Best Cities to Visit in China (IV): Guilin

Tag: Guilin

Best Cities to Visit in China (IV): Guilin

Best Cities to Visit in China: Guilin

 

Located in the southern province of Guangxi, Guilin is generally considered no more than a stopover on the way to more bucolic and scenic spots such as Yangshuo or the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces. Despite the urban setting, however, it's still a fantastical place with its distinctive limestone hills emerging above city's otherwise faceless apartments blocks. 

 

Aside from its scenery, Guilin is most well known outside China through Amy Tan's description in The Joy Luck Club – during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), over one million refugees took shelter in the city and its caves; the Japanese finally took control of Guilin in 1944. Its name (Forest of Osmanthus) derives from the fragrant osmanthus trees that grow here. 

 

Best Cities to Visit in China: Guilin

 

If you have some time to spend while waiting for onward transportation, visit one of several parks and peaks in the area, such as Seven Stars Park (七星公园), Elephant Trunk Hill (象鼻山), Solitary Beauty Peak (独秀峰), Wave Subduing Hill (伏波山), or Folded Brocade Hill (叠彩山). There are also a few caves located here, though they tend to be somewhat cheesy.

 

One of the most popular ways to head south to Yangshuo is via river cruise, but take note – the boats are large and generally crowed; you won't necessarily see the best of the river scenery this way. Some hostels and hotels in Yangshuo can arrange smaller boat trips ahead of time, which may be preferable.

 

Best Cities to Visit in China: Guilin

 

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