Guilin has long been a favourite amongst travellers to China. This compact city is most famous for the green mountains, crystal clear waters, unique caves and beautiful cliffs around it. The karst peaks and the surrounding area is world renowned for its beautifil scenery. Yet it is not simply this stunning landscape that draws visitors to Guilin. Its unique folk customs are also unforgettable experiences in themselves.
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|Telephone||Area code: 0773|
If Guilin is a living entity, the Li River is absolutely its 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, simple households along its banks are mesmerizing. The section from Xingping Town to Yangdi is the highlight of this magnificent picture scroll.
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.
Address: NO.7, East Lijiang Rd
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.
Address: Longsheng County
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 specially 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.
Address: Yangshuo County
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.
Address: NO.1, Tianyuan Rd, Yangshuo County
The city’s cuisine is most famous for Guilin rice noodles, which has been the local breakfast staple since the Qin dynasty and is renowned for its delicate taste. Guilin snacks and the use of spices, especially chili, are also well known. The famous Guilin chili sauce, used widely in cooking by locals, is made of fresh chili, garlic and fermented soya beans. The Guilin delicacies generally taste slightly spicy and heavy, since it is influenced by the Guangdong and Hunan Province in the neighborhood. Most places in Guilin close at 22:00 and those in Yangshuo run until 01:00.
The restaurant is in the front of innovating local cuisine. The dishes are so carefully made that they look like artwork. A reservation is necessary. Some of the new arrivals are Boiled Towel Gourd And Frog and Torn Horse Steak.
Address: NO.19, East Lijiang Rd
Song and dance performances are put on during your dining course. Recommended authentic local flavors are Braised Pork Slice with Taro, Fried Bamboo Shoots and Beef, Steamed Meat on Lotus Leaf and Dried Pork Floss with Sweet-scented Osmanthus.
Address: NO.10, Zhengyang Rd
As the name suggests beer is added when cooking the fish, which removes the smell, giving it the beer fragrance. Beer fish is a famous dish in Yangshuo and great for teetotallers too, since there is little alcohol left after cooking.
Address: At the mouth of West Street, Yangshuo
This is a road-side eatery and local stand serving cheap and nice rice noodles. There are wooden stools, china bowls and free relishes. Small stand which is very popular with locals.
Address: Chengzhong Rd, Yangshuo
This may be the most popular Western style restaurant in West Street. Over the counter there are paper currencies and license plates from all around the world. This is a good place for a pizza and garlic bread.
Address: NO.26, Guihua Alley, West St, Yangshu
Beijing’s top shopping centre boasts 120,000 square metres of shops in a modern ambiance. It is home to well-known Western and Asian brands and houses a Sony Science Museum and a cinema.
Address: Zhengyang Rd
Available at this large scale store are local products and craftworks from the Southeast Asian region, such as carvings, jewelries, jades, stones paintings and embroideries.
Address: Wayao Industry District
This is a one-stop haven with hundreds of stores ranging from garments and shoes to make up and others. Things on sale here are very cheap.
Address: Center Squareg
West Street - blended with Chinese and Western cultures - provides shopping, leisure and entertainment. It has become the shopping destination for many tourists. Hand painted T-shirts, original CDs, ethnic handicrafts, Tibetan jewellery, batik fabrics and snacks such as ginger sweets are just some of the products available here.
Address: Yangshuo County
This is the largest and best equipped hotel in Guilin with a man-made waterfall as an added attraction. It is ideal for holding large scale conventions for commercial groups.
Address: NO.1, North Shanhu Rd, Xiufeng District
Located on the west bank of the Li River, the Sheraton is within minutes from the Elephant Trunk Hill and Fubo Hill. They have 408 rooms and 17 suits, so finding a room will not be a problem.
Address: NO.15, Binjiang Rd, Xiufeng District
The hotel i located just opposite the picturesque Fubo and Diecai Hills, on the banks of the Li River. It is right in the heart of the city, 2.5 km from the bus station, 3 km from the railway station and 25 km from the airport.
Address: NO. 186-1, Linjiang Rd, Qixing District
Redecorated in 1953, the hotel has a rich history and fascinating culture. It has been the first choice for holding conventions and talks between China and foreign heads of State, government officials and has hosted a large number of world dignitaries for many years.
Address: NO.16, North Ronghu Rd, Xiufeng District
This is a member of Hostelling International. Its location opposite the Guilin Railway Station makes it a very convenient base.
Address: NO.6, Shangzhi Alley, South Zhongshan Rd
Guilin’s Liangjiang International Airport is 26.5 km away from Guilin’s city centre. The airport bus to the city centre runs all day long, with Minhang Building as the terminal stop and takes about 40 minutes for the whole trip. Tourists heading for Guilin can always get a large discount on the air ticket, though flights taking off from here are not that cheap.
Guilin is well served by its public bus system though Chinese scripts indicating the desired destinations are recommended for non-Mandarin speakers. All route numbers that start with 5 are free, such as line 57 and line 52. It is advised to take care of belongings on these buses.