Guilin 桂林 Travel Guide
Once in China it is likely you will see Guilin frequently as it is on the back of the RMB 20 note! However, it is also so popular as a travel destination that there is a good chance you will end up seeing it in the flesh. One of China’s more pleasant cities, it has undergone rapid growth in recent years but is still blessed with sights and stunning scenery surrounds the city. A trip down the Li river to Yangshuo is one of the main highlights. Guilin is also a good base from which to explore this lush region.
Best Months to Visit Guilin
Best Reason to Visit Guilin
Guilin is one of China’s more pleasant cities and certainly has more to it than just being the start point to the Li river cruise down to Yangshuo.
It has a decent climate and is surrounded by some of China’s most beautiful and dramatic countryside. Most travelled of this is, of course, Yangshuo and the Li River is in all likelihood why you’ve come down to this part of China. Karst mountain scenery surrounds as well as the famous cormorant fishermen that you’ll see along the river.
Before you head off down to Yangshuo you might want to take in some of the other wonders that Guilin has to offer. In this case you’ll want to be visiting the famous Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces of Longji or perhaps the Reed Flute Cave.
Top Attractions in Guilin
Arguably the Li River cruise is the top attraction and it certainly takes in some stunning scenery and active river life, however with perhaps the best scenery being at the Yangshuo end it is certainly worth considering the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces at Longji and the village of Pingan that clutches to the side of the hills there.
Make sure you’ve got a good pair of walking shoes as there’s plenty of steps to climb but, on a clear day, the view is stunning and over 700 years of agriculture has left this place with an amazing look to it.
The Reed flute Cave is also well worth a look being among the best examples in China and also not too far from the city.
Weather Averages for Guilin
Our Top Guilin Travel Tip
To stay out in Longji and be transferred there and back is a more expensive way of doing it than just taking a day tour and chances are that you’ll see everything you came to see and still get to sleep in a more comfortable hotel bed back in Guilin.
Not really interested in a cruise but still want to take in the beautiful river scenery? You can transfer directly to Yangshuo from the airport or station in Guilin and then go on a bamboo raft from Yangshuo for an hour or two and see the best of the scenery without being on the boat with a lot of other people.
Visit the Reed Flute Cave on the way back from Yangshuo on the way to the airport, it’s in the same direction and doesn’t add too much to your cost of getting to the airport alone. A very cost effective tour.
Hand Picked Guilin Hotels
The Bravo Hotel is the standard by which mid range hotels are judged by in this area. It’s location is right on the lakes and is surrounded by nice cafes and restaurants.
If you are looking for something a bit higher end and a little more original then the Lijiang Waterfall Hotel is for you with its amazing fountain show each evening at 8.30pm and 5 star service throughout.
The ultimate high end here though is the Shangri La, with this branch living well up to the high standards set by this international chain.
By Phil Stanley & Headseast – TCTC Destination Expert.