A sightseeing trip to Guilin, China, promises breathtaking natural beauty and cultural wonders. Start by exploring the iconic Li River, well-known for its breathtaking karst landscapes and scenic cruises. The Elephant Trunk Hill, resembling an elephant drinking from the river, is a must-visit landmark. The Reed Flute Cave captivates with its intricate limestone formations illuminated by colorful lights. For a panoramic view of the city, climb the Folded Brocade Hill or visit the Seven Star Park, home to a zoo and ancient rock carvings. Don’t miss the charming ancient town of Daxu and the cultural hub of Yangshuo, with its lively West Street. Day trip to the Longji Rice Terraces is a must do from Guilin

Best Time To Visit Guilin

The best time to visit Guilin is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) seasons. These months offer pleasant weather with mild temperatures and less rainfall, allowing you to enjoy the area’s natural beauty fully.

During Spring

The landscape is adorned with blooming flowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque atmosphere. The temperatures are comfortable, ranging from around 59°F to 77°F (15°C to 25°C).

In Autumn

Furthermore, the weather in this season is mild, making it even more pleasant to explore the area. Additionally, the foliage undergoes a beautiful transformation, displaying vibrant autumn colors that create breathtaking views of the surrounding karst mountains and the Li River. Moreover, the temperatures during this season range from approximately 59°F to 82°F (15°C to 28°C), ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for visitors.

Both spring and autumn are popular among tourists for outdoor activities, such as hiking, cruising along the Li River, and exploring the scenic spots in Guilin. It’s advisable to check the weather forecast and plan your visit accordingly to ensure the best experience.

Things To Do And See in Guilin

In Guilin City, there are several must-see attractions and sights to explore. Here are a few:

Elephant Trunk Hill Park 

The park is named after the iconic Elephant Trunk Hill, a natural rock formation resembling an elephant drinking water from the Li River. Climb the Pishuang Pavilion atop Elephant Trunk Hill, which offers breathtaking panoramic scenery of the Li River and Guilin cityscape. Explore the limestone Water Moon cave beneath Elephant Trunk Hill, known for its unique rock formations and sparkling reflections on the water.

The beautiful landscape of Guilin

Sun and Moon Pagodas

Marvel the Sun and Moon Pagodas, also known as the Twin Pagodas, are iconic landmarks on Shanhu Lake in Guilin. These pagodas illuminate at night. The Sun Pagoda stands at 41 meters, while the Moon Pagoda reaches 35 meters. Their unique shapes and intricate details make them a sight to behold. Take a stroll around the lake, rent a paddleboat, or relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere. The surrounding gardens and pathways offer beautiful views and photo opportunities.

Sun And Moon Pagodas in Shanhu Lake
View of the Sun And Moon Pagodas in Shanhu Lake (Shan Lake) in Guilin

Folded Brocade Hill (Diecai Hill)

Diecai Hill is renowned for its scenic beauty and abundant greenery. Additionally, it offers a multitude of hiking trails, winding pathways, and hidden nooks to explore. As you embark on your hike, you’ll be immersed in the refreshing atmosphere and serene surroundings. The hill provides captivating vistas of the cityscape and the majestic mountains that encompass it. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Thousand-Buddha Cave, an extraordinary attraction nestled within Diecai Hill. As you ascend to the hilltop viewpoints, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Guilin and the mesmerizing Li River. Make sure to have your camera ready to capture the awe-inspiring landscapes, whether it’s the sprawling cityscape, the meandering river, or the dramatic karst mountains. For an even more breathtaking experience, plan your visit during sunrise or sunset, when the view becomes even more spectacular.

View of Guilin from the hilltop

Visit The Reed Flute Caves

The Reed Flute Caves in Guilin is a mesmerizing natural attraction known for its unique limestone formations and stunning underground scenery. The cave system is illuminated by colorful lights, enhancing the magical atmosphere. The caves have excellent natural acoustics, and visitors may have the opportunity to hear local musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments inside the caves. The Reed Flute Caves are located within a scenic park area, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Reed Flute Caves in Guilin
Underground lake in Reed Flute Caves in Guilin, China

Visit Zhengyang Pedestrian Street

Zhengyang Pedestrian Street in Guilin is a bustling hub with shops, boutiques, restaurants, and street food stalls. As you stroll along, enjoy the lively atmosphere and sample Guilin’s local cuisine, including rice noodles, spicy dishes, and local snacks.

Visit Local Markets

Immerse yourself in Guilin’s local culture by visiting the lively markets. For instance, you can explore Yangshuo West Street Market or indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of Guilin Night Market. At these bustling markets, you can savor local delicacies and browse through a wide range of shops to find unique souvenirs.

Visit Fuboshan Park and Fubo Hill

Fubo Hill, a picturesque and historic landmark, boasts stunning natural scenery. As you ascend the hill, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the Li River and the surrounding karst landscape, distinguished by its unique limestone formations. One of Fubo Hill’s highlights is the Fubo Hill Cave, also known as the Pearl-Returning Cave, where you can admire various Buddhist sculptures and carvings within the natural limestone cave. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Fubo Hill offers an array of opportunities to appreciate Guilin’s beautiful landscape, delve into its historical heritage, and more.

Fubo hill
Guilin, China – circa July 2015: Panorama of Guilin and its karst mountains from Fubo hill

The Camel hill at Seven star park

Seven Star Park is a famous landmark in Guilin; visit the Sheli Pagoda, also known as Seven-Star Cave Pagoda. It is a stunning seven-story pagoda in the scenic park, renowned for its karst caves. Exploring the cave system can be exciting, revealing stunning rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites.

Seven stars national park
Seven stars national park in Guilin

Take a Bamboo Rafting Trip

Enjoy a peaceful bamboo rafting trip along the Yulong River, enjoying the serene countryside and picturesque scenery. As you glide along the gentle currents of the Yulong River, you’ll absorb a tranquil and idyllic setting. The river is flanked by stunning karst mountains, lush greenery, and picturesque landscapes that create a postcard-perfect backdrop. The serene ambiance and pristine surroundings offer a peaceful retreat from bustling city life. The Yulong River is known for its breathtaking views and scenic landscapes. Floating along, you’ll experience panoramic vistas of limestone peaks, verdant forests, and charming rural villages.

Li River, Guilin, China
The Li River in Guilin
Li River, China
Bamboo rafting starting point in Li River

Take a Li River Cruise

Embark on a scenic cruise along the Li River and immerse yourself in the breathtaking karst landscape featuring limestone peaks and tranquil waters. The journey from Guilin to Yangshuo takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in China. Limestone karst peaks rise majestically from the emerald waters, creating a breathtaking backdrop. The picturesque scenery, with its serene rivers, lush greenery, and unique rock formations, is a feast for the eyes and offers countless opportunities for photography.

As you approach Yangshuo, you’ll encounter charming riverside villages that provide a glimpse into the local way of life. The villages are surrounded by picturesque rice paddies and traditional architecture, offering a taste of rural China. You may witness farmers tending to their fields or fishermen going about their daily routines, giving you a sense of the authentic local culture.

Li River Cruise to Yangshuo
Early morning Li River Cruise to Yangshuo
Li River, Yangshuo
Breathtaking karst landscape surrounding Li River

Wander through Yangshuo

Explore the vibrant town of Yangshuo, surrounded by picturesque landscapes—Stroll along West Street, filled with shops, cafes, and a lively atmosphere. The Li River Cruise culminates in the vibrant town of Yangshuo, where you can explore the famous West Street. The “Foreigners’ Street” is a bustling hub filled with shops, restaurants, and bars. You can stroll along the vibrant street, browse for souvenirs, sample local delicacies, and experience the unique fusion of Chinese and Western influences.

You can rent a bicycle and explore the countryside at your own pace, take a bamboo rafting trip along the Yulong River, or attend a traditional cormorant fishing demonstration.

Yangshuo, China
Sightseeing in Yangshuo

Visit Longji Rice Terraces

A visit to the Longji Rice Terraces is an amazing experience that takes you into the heart of Guangxi’s beautiful mountain landscapes. Firstly, these terraces, resembling steps carved into the mountains, create a breathtaking scenery that changes with the seasons. Moreover, in addition to the stunning views, you’ll also get to immerse yourself in the unique cultures of the Zhuang and Yao ethnic groups who live in these villages. Furthermore, you can interact with the friendly locals, learn about their traditional clothing, crafts, and customs, and even enjoy traditional song and dance performances.

Longjie, China
Terraced fields at Longji village, a wonder in the world
also known as Longji Rice Terraces
The Longsheng Rice Terraces(Dragon’s Backbone)/Longji Rice Terraces

Additionally, don’t forget your camera, as the Longji Rice Terraces offer endless photo opportunities. With each season offering a different perspective, you’ll be able to capture unforgettable moments. Lastly, whether you’re a professional photographer or simply love taking pictures, the Longji Rice Terraces will leave you mesmerized.

Where to stay in Guilin, China

Travel light Guilin

Located in Guilin and with Guilin Train Station reachable within a 7-minute walk, Travel Light Guilin is around one mile from Elephant Trunk Hill, 1.4 miles from Gunanmen Gate, and 2.5 miles from Zhengyang Pedestrian Street. The hotel features family rooms. Seven Star Park is 2.7 miles from Travel Light Guilin, while Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas is 2.9 miles away. The nearest airport is Guilin Liangjiang International, 17 miles from the accommodation, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

Riverside Wing Hotel Guilin 

Located in Guilin, a 6-minute walk from Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, Riverside Wing Hotel Guilin -New has accommodations with a shared lounge, private parking, a terrace, and a restaurant. The hotel features a bar and is close to several noted attractions, around a 13-minute walk from Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas and around half a mile from Lijiang Theatre. The area is famous for cycling, and car rental is available at Riverside Wing Hotel Guilin -New. The nearest airport is Guilin Liangjiang International Airport, 19 miles from the accommodation.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Guilin, China? Any cool tips to share?

I loved being in Guilin, China, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit China.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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