Guilin (桂林), Guangxi, China Travel Guide

World / Asia / China


Guilin, China
Guilin, China
Author: Jakub Hałun (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Guilin (桂林) is a city in southern China. It is a prefecture-level city within the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is not the capital (that honor goes to Nanning, the largest city in Guangxi), but it is certainly one of the most beautiful, blessed with a unique scenery.

Guide to Guilin Hotels

It's never easy finding the hotel that's just right for your stay. Still, by taking a little time to do your research, you increase your chance of getting a good hotel at the best price. Go through the list of hotels in Guilin which we've put together, with full description, star rating, address, location map and evaluation. Pick the hotel of your choice and view the rates offered by different booking sites. Yes, we show you prices from different websites, so you don't have to visit them one by one.

Elephant Trunk Hill, Guilin
Elephant Trunk Hill, Guilin
Author: Yaoleilei (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

More about Guilin

The name Guilin means "Forest of Sweet Osmanthus flower". It is located on the west bank of the Li River. Its history goes back to a small settlement in 314 BC. By AD 507, it was known as Guizhou or Gui Prefecture. Due to its located at the southern part of China, Guilin received regular armies to guard the border. In 1921, it was one of the headquarters of the Nationalist army led by Dr Sun Yat-sen.

Today Guilin is a major tourist destination in China due to the many scenic sights surrounding it. These includes picturesque rice terraces, the Li River and the karst limestone outcrops.

Yangshuo town along the Lijiang River in Guangxi
Yangshuo town along the Lijiang River in Guangxi
Author: Calton (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Planning your trip to Guilin

Most travelers from abroad arrive at the Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL), which receives regular flights from many regional cities including Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul. From the airport, you can take an airport bus to town for ¥20, and it takes you just south of the city centre. From there, you can take the taxi for just around ¥10 to go to any of the hotels in the city.

Exploring Guilin

Before you start exploring, get a good map from the tourist information centre or shop, preferably a map that shows all the bus routes. With that in hand, you can explore Guilin using the bus. You would be pleased to note that all buses starting with the digit 5 are free. Otherwise the bus fare is capped at ¥1 per trip.

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Places of Interest in Guilin

  1. Fubo Shan (Wave-Subduing Hill)
    A tall gray rock formating that juts out from the river, with a dilapidated temple at its peak.

  2. Gu Nan Men
    Old South Gate of Guilin, and remnant of the Ming city wall.

  3. Jinjiang Prince's Palace & Duxiu Feng
    A palace resembling a miniature fortified city in Guilin.

  4. Li River CruiseA must for any visit to Guilin, this trip takes you through the picturesque countryside.

  5. Longji Rice Terraces
    Picturesque terraced rice fields carved into the hill slopes like steps.

  6. Ludi Yan (Reed Flute Cave)
    Limestone cave with huge stalagmites and stalactites, it was a hideout for the locals during the Japanese invasion in the 1940s.

  7. Ocean Aquarium
    This modern aquarium is one of the biggest in Asia.

  8. Riming Shuang TaA pair of 130-feet pagodas which are the famous landmarks of Guilin.

  9. Rong Hu & Shan Hu
    These are two conjoined lakes on either sides of Zhongshan Lu, at the heart of Guilin.

  10. Qixing Gongyuan (Seven Stars Park)
    This is a park that covers one square mile on the eastern shore of the Li River.

  11. Xiangbi Shan (Elephant Trunk Hill)
    The most famous rock formations in Guilin. Said to resemble an elephant taking a drink.

  12. Yaoshan Hill Park
    This is a large park that includes the tallest peak in the area, with foot paths to the summit.

Li River Scenery, Guilin
Li River Scenery
Author: Dcrjsr (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

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