Found in the south of China in the Guangxi Zhuang Region, Guilin is characterised by its fabulous kast hills and parallel lakes. It is a relatively small city with less than 2million people. Its name “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus” reflects the fragrant smell that envelopes you as you walk around the city with the copious Osmanthus trees lining the streets.
Today, Guilin has a steady tourist industry with many coming to admire its natural beauty along with the many sights around the city. Inundated with parks, hills, rock formations and caves, Guilin offers a diverse range of attractions for visitors.
Wonder around the lake-side pathways that streak through the heart of the city, then head to Jinjiang Prince’s Palace and Duxiu which will remind you of a small version of the famous Forbidden City. It was originally constructed for the Ming prince though is now a teachers training college.
Next on your list should be the Ludi Yan, the old hideout used during the Japanese invasion of the 1940s. After soaking in a bit of history, head to the Reed Flute Cave where tunnels wind for several hundred metres through Guangming Hill. Within are several rock formations illuminated with neon lights creating a fantastically bright display.
Elephant Trunk Hill is another spectacular sight; the rock formation can be personified to picture an elephant drinking from the water. Also the pagodas in the Fir Lake can look amazing in the late sun or lit up at night.
However it is the kast hills that are scattered throughout the city that get the most attention, most of which are under 200m in height.
Getting to Guilin is easy with the Guilin Liangjiang International Airport not far away from the city centre. Although it does not service many European areas, you can get here from most domestic regions. From the airport there are shuttles that can take you to Shanghai Road which leave in intervals of 30minutes. Other transportation methods include taking a train to the Guilin Train Station or one of the many busses.
Travelling in the thick of summer is not highly recommended as it can get very hot and humid. It is also a good idea to miss the monsoon period from March to August.
Staying in Guilin can be done in luxury or on a budget. Below are some hotels to look into when deciding where to stay.
Grand 0773 Hotel, a three star hotel in downtown Guilin
Guilin Bravo Hotel, a mere 10minute walk from the city centre
The Sheraton Guilin Hotel, a luxury hotel centrally located