Located on the west bank of the dreamy Li River, Guilin is famous for being one of the most atmospheric towns in China. Guilin means ‘forest of osmanthus’ in English, you can find many osmanthus trees on every street of this city. Osmanthus flowers are pleasantly fragrant and used for making traditional Chinese tea. This name suggests a tranquil and rustic paradise for sightseeing, walking, photographing and cultural exploration activities. You will be amazed at Guilin’s usual caves, fascinating karst scenery, magnificent terraced rice fields and unspoiled ancient towns.

What to do in Guilin?

Cruise to Li River

Li River

Li River Scenic Area is one of the most stunning karst scenery in the world. The most suitable way to appreciate its beauty is taking a cruise. The 83-kilometer waterway from Guilin to Yangshou is splendidly spectacular and contains many exciting cruise routes in China. From the river’s banks, you will see breathtaking mountains, greenish hills, bamboo groves and rustic ancient towns. Remember to take photographs of scenic spots such as Mural Hill, Xingping Scenic Area, Yangdi Village and especially the scenery of Li River in mist.

Explore picturesque natural sceneries

  • Reed Flute Cave: 5 kilometers from the city center, Reed Flute Cave will take you to a dream fairytale with stunning karst caves. In this cave, stalactites and stalagmites are in various shapes and sizes, and they are sparkling with the multicolor lighting system.
  • Elephant Trunk Hill: Elephant Trunk Hill (or Elephant Hill) is located in the conjunction of Li River and Peach Blossom River. It has the same shape as an elephant stretching its long agile nose and drinking water from the river.
  • The Longji Rice Terraces: Located in Longsheng County, Longji Rice Terraces are one of the most breathtaking attractions in Guilin. The name ‘Longji’ means ‘Dragon’s backbone’ from which we can imagine the imposing beauty of human landscape engineering along the mountainside.

Discover ethnic culture and countryside life

West Street (Yangshuo Town)

China is famous for many rustic ancient towns, and Guilin, without exception, is the place where you can enjoy the atmospheric scenery of well-preserved old villages.

  • Daxu Ancient Town: 18 kilometers from the southeast of Guilin, Daxu Ancient Town contains several well-preserved ancient buildings which are worth-seeing for those who love digging the colorful culture of this city.
  • Yangshuo Town: 65 kilometers from the southeast of Guilin, Yangshuo Town is a popular destination for Western tourists. It is picturesque with turquoise rivers, limestone karsts, and traditional architecture. Not only natural sceneries, the colorful West Street is a famous spot for tourists with buying souvenirs, dining, entertaining and walking activities.
  • Shangri-la: 49 kilometers from Guilin and 16 kilometers from Yangshuo, Shangri-la is a showcase of a natural paradise. It is where you can begin to experience the Tibetan world.
Best time to travel to Guilin

Located in subtropical monsoon climate, Guilin weather is characterized by four distinct seasons with a high level of humidity. Guilin is suitable for you to visit any time a year. As Guilin is in the south of China, it will be warmer in winter here than in Beijing or Xian. It rarely snows in Guilin and if it snows, Longji Rice Terraces are an amazing destination to visit. The rainy season ranges from May to June (early summer). It is usually sultry and humid during summer with the average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. The driest time is from November to March.

The most popular time for local travelers to visit Guilin is from April to October. If you want to avoid the peak season, autumn (September to November) and winter (December to February) are the best time for you to discover this rustic city.

Guilin Travel Tips
  • Gulin offers 3-day visa-free transit for 51 countries including America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some countries in Europe. Furthermore, nationalities from 10 countries in ASIA are eligible for 6-day visa-free transit. So check if you are eligible or not.
  • As a tourist destination, local people can speak English at a decent level here. So don’t worry about language barrier when traveling to Guilin.
  • Don’t forget your camera. You will come across a lot of splendid sceneries and beautiful old towns in Guilin.
  • Prepare for the humidity: Keep an umbrella or raincoat in hand all the time. Bring a high-quality pair of shoes if you want to go trekking.