Guilin Travel Guide

Guilin Travel Guide: Attractions, Food, Weather, Hotels, Itinerary...

Lenn Liu
1225 Words/5 Minutes, By Lenn Liu, Updated June 25, 2024
Elephant Trunk HillElephant Trunk Hill

The following is used to describe Guilin, “The scenery of Guilin is the finest under the heaven.” Characteristic of green mountains, crystal clear waters, unique caves, and beautiful stones, Guilin is located northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is considered the pearl of China’s thriving tourist industry due to its natural wonder. Every year it attracts millions of visitors domestically and abroad.

The name of the city is translated as “the forest of sweet osmanthus trees,” which is true. Visitors can smell the fragrant osmanthus flowers throughout Guilin, particularly in August when the flowers bloom. With a population of about 5 million, it has an area of approximately 27,800 kilometers squared. The many ethnic minorities there include the Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao, Mulao, Maonan, and Dong. They’ve all contributed to the cultural fabric of the city.

Guilin is also an important cultural city with a history of more than 2000 years. The city has been the political, economic, and cultural center of Guangxi since the Northern Song Dynasty from A.D. 960 to 1127. In this cultural city, there are many places to explore.

Best Places to Visit


When we talk about traveling to Guilin, we mean the entire Guilin area, not just the city itself. So, where are the best places to visit in Guilin?

First is Yangshuo, known as the "Global Village on Earth," with its beautiful countryside, small picturesque peaks, and crystal-clear waters.

Second is the Longji Rice Terraces, renowned for their ancient and primitive terrace farming methods. You can admire the terraces' changing beauty across the seasons, hike through the area, and participate in activities like making bamboo tube rice with local residents.

Third is Guilin City, home to the world-famous Reed Flute Cave, the Elephant Trunk Hill which is its city emblem, the shining Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas, the colorful Two Rivers and Four Lakes, and vibrant night markets and the East-West Alley.

What to see in Guilin

Reed Flute CaveReed Flute Cave

There are various tourist attractions in Guilin City. Many parks downtown feature Li River, mountains, and caves. The towns near the city center also boast natural wonders. The most famous are YangshuoXingping, Longsheng, and Sanjiang(Liuzhou).

Li River flows through Guilin and is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. The crystal water of Li River, together with the gorgeous scenery on both sides, form a perfect view. The karst hills with various shapes stand erect along the river and are reflected in the water. One of the hills is called the Elephant Trunk Hill, which is an important symbol for Guilin. Countless artists, photographers, poets, and tourists have sought to visit.

Besides the splendid scenery, the Zhengyang Walking Street of Zhongshan Road in Guilin is the main walking street. There, visitors can experience the leisurely lifestyle of Guilin and enjoy local delicacies. At South Zhongshan Road in the city center, there is a night market after 7:30 p.m. every night. You can find almost anything there like souvenirs at low prices including antiques, scrolls, paintings, perfumes, toys, fans, Guilin specialties, and so on.

Top Things to Do in Guilin

YangshuoBiking in Yangshuo

Beyond the usual attractions, the best experiences in Guilin include cruising along the Li River, hiking or bamboo rafting on the Li River, trekking through the Longji Rice Terraces, bamboo rafting on the Yulong River, cycling in Yangshuo, trying rock climbing, and learning how to make bamboo tube rice.

The best season to visit Guilin

Best Time to Visit GuilinBest Time to Visit Guilin

In March, April and May, the Misty after Rain of the Li River is worth seeing. June, July and August are hotter months to visit, but acceptable; while from September to November, the air in Guilin gradually becomes a little drier, the rainfall decreases and the water in the Li River becomes clearer and more picturesque. The month from the end of September to the end of October sees the opening of the osmanthus blossoms, and you can smell their fragrance of them wherever you go in the city, which is refreshing. If you visit the Longji terraces at this time of year, you will also be able to experience the magnificent natural scenery and the joy of the harvest in its simplest form.

What to eat

YangshuoBeer Fish

Among the local delicacies of Guilin, the Rice Noodles should not be missed. There are many places serving Guilin Rice Noodles in downtown Guilin because it is what local people eat for breakfast. You can choose one of the restaurants to taste Guilin Rice Noodles like locals do and enjoy the unfamiliar taste.

Where to stay

Shangri La Hotel GuilinGuilin Shangri La

Guilin accommodation recommendations: international brand hotel recommendations Guilin Shangri-La Hotel, located on the Li River, about 15 minutes by taxi from Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, 20-30 minutes by bike; Sheraton Guilin is located on the Li River, 2 minutes away from Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, easy to wander around freely; Guilin Bravo Hotel is also well located, in front of Rong Lake, 10 minutes walk to Zhengyang Pedestrian Street; and Aroma Tea House boutique hotel is less than 100 metres from Guilin Bravo Hotel is also very popular with international travelers.

Guilin Travel Itineraries

Guilin Travel ItineraryGuilin Travel Itinerary

Best Guilin Travel Itinerary for your reference

Day 1: Arrive at Guilin

Day 2: Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo Hill, Diecai Hill, and Reed Flute Cave

Day 3: Morning Li River cruise to Yangshuo, West Street in the afternoon.

Day 4: One-day Yangshuo tour, Yulong River rafting, biking, cooking, taichi learning, rock climbing, or paddle boarding

Day 5: Drive to Longsheng Terraced Fields, visit the fields and villages, bamboo rice making, and stay overnight.

Day 6: Morning tour around, visit the Mahai village to learn the traditional paper making and drive to Guilin airport

Top Attraction in Guilin

Useful Guilin Travel Information

Lenn Liu

Hi, I’m Lenn Liu, if you like my article, please share it with your friends. Any sugguestions on this article, please contact me. Thanks!

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