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Guilin Travel Guide

Guilin Travel Guide 2024

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Located in the northeast part of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, with an average elevation of 150m, Guilin is a world famous scenic city as well as a historic and cultural city. Guilin features typical karst landforms: mountains stand in thousands of postures, Li River is clear as a mirror, and caves are filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Everything in Guilin is just the classic represent of Chinese natural scenery. Hence it enjoys a reputation – “Guilin’s scenery is the best under heaven” since ancient times. Besides the beautiful scenery, Guilin is also the home to a dozen of ethnic minorities, including Zhuang, Yao, Miao and Dong, great chance to see the unique folk customs of the ethnic minorities.

Why visit Guilin:

  • Numerous Scenic Attractions - Except the typical karst landform scenery, like the scenery along Li River and Yulong River, there are many other attractions, like Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, Daxu Old Town and Longsheng Rice Terraces. The attractions of Guilin are so diverse that one will never be bored of Guilin.
  • Rich Minority Culture - Guangxi has the largest ethnic population in China and houses over a dozen of ethnic minorities. There are all kinds of ethnic festivals and activities all year round, and travelers can experience the ethnic architectures, cultures and unique folk customs in here.

Travel News: 72 hours visa-free travel in Guilin was made possible from July 28th, 2014 for 51 countries, including US, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, Australia… >>Learn More about Guilin 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit

Top Attractions

Generally, the attractions in Guilin can be divided into three parts. Attractions in and around Guilin city center include Li River, Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave…Yangshuo County has Yulong River, Moon Hill and Big Banyan Tree and so on. The third part is Longsheng Rice Terrace scenic spot, and there is also great place to experience ethnic culture. For more Guilin attraction information, please see All Attractions in Guilin.

Li River
Li River

Reputed as “Hundred miles of Li River, hundred miles of art gallery”, landscape along Li River is the essence of Guilin karst landforms…


It’s called the most beautiful county in China. Idyllic scenery along Yulong River tops in Guilin, and it’s also the perfect combination of western and Chinese culture…

Longsheng Rice Terraces
Longsheng Rice Terraces

Built in Ming Dynasty and with a history over 650 year, the terraced fields are the best embodiment of the diligence and wisdom of ethnic people…

Elephant Trunk Hill
Elephant Trunk Hill

Elephant Trunk Hill is a hot attraction and landmark of Guilin. Beautiful natural views merged with valuable cultural landscape make it a fascinating place everyone longs for…

Reed Flute Cave
Reed Flute Cave

It's well-known as "the Palace of Natural Arts" with multicolored lights artificially illuminating inside the distinctive karst cave…

Xingping Ancient Town

Xingping is located in Yangshuo with over 1730 years' history, and it has been a nameless fishing village until two presidents visited here respectively…

Daxu Ancient Town
Daxu Ancient Town

Daxu Ancient Town, over 1,800 years old, is the best market town in Guangxi Province with well kept antique flagstone roads, bridge, dwellings, etc.

Yao Mountain (Yaoshan)
Yao Mountain (Yaoshan)

Yao Mountain (yáo shān 尧山), or called Mount Yao, is the largest and highest mountain in Guilin city area and the home to the grand Mausoleums of Jingjiang Princes.

Huashan Rock Art

Entitled as a magnificent World Heritage Site, it is famous for the numerous ancient cliff murals and spectacular karst landscape…

Lingqu Canal

Excavated in the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC), Lingqu Canal is one of the oldest canals in the world, connecting Xiang River and Li River in Guilin…

Weather & When to Go

Guilin Weather

Featured in subtropical climate, Guilin is blessed with a mild climate and plenty of rainfall. Average temperature is around 19℃ and the average annual rainfall is about 1900 millimeters. There is no bitter cold in winter and no brutal heat in summer.

Best time to visit Guilin is from April to October. However, each season has its unique beauty. In the late spring and early summer, Guilin will enter into a rainy season; this is the great time to see rainy and misty Li River, just like the scene from classic Chinese painting. In summer time, the sunshine is very great, and it’s the best time to experience the azure sky and peaceful and crystal-clear Li River and Yulong River. In autumn, the weather is cool and fresh, and the air transparency will reach its peak around the year, so it’s great time to shoot beautiful photos. Though winter is off-season, you can see snowy Longsheng Terraces if you are lucky.

Learn more about Guilin Weather>>


Guilin Railway Station

Get to Guilin

By Flight: Guilin Liangjiang International Airport 28km from the city center, and it has over 30 domestic airlines with most of the big cities and some international airlines, including Hong Kong, Macau, Fukuoka, Cheju, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore…

By Train: Guilin Railway Station is just in the city center, and regular trains to most cities in China will stop here. Guilin North Railway Station and Guilin West Railway Station both need about 35 minutes to drive from the city center. You could take high speed trains from Guiyang (30 trains during 09:53~20:54 for 2.5-3 hours), Kunming (3 trains during 09:47~14:48 for about 5-8 hours), Guangzhou (49 trains during 07:00~20:43 for about 2.5-3 hours), Beijing (2 trains during 10:34~12:09 for about 10.5 hours), Zhengzhou (5 trains during 09:59~15:35 for about 7-7.5 hours), Wuhan (7 trains during 08:00~18:24 for about 5 hours), Changsha (13 trains during 08:00~18:24 for about 3.5 hours), Nanjing (2 trains during 12:28~13:26 for about 9.5-10 hours), Nanning 34 trains during 07:43~19:59 for about 2.5-3 hours), Hezhou (44 trains during 07:35~20:51 for about 1-1.5 hours), Shenzhen (4 trains during 09:07~17:55 for about 3-3.5 hours), and will stop here.

Getting Around

In Guilin center, regular bus and taxi are good choice to travel. While in Yangshuo or Longsheng, chartered minibus is also popular among traveler for its flexibility. The most special transportation vehicles in Guilin are the cruise boat, motor-driven raft and bamboo raft. They are the best vehicle to travel Li River and Yulong River. To travel along the country road, bicycle is your first choice for its low rent and high flexibility.

Learn more about Guilin Transportation>>


Guilin has various kinds of hotels, from international hotel to family inn. International brands like Sheraton and Shangri-La can also be found in here. Most of the accommodation is centered in the city center. It’s not suggested to stay around Guilin Railway Station and Bus Station, for swindling money out of customers may happen in here. For independent travellers, youth hostels are good choice for its unique decorations and budget price. The government allows the hotels to raise price in travel peak time (about 10 days before and after May 1st, October 1st and Spring Festival). So if you want to save some accommodation fees, just avoid these periods.

Learn more about Guilin Hotels>>

Other Scenic Destinations in China

Besides Guilin, China offers you with many other scenic destinations, such as Zhangjiajie, Jiuzhaigou, Yangtze River and Huangshan. Check the following for detailed information.

Chinese Name: 桂林

Chinese Pinyin: Guì Lín

English IPA: ['ɡweilin]

Population: 5.2 million

Language: Mandarin & Guilin Dialect

Tel Code: 0773

Zip Code: 541000

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Plan your Guilin Tour

Normally, travelers will need 3 ~ 5 days to explore the highlights of Guilin, including Li River, Yangshuo County, Longsheng Rice Terraces, Elephant Trunk Hill… Travelers who have limited time can only visit the essence of Li River and Yangshuo, and this will spend at least two days.

For those who enter into China from Hong Kong, Guilin can be the next destination, for the distance between the two cities is relatively close. As for other destinations, like Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Chengdu are often added into the itinerary after Guilin Tour by travelers.

Travel with China Discovery

We have helped many global travelers enjoy their memorable trips to Guilin for the past few years. Among them, Vijay's family and friends have traveled China for about 20 times with us and visited Guilin for many times, and also shared us their travel story. Travel with China Discovery to create your wonderful Guilin trip memories!

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