From per adult
Excursion recommended by our Discovery centre.
Guilin is a jewel in the crown of China's tourist attractions, famous amongst other sites for its magnificent karstic formations and superb River Li.
Guilin means "Forest of Sweet Osmanthus", because of the numerous osmanthus trees that line the streets of the city.
Its history goes back to the Qin Dynasty, which established Guilin County in 214 BC.
Today it is a melting pot of cultures including the Zhuang, Miao, Yao and Dong peoples.
Whether it be a ferry ride down the River Li, a tour of the fabulous karst formations, a stroll through the terraced rice fields of Longji, moon watching on Elephant Hill, a visit to the hippy paradise of Yangshuo or a traditional meal of rice noodles in downtown Guilin, the city has plenty to offer the visitor who takes the time out to explore.
Elephant Hill is at the confluence of the Rivers Li and Yang. It resembles an elephant drawing water from the River Li with its trunk.
At the top of the hill is a Ming Dynasty brick tower, called the Bottle Tower or Sword Guard Tower. Between the "trunk" and the "body" of the mountain is the famous Water Moon Cave. When the moon is bright, you can see the reflection of the cave in the water.
The grandiose show, "Impressions of Sanjie Liu", is a monumental project created by the Li River Mountain-Water Theatre. It expresses the beautiful scenery of the River Li, the colourful cultures of the Guangxi peoples, and the imagination of Chinese artists.
The largest natural stage in the world stretches for 2 kms along the river, with a backdrop of 12 mountain peaks. Light and smoke effects create a dreamlike world, and the sound system uses the echo of the mountains to give a natural stereophonic effect.
The performance includes classical songs of Sanjie Liu and elements of the various cultures, integrating the lights of the fishermen on the river to reflect harmony between man and nature. The show lasts around 1 hour.
Located north-west of Guilin, this cave - which gets its name from the reeds that grow near its entrance, that were used to make flutes - is a magnificent example of a limestone karst cave.
It measures 500 by 240 metres, and it takes an hour to complete the tour.
It used to be a section of underground river, until movements of the earth's crust produced the cave, with its numerous stalactites, stalagmites and stone pillars of curious shapes with fanciful names such as "Dawn in the Lion Hill", "Crystal Palace" and "The Hill of Flowers and Fruit".
Many Chinese political leaders visit the cave, and over 80 foreign heads of State have admired the beauty of this karst formation. It is one of the most famous sites in the whole of China, a veritable "Art Gallery of Nature" and a must for visitors to the region.
Excursion recommended by our Discovery centre.
The River Li originates at Cat Mountain in Xing'an Country, and flows 437 kms via Guilin, Yangshuo, Pingle and Wuzhou into West River.
Between Guilin and Yangshuo, the Li winds like a jade ribbon through elegant hills and spectacular landscapes, summits and bizarrely shaped cliffs that reflect in the mirror of its crystal-clear waters.
These hundreds of kilometres of natural art gallery have inspired numerous artists and writers who have celebrated their fabulous beauty in their works.
In the Orient, Shangri-la represents "the ideal place", the equivalent of the Elysium or heaven in the west. This "kingdom of Guilin" is a 20-minute bus ride from Yangshuo, along the Guiyang Road. Its landscapes are "naïve and natural", and the points of interest can be divided into three categories:
1 km (0.6 miles) from the town centre, every evening 600 actors participate in an outdoor performance of "the Third Sister Liu".
In the county of Longsheng, north-west of Guilin, in the mountains located at 1,916 metres, is a 70 sq metre zone of rice terraces encompassing 5 traditional villages: Jinjiang, Ping'an, Longji, Zhonglu and Dazhai. The scenic area includes the Jinkeng Yao, Dazhai Yao and Ping'an Zhuang Minority Rice Terrace Areas, and the numerous points of interest include:
Over 1,400 years old, "West Street" is also known as "Foreigners Street".
The waiters in the numerous bars, restaurants and Internet cafes, shop assistants in the craft shops, and even the grandmothers selling the apples from their garden in the street, all speak excellent English!
West Street is a total experience where western lifestyle exists alongside the simplicity of Chinese country life.
Local specialities such as rice noodles and sticky rice cake co-exist alongside Italian coffee and western cuisine; traditional Chinese painting survives alongside Chinese, English, French, Italian and Spanish fashion. The kilometre long street is a fabulous mix where visitors can find whatever they're looking for in terms of leisure.
With friends or on your own, take a book and some CDs, switch off your phone and relax with a cup of tea or coffee and listen to some good music in a great environment.
It's the main street of Yangshuo, perfect for taking a stroll, doing some shopping and enjoying a coffee at a pavement cafe...
Excursions should be booked on the premises at the Discovery desk
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