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GuilinChina

Set amid mist-covered limestone mountains and a river winding through an idyllic rural landscape, this city has inspired painters, poets and dreamers for centuries.

“East or West,” the Chinese saying goes, “Guilin’s scenery is the best.” And truly, the landscape in and around Guilin is breathtaking. Rivers, lakes and rice fields meet at the base of sheer karst cliffs and mist-shrouded peaks. These scenes have inspired and charmed visitors for centuries.

The area’s stunning landscape is the consequence of its unique situation and geology. Guilin’s otherworldly hills formed underwater, millions of years ago, and were eventually revealed through erosion. Now they stand dramatically above the rivers and lakes that nourish the city.

Head to the Seven Star Park and discover the many hills, caves, bridges and relics that continue to inspire artists, photographers and poets. Explore Reed Flute Cave to see incredible limestone stalactites and stalagmites lit up in vibrant colours. Pay your respects to Elephant Trunk Hill, which is named for its resemblance to a large elephant bathing. Fubo (Wave-Subduing) Hill is also worth a visit due to its remarkable combination of natural features and cultural history. It’s also where you can see the giant pot that is said to be able to cook rice for a thousand people.

Marvel at the dramatic terraced rice paddy fields around nearby Longsheng. Take a cruise down the picturesque Li River, which is lined with bamboo groves and ancient villages. Feel the soft breeze on the river that once led President Nixon to call Guilin the world’s most beautiful city. Four memorable hours on the water will bring you to the town Yangshuo, home to popular West Street. This 1,400-year-old street is lined with an incredible array of restaurants, craft shops, calligraphy emporiums and kung fu academies.

Guilin is famous for the its distinctive sweet-and-spicy cuisine, which combines elements of Hunanese and Cantonese cooking. Local specialties include Guilin rice noodles and, of course, fish.

Guilin is best navigated with a tourist map. Buses and taxis are available in town, as is bicycle rental. The city is well connected by air, bus and train to the rest of China.

Where to stay in Guilin

Yangshuo showing a river or creek and mountains

Yangshuo

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

Yangshuo is noteworthy for its mountain views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Shiwai Taoyuan and Yangshuo West Street.

Yangshuo
Elephant Trunk Hill

Guilin City Centre

4/5Very Good!(51 area reviews)

Unique features of Guilin City Centre include the river views and gardens. Make a stop by Reed Flute Cave or Elephant Trunk Hill while you're exploring the area.

Guilin City Centre
Ten Mile Gallery, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Ten Mile Gallery

4.5/5Wonderful!(13 area reviews)

Ten Mile Gallery is noteworthy for its mountain views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Moon Hill and Moon Water Cave.

Ten Mile Gallery
Guilin which includes caves

Xiufeng

Unique features of Xiufeng include the river views and shopping. Make a stop by Reed Flute Cave or Liu Sanjie Landscape Garden of Guilin while you're exploring the area.

Xiufeng
When the harvest is done it’s time to prepare for winter.  Any of the rice hay not required for animal feed is burned in the terraces.  Climb to the top of the village and beyond to a great scenic spot for sunset and just gaze as the villagers set about their daily tasks.  Such a great view at any time but aim to get their for sunrise or sunset for the best light on the valleys and terraces.  You can visit all year round, but for the best reflections in the rice terraces aim to be here in April or May when they irrigate the fields.

Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

If you're spending some time in Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County, Datangwan Scenic Area and Longsheng Hot Springs National Forest Park are top sights worth seeing.

Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County
Elephant Trunk Hill showing a ferry

Xiangshan

Unique features of Xiangshan include the gardens and river views. Make a stop by Elephant Trunk Hill or Guangxi Guilin National Forest Park while you're exploring the area.

Xiangshan

Top Hotels in Guilin

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Sheraton Guilin Hotel
Sheraton Guilin Hotel
4.5 out of 5
15 Bin Jiang Road, Guilin, Guangxi
The price is $81 per night

Located in Guilin City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Elephant Trunk Hill, Seven-Star Park, and Mulong Lake. Shan Hu and Lijiang Folk Customs ...

4.1/5Very Good! (340 reviews)

"The location is unbeatable. The staff is friendly and particularly Candy Hu at the reception, always there to help with a great smile."…"

Reviewed on Jun 24, 2020

Sheraton Guilin Hotel
Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin
Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin
5 out of 5
111 Huan Cheng Bei Er Lu, Guilin, Guangxi
The price is $79 per night

This family-friendly Guilin hotel is located on the riverwalk, within 2 mi (3 km) of Mulong Lake and Lijiang Folk Customs Garden. Seven-Star Park and Reed Flute ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (266 reviews)
Family fun time

"Spent family New Years vacation in Guilin. Had a wonderful time at the Shangri-La hotel. Excellent service and friendly staff."…"

Reviewed on Jan 5, 2020

Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin
Alila Yangshuo
Alila Yangshuo
4.5 out of 5
102 Dongling Road, Guilin

This family-friendly Guilin hotel is located in Yangshuo, within 2 mi (3 km) of South China Karst, Yangshuo West Street, and Impression Liu Sanjie. Yangshuo ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (42 reviews)

"Beautiful historical site situated in this quaint little town. I love everything about this hotel and the services available."…"

Reviewed on Sep 24, 2019

Alila Yangshuo

Popular places to visit in Guilin

Yangshuo West Street
Image for Yangshuo West Street

Yangshuo West Street

4.5/5(16 reviews)

During your visit to Guilin, you can search for that perfect souvenir at Yangshuo West Street. Wander the riverfront or discover the mountain views in this quaint area.

Elephant Trunk Hill
Image for Elephant Trunk Hill

Elephant Trunk Hill

4/5(11 reviews)

Explore an intriguing waterfront rock formation with a fascinating legend and then hike up the hill for panoramic views of Guilin.

Seven-Star Park
Image for Seven-Star Park

Seven-Star Park

4.5/5(6 reviews)

Guilin’s largest park is encircled by mountains and dotted with historic artifacts. Hike through the green expanse and sightsee its many treasures.

Moon Hill
Image for Moon Hill

Moon Hill

5/5(14 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Moon Hill, a lovely green space in Guilin. Stroll along the riverfront or discover the mountain views in this quaint area.

Reed Flute Cave
Image for Reed Flute Cave

Reed Flute Cave

4/5(12 reviews)

Commune with nature and explore the great outdoors at Reed Flute Cave during your travels in Guilin. Wander the riverfront and gardens in the area.

Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas
Image for Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas

Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas

4.5/5(3 reviews)

Learn about the local history of Guilin with a stop at Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas. Wander the gardens and riverfront in this culturally rich area.

Top things to do in Guilin

Li River Cruise to Yangshuo with Delectable Lunch
Image for Li River Cruise to Yangshuo with Delectable Lunch

Li River Cruise to Yangshuo with Delectable Lunch

$130
Per adult
Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo Day Tour
Image for Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo Day Tour

Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo Day Tour

$85
Per adult
Guilin Four Lakes Day Time Cruise With Private Transfers
Image for Guilin Four Lakes Day Time Cruise With Private Transfers

Guilin Four Lakes Day Time Cruise With Private Transfers

$40
Per adult
1-Day Relaxing Li River Cruise Tour with the 3 Star Boat
Image for 1-Day Relaxing Li River Cruise Tour with the 3 Star Boat

1-Day Relaxing Li River Cruise Tour with the 3 Star Boat

$270
Per adult
Live Show of Impression Liu San Jie with Transfer Services
Image for Live Show of Impression Liu San Jie with Transfer Services

Live Show of Impression Liu San Jie with Transfer Services

$137
Per adult
Impression Sanjie Liu Show Ticket
Image for Impression Sanjie Liu Show Ticket

Impression Sanjie Liu Show Ticket

$55
Per adult

Reviews of Guilin

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
37
5 - Excellent 63.793103448275865%
4 - Good
18
4 - Good 31.03448275862069%
3 - Okay
2
3 - Okay 3.4482758620689653%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 1.7241379310344827%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 25, 2019

Great place to visit if you like natural scenary.

4/5 - Good

KK

Dec 4, 2019

Guilin Center has lots of small eateries, recommend to try local food. They are cheap and good.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 3, 2019

We enjoyed the pedestrian only area of downtown and the Li River cruise.

5/5 - Excellent

Jackie

Nov 17, 2019

I stayed in Yangshuo not Guilin proper

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 21, 2019

We were actually in Yangshuo which was very beautiful. The weather in October was great. Using the moped to drive around to see the scenic areas was really nice and convenient! The bamboo rafting was peaceful and scenic.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 30, 2019

A lot of fun things to do and good food to eat.