Explore Guilin – that should be your mantra when in this city. Explore the city, villages, and scenery, wind along rivers, check out the flora and fauna, and snoop around what makes up the Guilin culture and traditions. The place is too far away not to delve deeper. So don’t rush around sights and not understand. Here is a list of attractions which we suggest for you to visit. It would be best if you do your part and appreciate each of them thoroughly.
1) Li River
This could perhaps be the main attraction of Guilin. The river will take you to its scenic twists and turns, each of its side teeming with lush green and imposing mountains. See the colors reflect of its surface by the edge, or take the popular short cruise through the river to the nearby Yangshuo. The cruise makes several stops to allow you a rich cultural experience.
2) Reed Flute Cave
This cave is open from 8 in the morning until 5:30 in the evening. It is one of Guilin’s most impressive sights. The cave ceiling is an imposing masterpiece of stalactites and stalagmites among other rock formations. The place comes alive as electrifying colors illuminate the cavernous interior. Reed Flute Cave keeps attracting tourists who enjoy its unique geographic sculptures.
3) Elephant Trunk Hill
It is a sight that has become Guilin’s icon. The Elephant Trunk Hill stands right between the Yang and Li rivers. After observing the artistic structure of the narrow path and the image it casts on the water you might want to explore the top of the hill where you will find the ancient Samantabhadra Tower. You can visit this area until 6:30 in the evening.
4) Seven-Star Park
To the east of the Li River you will find this impressive park, the largest in the city. Its unique stone forest, luxuriant vegetation and diverse animals attract many visitors year after year. Here you can see the imposing Flower Bridge and the mountains. You can also enter a cave, a popular one is Xuanfeng Cave. This cave stands right on Putuo Mountain. By the mountain you will also find a very unique sight – the “Tombs of 800 Heroes”. Saunter deeper into the park and find a zoo and some teahouses. Make sure to go by one of the bonsai gardens, a staple part of going to the park. You could say that the gardens came out of man’s unusual creativity in perfecting nature’s beauty. If only man and nature could always go together as harmoniously as this showcase of floral sculpture.
Near Guilin you will find Yangshou, a place to explore Chinese culture and to get lost in. Photographers and artists envy its natural beauty and landscape. They visit it through different seasons hoping to capture its many varied colors and tones, and they never get enough of it. Raft along the river, visit traditional villages, partake of their food, know their culture and tradition, and hike or wander around the town; the opportunities are simply endless.
Where to Eat
Guilin’s local cuisine is something you can’t go home without trying. Rice noodles and an impressive variety of soups are just the introductory part of Guilin’s extensive and tasty array of specialties. Guilin is a city full of restaurants and tasty traditional dishes. You would even find your comfort western food, if you miss them once in a while. We have provided a list for your ready reference.
1) Wei Xiang Restaurant
Certainly, you’d want to know where the best rice noodles can be had. You simply have to see Guilin’s signature dish. Wei Xiang Guan is the place to go. It specializes in China’s signature cuisine; you’ll be impressed and pleased with their traditional flavor. This establishment is open from 10 in the morning until late into the night.
Address: Zhongshan Lu, Guilin
2) Haodama Food Plaza
This enormous restaurant looks like it offers all one can think of. The food ranges from Chinese and Japanese to regular western meals and snacks. They also have a wide display of the staple local dishes. Ingredients are visible to the costumer, so you know exactly what you are eating.
Address: Bagui Mansion, Xiufeng District, Guilin
3) Zhengyang Tang Cheng
If you want to try one of the finest tasting Cantonese soups, this is the place. No matter what soup you have in mind, you will find one that would capture your taste buds from their more than 30 options. Zhengyang also serves a variety of Chinese dishes. They provide tourists with English menus for an easier but no less exciting gastronomic experience. The multicolored building will beckon on you and make you grateful you came in.
Address: Zhengyang Road, Xiufeng District, Guilin
McFound serves traditional Chinese food, and is the ideal place for a succulent dish of wheat noodles. The place is a vivid incarnation of Chinese culture. Relish your meal in this restaurant and its relaxed atmosphere that both locals and the tourists immensely enjoy.
Address: East Chuanshan Road, Guilin
5) Meiyou Restaurant
When you are in the historic town of Yangshou, as most Guilin tourists meander, make sure to stop by this nice restaurant and bar. It serves delicious traditional Chinese food and exudes a very friendly atmosphere. The menu also includes western dishes interpreted in their unique cookery, some are even tastier than the last time you had them back home. After you eat, enjoy a refreshing drink before leaving.
Address: West Street, Yangshuo