Guilin Top 10 Sights - Global Storybook

Guilin: Top 10 Sights

Guilin, located in the Southwest region of China, is one of the most beautiful, historic and touristic cities in the country.  It’s a small city with a population of less than… 5 million, famous for its scenic, narrow limestone hills and the stunning river Li.  Despite its remote location – it can be easily accessed by a bus, train, or a plane, since it has its own major railway station, and a small international airport.

Included below are the top 10 sights to see in Guilin, though in addition to these – there are two famous day trips that are a must here: Li River Cruise and the Longji Rice Terraces.  You can book your day tours from one of the convenient, local operators spread across the entire city, and it will be much cheaper than paying for them online in advance.

1. Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbi Shan)

The Elephant Trunk Hill was named so because of its distinct shape that resembles a giant elephant drinking water.  According to an old legend, there was once a wounded God Elephant, who got lost and separated from his emperor.  Some of the locals saw him, and nourished him back to life.  When he recovered, the elephant quickly fell in love with the beautiful scenery of Guilin and decided to stay here for good.

Besides this interesting and unique hill, there’s a cave, a temple, several gorgeous pagodas, and a nice park surrounding the area, but in order to get inside one must buy an entrance ticket.  It is also possible to climb the hill, via concrete stairs that were built in there.  The views from the top are simply breathtaking and are definitely worth the steep ascent.

  • Address: Xiangshan
  • Time required: 1 hour or less
  • Hours of operation: April-October: 6:30am – 7:00pm; November-March: 7:00am – 6:30pm
  • Price: 70 Yuan

2. Sun and Moon (“Gold and Silver”) Pagodas

Located right on the Fir (Shanhu) lake, these beautiful, “twin” pagodas are especially gorgeous during the night time.  The taller of the two, the Sun Pagoda – at 41 meters (9 stories), is the highest bronze pagoda in the World.  The lower of the two, the Moon Pagoda is 35 meters (7 stories) high, and was made from colored glaze.

For a small entry fee – one can go up the pagodas to enjoy some spectacular views from above.  There are some small exhibits, and some beautiful Buddhist statues located on different floors leading up to the top.  In addition, there’s an underwater, glass tunnel, connecting the twins, and it is also possible to take a walk through it.

  • Address: Shanhu Lake, Guangxi Zhuangzuzizhiqu
  • Time required: 1 hour or less
  • Hours of operation: 8:00am – 5:30pm
  • Price: 35 Yuan to go inside

3. Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan)

Resembling a somewhat deliberate and grotesque Gaudi design, the Reed Flute Cave is one of the most strikings sights in China.  It is determined to be over 180,000 million (!) years old and it’s only accessible with an accompanied tour (provided at the site regularly, during specific time slots, though with Chinese language only).

Inside, the cave is lit up with numerous lights – from yellow, to green, to pink, there’s a multitude of colors.  It’s name is a combination of words – one coming from the reed that is growing outside, and another one because this reed was frequently made into flutes.  There’s also a very beautiful lake and a garden located right outside the cave, at its exit point.

  • Address: 1 Ludi Rd, Xiufeng Qu
  • Time required: 2-3 hours
  • Hours of operation: April-November: 7:30am – 6:00pm; December-March: 8:00am – 5:30pm
  • Price: 110 Yuan (entrance only); one-way (10 min) train ride to the entrance of the cave: 35 Yuan (if you decide to walk up – it will take around 30 minutes); taxi: 25-30 Yuan (one way) from the city center

4. Jingjiang Prince’s City

Prince Jingjiang was an emperor’s son whose palace was once built and located here, which was also home to 14 other successive princes.  It predates the Forbidden City by 34 years, and is now hosting Guangxi Normal University.  It’s beautiful design includes a majestic gate, followed by two palaces, all painted with predominantly yellow colors.  The charming park surrounding the two palaces (now campuses) is worth a sight too – as it also includes several very old, and historic trees.

  • Address: Zhonghua Rd, Xiufeng Qu
  • Time required: 1 hour or less
  • Hours of operation: 7:30am – 6:00pm
  • Price: 120 Yuan (includes access to the Guilin Solitary Peak – sight #5)

5. Guilin Solitary Peak (Duxiu Feng)

Located right inside the Jingjiang Prince’s City (sight #4), the Guilin Solitary Peak is a strikingly tall and narrow hill that offers amazing, panoramic views from its top observation peak.  The hill is about 217 feet (66 meters) high, and has several small Buddhist temples located on its summit.  In addition, there are several interesting caves located at the base of the hill, including: the Peace Cave, the Reading Cave, and the Snow Cave.

  • Address: Zhonghua Rd, Xiufeng Qu; inside the Jingjiang Prince’s City
  • Time required: 1 hour or less
  • Hours of operation: 7:30am – 6:00pm
  • Price: 120 Yuan (includes access to the Jingjiang Prince’s City – sight #4)

6. Fubo Hill and One Thousand Buddhas

The beautiful Fubo Hill (or Fubo Shan) is another beautiful, tall and narrow limestone hill located in the heart of Guilin, next to the river Li.  It is also possible to climb it and to reach the peak with its gorgeous, panoramic views, spreading across the entire city.  Standing at 203 feet (62 meters) high, the hill contains a very interesting cave, named “One Thousand Buddhas”, at it base.  The cave was named so because it includes a number of amazing statues of Buddha, carved from and into its walls.

In addition, there’s also the Pearl-Returning Cave (only accessible by a boat), the Sword-Testing Rock (a huge stone pillar), as well as the Tingtao Pavilion (Pavilion of Listen-to-Waves) located on the way to the summit.  This charming and scenic area is one of the most beautiful sights in Guilin, and it’s definitely worth its small admission fee.

  • Address: Guangxi Zhuangzuzizhiqu, Guilin Shi
  • Time required: 1 hour or less
  • Hours of operation: 7:30-8:00am – 6:00-6:30pm (depends on the season)
  • Price: 28 Yuan

7. Seven Star Park 

This huge park, taking over 1 square mile (or 2 square kilometers), was named after the seven peaks rising high, right from its heart.  Located not far from the city center, this beautiful park is a favorite hang-out spot among the locals, who come here to relax, exercise, meet up with friends, or just bring their kids to run around.

Inside the park there are several fun attractions, such as the Seven Star Cave, which is a bit similar to the Reed Flute Cave (sight #3), though it’s much smaller in size; the Flower Bridge, the Guihai Stele Forest, the Camel Hill, the Putuo Mountain, and others.  It is also home to numerous wild monkeys, though it is highly recommended to keep a good distance from them, as they are capable of attacking (and if you do see one running towards you – just make a big noise, tap your feet and wave your hands to scare it off).

  • Address: 1 Qixing Rd, Qixing Qu
  • Time required: 2-3 hours
  • Hours of operation: general hours: 6:30am – 9:00pm; Seven Star Cave: 8:00am – 5:00pm; Guihai Stele Forest: 8:30am – 5:30pm
  • Price: 70 Yuan

8. Riverside Walk

One of the most beautiful places in Guilin – the scenic riverside walk is located along the Binjiang Lu road, passing right through the middle of the city.  It’s a favorite place for an early morning tai chi exercise or a run, and an evening time street performance.  It is especially charming during sunset, once the city starts to slowly light up and come to life in the darkness.

  • Address: Binjiang Lu
  • Time required: 1-2 hours
  • Hours of operation: 24/7
  • Price: free

9. Xiao Yao Pagoda

This beautiful Buddhist pagoda was rebuilt and opened only recently, between 2015-2016, and it cannot be found on the Google map yet.  It stands in the place of the East Gate Tower, which was part of a city wall, during the Tang dynasty.  Located at the intersection of the Binjiang and Jiefang East roads, this gorgeous pagoda offers stunning panoramic views from above, as well as beautiful architectural design from within.  It’s free to enter and to roam around during its opening hours.

  • Address: intersection of the Binjiang and Jiefang East roads
  • Time required: 1 hour or less
  • Hours of operation: everyday: 8:30am – 8:30-9:00pm (depends on the season)
  • Price: free

10. Night Market 

There are several famous and lively night markets in Guilin and they are all amazing places to experience.  Though some are open since early afternoon – it is advisable to come here during night-time, when the markets explode with local activity.  The night markets mostly sell food and drink items and one can buy a variety of unique, local snacks – from deep fried shrimps to exotic fruits and baby milk shakes, and whatever else one can imagine.

  • Address: Yiren Road Pedestrian Street (at the intersection with Zhengyang Pedestrian street).
  • Time required: 1-2 hours.
  • Hours of operation: 3-5pm – 12:00am

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Guilin Top 10 Sights - Global Storybook

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