--Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao, Mulao, Maonan and Dong enrich the cultural life of the city. Guangxi is an autonomous region for the Zhuang ethnic group, rather than a province. See List of Chinese provinces and regions for an explanation if needed. Various other minorities, such as the Dong, are also found in the area.

Looking down from Diecai Shan
Separated from the center of China and the Yangtze river basin by the Nan mountains, Guangxi has always been distinct from the rest of China. The Han Chinese empire first expanded into Guangxi in the 3rd century BC. The Ling Canal was cut around the time, allowing small boats to transit from the Yangtze to the south flowing Xi River via the Xiang River.

Trade grew along the canal and river routes. Guilin was founded as a trading post in the 1st century BC on the West bank of the Kuei River. During the Ming dynasty, a garrison was set up in Guilin and the surrounding area gradually civilised with the development of farmland. The city had a population of over two million at the time of the Second World War, but was utterly destroyed during the war. The population slowly recovered with post-war construction of several factories for the production of paper, chemicals and agricultural equipment. However, market forces have caused several of these industries to relocate out of Guilin.

Best Time to Visit Guilin
When is the best time to visit Guilin?
It is the best time to travel to Guilin from April to October. But do remember to avoid the period from 1st May to 3rd May and from 1st October to 7th October when is the long national holiday because Guilin is still a major destination of domestic and international tourists. It's extremely crowded everywhere!
The above prices are not valid during the public holidays: 1-5th May, 1-5th October and during the first week of Chinese Lunar New Year which takes place in late January or early February.

No specific vaccinations are necessary to visit China. However, make sure you are up to date on essential inoculations such as tetanus and hepatitis. The most common ailment for travellers is a bad stomach from contaminated food, fruit or water. Make sure all your food has been sufficiently cooked and the ice comes from purified water. Stick to bottled water for drinking.
If you or any memember of your party has any disability or medical condition which may affect your arrangement, please provide us with full details so that we can advise as to the suitability of chosen arrangements. And please consult your doctor for vaccination and other medical requirements for your trip. Please take the medicine or medical care your doctor prescribe for you if they are necessary during your trip time.
Ambulance: 120

In general, there is little to worry about when you visit Guilin and China in general. Since the penalties for perpetrating a violent crime against a foreigner are so harsh, often ending in execution, instances of this are rare. The one safety concern to keep in mind in Guilin is theft. Pickpocketting is a growing problem due to the subtle nature of the crime, so it's best to leave the flashy valuables at the hotel and keep your cash in a money belt or sealed pocket. Also be aware that Chinese traffic is typically hectic and uncontrollable, so be very careful when you attempt to cross streets.
Police: 110
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz, with two-pin sockets being the norm.

Currency Exchange
Money in China is a tricky business, so there are a few things to consider. The Bank of China offers the most favourable rates, although you will also find that most hotels, shops, restaurants and transport stations will also exchange your money into yuan. The hours are certainly more convenient, but the rates are always lower. In Guilin, there are 28 exchange counters scattered around the city open Monday to Friday from 08:00 until noon and from 15:00 to 18:00. There are few ATMs in Guilin, so don't rely entirely on taking money out of machines. Traveller's cheques work well in China, and are replaceable if lost. Also keep in mind that you will not be able to change any yuan back into another foreign currency within China, so only exchange as much as you need.

Reed Flute Cave, Ludi RD (about 5km west of Guilin. Catch bus 3 or rent bikes and buy a map for a pleasant cycle). 8AM-5:30PM. This limestone cave with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations is worth a visit. An English-speaking guide will take you around the various artificially lit formations supposedly resembling lions, monkeys, old men, the skyline of Guilin, etc. You may have to wait a while for a large enough group to accumulate. Avoid the hawkers by taking the elevated path on the side of the hill, rather than the tarmac road.

Elephant Trunk Hill, Bingjiang Rd (Within walking distance of the town center and near to bus routes 23 and 16), 7AM-10PM. This park on the banks of the Li River contains a hill with a large natural arch cut into it. This resembles the trunk of an Elephant dipping into the river. This scene is frequently used as a symbol of the city and so has developed some fame.

Fubo Hill. A park in the northeast of the City on the banks of the Li River. The park contains historical stone carvings and Buddhist inscriptions. Fubo Hill itself is an impressive shear sided rock.

Seven Star Park, (Qixing Rd). A large park on the East side of the city and about 15-20 minutes walk from the main pedestrian area in the centre of town. Has a small zoo area on the East side farthest from the entrance with the main attraction being the two giant pandas.

Yaoshan Hill Park, Jingjiang Rd (Several km east of the city center. Bus routes 10 and 98 run nearby but still leave a lengthy walk to the park). This is a large country park which encompasses the highest peak in the area. Foot paths run to the summit, however the chair lift provides an effortless way to attain the top and enjoy the scenery. There are extensive views of the surrounding area from the summit. There is a toboggan run down part of the mountain. To access this, dismount the chairlift at the station half way down the mountain.

Jing Jiang Princes City Park. In the center of the city lies a small forbidden city. Once home to the Princes of the area. The palace buildings are now a museum and park.

Ocean Aquarium, On Zhongshan Road (South of the city center. Bus routes 4, 11, 12, 19, 99 and 56 pass here. Next to the South Stream Hill Park). One of the largest aquariums in Asia. This modern facility has a wide range of fish and other aquatic animals.

Longji Terraced Field (Longji Terraced Field), Longsheng Country. Longji Terraced Fields is in the Heping town in Longsheng, a 2 hours drive from Guilin. The terraced rice fields, like ladders, wind from the bottom of the mountain to the top. The elevation varies from 380 meters to 880 meters with a drop of 500 meters. First built during the Yuan Dynasty, these rice fields were built with the determination, sweat and blood of generations of people. It is a testimony to the ingenuity of agriculture in mountainous areas. These fields are often belt-shaped, narrow and long, most of which are only wide enough for two rows of crops. The largest patch is only one Mu. There are about 66 square kilometers of terraced fields in southeast Longsheng.

Solitary Beauty Peak(Jingjiang Prince City), (Take a taxi or bus no. 1 or 2 from the Guilin Railway Station. Both buses drop passengers off at the western entrance of the peak area.). 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.. Rising dramatically above the center of Guilin, Solitary Beauty Peak (Duxiu Feng) offers spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside. As with so many peaks and rocky upthrusts in and around Guilin, centuries of visits have led to the creation of a carved stairway leading to the summit. The pathway starts at Wang Cheng, the Ming Dynasty palace located in the center of town, now home to the campus of Guangxi Normal University and also the site of nightly performances by local ethnic minorities.

The Li River (or Lijiang in Chinese) is one of Guilins main tourist attractions. It originates in the "Cat Ear Mountains and flows more than 400km through Southern China before ending into the Xi Jiang River.

The 83km stretch between Guilin and Yangshuo, home to the Li River Cruise, is considered the most beautiful part of the River. Even better than experiencing the River by boat or bamboo raft is to take a taxi from Guilin to Yangdi and hike about for hours to Xingping. From here you can take a bus to Yangshuo.

The Yangshuo Village Inn is located in the Moon Hill Village in Yangshuo China. It is a collaboration between Chris Barclay, owner of the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat and Yu Ti Hui, (Little Fish) the local manager of the Retreat who's family has lived for generations in the Moon Hill Village. Yangshuo is China's hidden gem, featuring spectacular limestone karst towers and tranquil rivers. Also, we have Luna - the best restaurant and bar in Yangshuo China

Reasons to visit Yangshuo Guilin China:

1. Guilin is one of the 10 Major Scenic Spots and Historical Sites in China and one of four major must-see cities in China recommended by World Tourism Organization.

2. Guilin is the only place within China that has beautiful limestone mountains together with beautiful rivers.

3. Guilin area is home to the ethnic Zhuang, Yao, Miao and Dong people and is featured with colorful and varied national traditions with rich and elegant folk customs.

4. Li River is the symbol of China's natural landscape. Cruise downstream on serene Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo and feast your eyes on green towering pinnacles, crystal waters and bamboo groves. Water buffalo patrol the fields, ducks paddle on the waters, farmers reap paddies, cormorant fish and kids splash in the water. You will be imbued with a strong sens of returning to the nature of the Garden of Eden.

5. Yangshuo of Guilin is becoming the backpackers' Mecca and lovers' paradise. Relax yourself in one of the cafes in simple and unsophisticated old West Street. Drink beer or coffee, telling your stories or listen to travel stories with the people from all over the world.

6. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride in Yangshuo countryside to appreciate its charm: karst peaks, villages, rivers, rice fields and friendly farmers - immersing you in nature and culture as you pedal along.

7. There are thousands of hills and caves to explore. You can bathe in mud in the water cave as well as rock climbing in the hills.

8. Trek the magnificent terraced fields in Longsheng County. The terraced fields are built along the slope winding from the riverside up to the mountaintop.

9. Watch the "Impression Lightshow " China's largest outdoor performance with the Li River and mountains as a natural stage and backdrop.

10. Sample delicious local specialties, such as Steam Li River Fish, Beer Fish, Snail with special flavor, Fried Shrimp, Braised Pork with taro.

Four Lakes' Cruise. Day and evening. A boat tour around the four lakes and two rivers of Guilin. At night, the scenery is spectacularly flood lit. At the mid point in the tour, there will be a demonstration of traditional cormorant fishing. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes depending on the route purchased. гд150 per adult.

Dreaming on Li River Show. 70min. A theatrical dance and music performance daily. The show tries to recreate the culture of the various ethnic groups around Guilin. 150.

There are many more activities nearby in neighbouring towns and villages:

Wu Pai River Drifting, (2 hours north of Guilin (in Zi Yuan County)). White water rafting down the scenic Wu Pai River in Zi Yua county.

Guilin Shangri-la park, (Halfway along the road between Guilin and Yangshuo). Set in beautiful scenery, this ethnic theme park tries to introduce visitors to the wide range of local nationalities and their cultures. A short boat trip will take you around the butterfly lake. On the way, various performances are staged on the shore of the lake, demonstrating different aspects of the culture. The boat will drop you off at the 'village' where you can see displays of local crafts including weaving, embroidery, buffalo horn carving and calligraphy. These crafts are produced on site and you may watch them working.

Butterfly Cave. A pair of shear sided mountains surrounded by a butterfly themed park. One of the mountains has a cave running through the core of it. Inside this cave are many strange rock formations including stalagmites and stalactites. One particularly unusual formation is shaped like a butterfly, lending the hill its name. A rope bridge connects from the cave's exit over to the other mountain. At the side of the bridge, a waterfall cascades down the mountain side. The path takes you around the summit of the second peak and down to the gardens below. A dance performance greets each tour party here. The final stage is a walk inside a netted area in which a large variety of butterflies may be observed.

The Guilin Merryland World Resort, located about 1 hours drive north of Guilin offers two attractions: (1)Golf Course. Beautiful golf course with 27 holes. A bit on the expensive side but well worth the money. (2)Theme Park.,
Author/Editor By : HCT