Cultural activities, what to experience in Guilin
Follow the meandering river into a fairy-tale landscape of conical limestone karsts; across the golden field and through ancient villages among sublime hills; catch the folk song resonant in the lofty mountain terraces; taste the mouth-watering Guilin rice noodles with its enchanting smell perpetuate the air. Beyond these, a kaleidoscope of experiences awaited you.
The cultural cultural activities and outdoors belowing listed are limited in Guilin city, there are more interesting cultural activities in Yangshuo, activities in Longsheng and activities in Sanjiang for your reference.
Chinese Cupping Therapy
- Duration: 20—30 minutes
If you are interested in traditional Chinese medicine, follow our guide and visit an old clinic in town. You will learn to identify some Chinese herbs available in store and study the principle of Chinese cupping. Chinese cupping therapy (bá guàn拔罐), which was practised even before Qin dynasty, involves placing heated cups on the skin to create suction that may stimulate blood flow and facilitate healing. Many believed that suction helps facilitate the flow of “qi” in the body. You can have a try of the cupping therapy here.
Daxu Ancient Town Home visit
- Duration: 1 hour
Daxu Ancient Town is a place worth visiting to empty your mind. Take some time to explore this idyllic town and visit a family living in an aged wooden house. Interact with the host, examine those stone and wood carvings in the house, and try out some traditional tools that have been used by generations.
Lion dance workshop
- Duration: 30 minutes/ 1 hour/ half a day
Lion dance is a traditional Chinese performing art. In the past, the Chinese believed that lion signifies courage, stability and power. In southern parts of China, it is performed as a ceremony to protect the people from bad luck and misfortune, while bring peace, good fortune and prosperity. The southern lion dance costume exhibits a wide variety of colour with the lion head having large eyes, a horn on its head and a mirror on the forehead.
In this session, you will spend half day follow the craftsman to paint and decorate a mini lion head (larger size takes days to finish). For those with packed schedule, decorating a painted lion head can be enjoyable too (30 minutes). Monkey face mask painting (1 hour) and cellophane sheet wrapped lantern making (1 hour) are also available in the workshop.
Making rice dumpling
- Type: Cultural Immersion/ Food
- Duration: 1.5 hour
- Location: Daxu Ancient Street
Rice dumpling, also known as Zongzi (zòng zi粽子) in Chinese, is a traditional Chinese food associated with Dragon Boat Festival, though nowadays it becomes a common food in daily life of the Chinese. It consists of parcel of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings depending on region, and is normally wrapped with bamboo leaves or tiger grass (Thysanolaena Latifolia leaves). Rice dumpling is either cooked by steaming or boiling in water. Generally, most Chinese rice dumplings are of palm size, but those in Guangxi Province are incredibly big, with some even filled with pig knuckle. Among all rice dumplings in Guilin, Chestnut stick rice dumpling is one of local’s favourite.
While in this journey, you will learn to make the rice dumpling of the normal size from a local. To make rice dumpling, you will need to soak the glutinous rice in water overnight before using (your host will prepare the soaked glutinous rice for you). This type of rice dumpling is filled with peanuts, red beans and Chinese bacon (Chinese Cured Pork Belly). After steamed or boiled in water, the flavour of these ingredients fuse together and the fats of Chinese bacon enrich the overall taste of rice dumpling.
After this session, you can even make Chinese rice dumpling at home for your family and be creative to change the ingredients to the ones you like, after all it’s still a rice dumpling! Please advise us if you have any dietary restrictions or preferences while making your booking.
Making straw shoes
- Type: Cultural Immersion/ Art & Architecture
- Duration: 1-2 hours
- Location: Daxu Ancient Town
Archaeologists found that as early as 7,000 years ago, Chinese had learned to make daily objects from plant fibre and grass. Those raw materials can be used to make straw shoes. Straw shoes is one of the earliest styles of shoes worn by Chinese people. It is more affordable and the materials can be easily found, thus, was worn by almost all Chinese before other types of shoes were invented. Even today, in some places, local still weave straw shoes for daily use. If you are interested to know how to make straw shoes, a local will lead you through most of the steps and make straw shoes of your size.
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