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With two rivers, four lakes, limestone karst hills, caves in fantastical shapes, and lush green spaces, Guilin is one of the most picturesque cities in China, long renowned for its scenic natural beauty. The vistas and natural attractions are the main highlights, and they're best experienced on a boat cruise down the winding Li River through the surrounding countryside to Yangshuo. As Guangxi’s cultural hub, Guilin also offers history and culinary experiences.
Spring (Apr. and May) and fall (Sep. and Oct.) offer the best weather for sightseeing and for outdoor activities. It can be cold and rainy from Dec. to Feb. Avoid Guilin on major public holidays in China, including Chinese New Year and the golden week holidays in May and October, as the region will be incredibly crowded.
You can navigate the city of Guilin by taking buses, though taxis will be the easiest option for visitors. Buses also connect Guilin to neighboring towns and cities. For longer distance travel, it’s best to take the train (there are three railroad stations) or fly (there’s one major airport). Traveling by boat is an ideal way to get from Guilin to Yangshuo and other area highlights.
Under the right conditions, rafting on the Li River provides an alternative to regular boat cruises. With favorable weather, visitors can board a motorized raft in Yangdi, around an hour away from Guilin, and enjoy a two-hour cruise to Xingping, passing by the most famous and scenic section of the Li River, featured on the 20 yuan note. The rafts seat four people, and you can have a private tour by buying out the other seats.
The cultural center of Guangxi, Guilin is known for its scenic natural beauty, including limestone karst hills and caves, two winding rivers, and four lakes within the city. Outside the city, the region is known for a lush countryside, rural lifestyle, ancient towns, and the tourist hot spot of Yangshuo....More
Guilin is bigger and offers more amenities and better transportation. Many prefer to stay in Guilin and take a Yangshuo day trip. Guilin is closer to Longji Rice Terraces than Yangshuo. However, if exploring the Yangshuo countryside via hiking, biking, or rock climbing is your goal, then stay in Yangshuo....More
Three to four days is ideal. You'll spend a day visiting Guilin city highlights, two days to cruise to Yangshuo and explore the countryside or visit an ancient town, and another day at Longji Rice Terraces. Add more days to hike, bike, or rock climb in Yangshuo....More
Start early at a Guilin city highlight like Reed Flute Cave. Then cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo, enjoying views of the karst landscape. In Yangshuo, explore West Street or hike, bike, or rock climb in the countryside. Enjoy dinner in Yangshuo and a performance of Impression Sanjie Liu....More
The top attraction is Elephant Trunk Hill. Located in the heart of Guilin and considered the city's symbol, the limestone outcropping resembles the trunk of an elephant drinking from the river. The top cave is Reed Flute Cave. The top experience is a cruise down the Li River....More
A river cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo is one of the best ways to appreciate the scenery of the region, and it allows you to experience both Guilin and Yangshuo. Along the way, take in bucolic scenes of rice paddies, farmers, water buffaloes, cormorant fishermen, and ancient villages....More
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