Category Archives: Guilin Overview

General Information About Guilin Tours and Travel Tips

Elephant Trunk Hill looks extraordinarily beautiful

Elephant Trunk Hill is called Xiàngbí Shān ( 象鼻山) in Chinese it is one of the main tourist attraction of the city. Its name derives from the circular cave (Water Moon Cave) going through the front of the mountain, making the Karst structure look like an elephant holding its trunk into the water.
A very popular destination, Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbi Shan) once appeared on Chinese currency bills. It is the symbol of Guilin, situated at the junction of Li River and Peach Blooming River in the center of Guilin city. It is a spectacular limestone karst hill, rising 55 meters over the river with naturally-shaped cave the bottom. It simply resembles an elephant dipping its snout into the river. At dusk, it looks extraordinarily beautiful. It is a masterpiece of karst landscape.

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The hill is in Elephant Trunk Hill Park. The trunk and body parts of the hill create a semi circle shaped gap called the Shuiyue Cave (Moon over the Water Cave). Water runs through the gap and at night creates a pretty image of a full moon with the reflection on the water which gives the cave its name and has been the inspiration for many Chinese stories and poems. There are important historical carvings and stone inscriptions in the cave which date back to the Tang dynasty (618-907) including a poem by Lu You, a great poet from ancient China.
The Puxian Pagoda on top of Elephant Trunk Hill was erected during the Ming Dynasty. It measures 14 meter in height and is shaped to represent the handle of a sword sticking out of the back of the Elephant after it has been killed. The Pagoda has two storeys, the second one with an inlay of the image of Bodhisattva Puxian (after which it is named). To get to the cave you have to take the stairs from the south-side of the mountain. From there it is also possible to continue the ascent to the top of the mountain where the Puxian Pagoda is located.
The most impressive feature of Elephant Trunk Hill is said to be the Shuiyue Cave (Moon over the Water Cave). It reflects of a round, moon like cave. The cave is between the elephant’s “trunk” and the “body”. On a moonlit night, the cave’s reflection looks like a full moon floating on the surface of the water. You will see an amazing sight of a moon in the sky, the moon in the hill and the moon on the water.


Guilin Weather and Climate Information

Guilin has a subtropical monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons. The climate in Guilin is characterized by heavy humidity. Summer in Guilin is humid and hot, while winter is cold and damp. Spring and autumn are short and warm. Rainfall happens all year round, though early summer is the rainy season, with May and June being the wettest months with about 350mm (14 in) each. November to March is relatively dry with about 50mm (2 in) per month. Snow is rare. The annual precipitation is 1926mm (80 inches).

The yearly average temperature is 19 °C (66 °F). The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 8 °C (46 °F), and the hottest month is July with an average temperature of 28 °C (82 °F). Though Guilin is suitable for traveling all year round, and the Li River has its beauty in all four seasons, the most popular travelling time is from April till October. Have a look at our Guilin Tour Packages and choose your time of travel.

Spring is from March to May, with frequent and sharp intervals of temperature changes. Spring is characterized with heavy humidity. It is generally warm with some rain, building up towards May, one of the wettest months. On rainy days, the rivers, pinnacles and the city itself are shrouded in mist, which is especially enchanting.

Summer is from June to August, usually hot and humid, but the beauty to be found outdoors is quite adequate compensation. The average temperature of summer is about 30 °C (86 °F). June is similar to May, but hot rather than warm in between the rain. There are occasional downpours in July and August.

Umbrella, sunglasses and sun screen are recommended. Wear summer clothes, such as shorts, T-shirts and skirts. Summer is considered peak season, when hotels typically raise their rates and more tourists fill the scenic spots.

Inside Reed Flute Cave, which is a fascinating gallery of natural limestone formations, there is pleasant cool away from the outdoor summer heat. A leisurely stroll at Seven Star Park to see the giant pandas is also very relaxing. Riding a bike in the Yangshuo countryside or hiking along the Li River are also ideal activities for the summer.

Autumn is from September to November, and is beautiful as the weather cools. The paddies of the Longji Rice Terraces are wonderfully golden in the harvest season at the end of September or beginning of October. In the mountains there is a big difference in temperature between day and night.

Winter is from December to February. It rarely snows in Guilin, though it feels very cold with the dampness, especially in January. There are sharp rises and falls of temperature within a few days. It can still be very pleasant when the sun is out. Low temperatures can approach zero (32 °F), but on warm days the thermometer can reach the high teens (60+ °F). Prepare down jackets, thick jeans, sweaters, scarves and umbrella. Locals wear thermal underwear all winter as there is no heating in most places. Winter is the low season, so Guilin is less crowded and it is cheaper to travel. The Chinese New Year usually falls in late January or early February. Streets of the city will be colorfully decorated for the event.

Yangshuo Sunset

Guilin, the most picturesque city in China

Guilin China

Yangshuo Town Sunset, Guilin City

As one of China’s most picturesque cities, Guilin is located in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Guilin Features for its stunning karst topography with Rivers and Moutains. You could take a bicycle to most of two-hundred-metre-high rocky hills and parks in Guilin or take Li River Cruises to Yangshuo town. The city is an attractive place to spend a day while organizing a cruise downstream, with plenty of well-designed landscaping, shady avenues and rocky parkland.

Main Attractions
Natural: Li River, Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave, Longji Terraced Fields, Xingping Ancient Town, Solitary Beauty Peak, Yulong River in Yangshuo, Moon Hill, Yao Mountain, Gudong Waterfall, Bajiaozhai Geography Park, Two Rivers and Four Lakes Water System
Adventure: Li River Hiking, Rafting Yangshuo’s Yulong River, Longmen Water Cave
Ancient: Ling Canal, ethnic villages in Longsheng, Qin Family’s Courtyard, Huangyao Ancient Town, Jiangtou Village of Jiuwu Town, Daxu Ancient Town, The Mausoleum of Jing Jiang Prince, Sanjiang Wind and Rain Bridge
Amusement: Merryland Theme Park, Yuzi Paradise, Seven Star Park and Zoo

A city region renowned for its scenic beauty in China

314 BC A small village existed at the site
214 BC The Ling Canal linked the Yangtze River and the Li River and Pearl River
507 AD The town was named Guizhou
1921 Became a base for the Northern Expeditionary Army
1981 Chosen by the government to be one of four especially protected cities

Significance of city: a favorite area for Chinese and foreign tourists
Municipality terrain: eroded limestone hills, the Li River and many streams and canals
Nearby cities: Liuzhou (152 km/95 mi), Nanning (388 km/ 241 mi), Beihai (600 km/373 mi)
Average altitude: 153 (502 feet)
Main rivers: Li River

Location Information

Municipality location: 24.20N to 26.07N, 109.61E to 111.24E; South China
Municipality Population: 5,000,000
Municipality Area: 27,809 sq km (10,737 sq mi)
Core districts and inner suburbs area: 1,000 sq km (386 sq mi)
City proper population: 1,340,000
City proper population density: 1,340/sq km (3,471/sq mi)
North to south distance (including suburbs): 28 km (17 mi)
East to west distance (including suburbs): 35 km (22 mi)
City center: Central Square (25.275 N, 110.296 E)
Average high temperature in August: 32.8 °C (91 °F)
Average low temperature in January: -5.4 °C (41.7 °F)
The weather is humid subtropical with monsoons; annual precipitation: 1901.3 mm (74.9 in).

Average annual income: 19,435 RMB (2,858 USD)
Development: developing; the city is open for foreign tourists and is famous for its scenery
Industry: 37.2 tertiary industry (tourism, service), 39% secondary (industry, construction), 18.9% primary (agriculture)
Business area: corner of Zhongshan Zhong Road and Jiefang Road (25.27N, 110.29E)
Shopping Streets: Zhongshan Zhong Road

(Photo By Chad Galloway Photogranphy)

Yangshuo West Street Shopping

Guilin Shopping: The What and Where to buy Guide


Article from China Highlights

Guilin is a relatively small city, and many of the shopping places are located along Zhongshan Road (中山路), a major road and city center of Guilin. Besides some big departments, there are also some interesting small markets and pedestrian streets. As a city famous for its beautiful landscape, Guilin is famous for landscape paintings, paper fans and some other art crafts and souvenirs.

Local Specialties

Guilin’s three treasures are Guilin Sanhua Liquor, Guilin Fermented Bean Curd and Guilin Chili Sauce. They are one of the top choices to buy when you visit Guilin. Because the name of Guilin literally means ‘Forest of Osmanthus’, there are many products made of or from the fragrant osmanthus (桂花, pronounced as /gway-hwua/), such as osmanthus tea and osmanthus sugar.

Luo Han Guo (罗汉果, pronounced as /lwo-han-kwo/ ), is a kind of dried brown fruit with round shape, hard but thin shell, and the size of a small orange. It is has long been used as a natural sweetener in China due to its flavor and lack of food energy. It has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine. Its inside soft substance is often used to make tea, which can relieve sore throat and chronic coughing. All the local specialties can be found in large supermarkets or local specialties stores.

Where to Buy

Clothes & shoes

Guilin Department Store, Dream Island Department Store and Sino-Japanese joint venture Niko Niko Do are the up-market department stores of the city. They all locate along Zhongshan Road from south to north. They offer clothes, shoes and bags with good quality. The three department stores all have food supermarkets on their underground floors. At Niko Niko Do, there is a small section selling imported foods, candies, chocolates, cheese and so on. Zhengyang Pedestrian Street next to city central square has some small boutiques selling ethnic crafts and clothes, and there are some restaurants with local Guilin food.

Bagui Building standing opposite city central square is very popular among local girls. It offers clothes and bags that are considered fashion by the local girls and are at reasonable prices. There is also an underground market called “Little Hong Kong” under the city central square. The underground market is a maze of alleys with lots of stalls selling not very good-quality clothes, bags, shoes and trinkets at low prices. Always remember to bargain unless when you are shopping at department stores.