What to Do during Your Free Time in Guilin & Yangshuo 2020

Guilin is a land of glamor and graces, featuring its never-ending tall and sharp weathered karst hills surrounded by tranquil rivers. The wonderful karst scenery there even enjoys the great reputation of the best under the heaven! Usually, almost every tourist exploring Guilin will spend about several days to visit its landmarks, such as the Reed Flute Cave and Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin city area, Ten-mile Gallery (Moon Hill, Big Banyan Tree, etc.) and Yulong River in Yangshuo Countryside and Longji Terraced Field in Longsheng County.

However, no matter you are touring Guilin by yourself or follow a travel agency you will definitely have free hours in your journey. For example, you may have half-day free time on your arrival or departure day in Guilin, or you may have free night hours after the day tours. So, what to do during such free times? This guide lists some other fantastic things to do during your free time in Guilin and Yangshuo, so you can select your favorite activities and create more experience to fully explore the beauty and charm of Guilin!

What to Do During Free Time in Guilin

Guilin city area is usually your first or last stop of your Guilin tour. Sometimes, it also comes as a transfer hub of your Longsheng to Yangshuo or Yangshuo to Longsheng tour. As such a vital point of your journey, you may spend many free times there. Find more things to do after reading below information and create more memory in Guilin!

Go on a Short Local Dishes & Snacks Tour

Recommended Hours: 1-3 hours

Restaurants can be found at almost every street of Guilin city area, serving the specialties like Guilin Rice Noodles, River Snails Rice Noodles (Luosifen), and also other popular Chinese dishes like Spicy Diced Chicken with Peanuts (Kung Pao Chicken), Yu-Shiang Shredded Pork, etc. Pick the one at your first sight and try some real local dishes must be a unique and interesting experience. However, those “small” restaurants may not provide English service. If you want more surprise without language barrier, head the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (正阳步行街), where have many restaurants with menu in English and using pictures. Besides, you can check our most popular Top 10 best Guilin restaurants to get inspired.

Top Popular Related Guilin Tour:
>> 5 Days Guilin Food & Scenery Tour

Guilin Rice Noodles Guilin Rice Noodles

Cruise the City Two Rivers and Four Lakes or Wake Around

Recommended Hours: 1-3 hours

Two Rivers and Four Lakes are the vital vein of Guilin city. No matter you are in Guilin at your first time or not, you can have a leisurely walk or cruise around this scenic area. Walking around is recommended at both day and night hours, while cruising is more suggested at the night. When the night falls, the whole scenic area, especially the Sun and Moon Pagodas Area, is decorated with colorful lights, making it more charming and appealing.

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Sun and Moon Pagodas Sun and Moon Pagodas

Get around Guilin's Parks and Mountains

Recommended Hours: 1-3 hours or a whole-day tour

The whole Guilin city is established among mountains, lakes and rivers. Therefore, you can find so many hills and parks in the city area. Among all those mountains, you are more recommended to visit Diecai Hill to appreciate the beautiful sunset, to Yaoshan (Yao Mountain), the highest hill in city area, to have a panorama view of the city and other karst hills. Besides, there is a Solitary Beauty Peak inside the most famous Jingjiang Prince City Scenic Area, which was built on the site of the mansion of the Prince Jingjiang in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). If you want to visit a historic site with typical representation of the culture and also the stunning limestone karst scenery of Guilin, that must be the top recommended places.

In addition to the hills, lingering around parks in Guilin is always a rewarding experience. Seven Stars Park (Qixing Gongyuan), which is the largest park in Guilin and enjoys the greatest popularity among the tourists, is a highly advised place to spend your morning or afternoon hours. The whole scenic area consists of the park, a zoo (Guilin Zoo) a cave (Seven Star Cave), and some famous hills like Camel Hill, Putuo Mountain and Crescent Mountain… The Guilin Zoo inside the park even has about 2 adorable pandas and several red pandas living there!

Useful Link:
>> Where to See Pandas in China

Jingjiang Prince City Jingjiang Prince City
Diecai Hill View on Diecai Hill

Sample more Guilin Nightlife at Night Markets

Recommended Hours: 1-3 hours

If you hold the view that the only thing to do in Guilin at night is the cruising around the Two Rivers and Four Lakes, you are totally wrong. The colorful night markets in Guilin can keep you up till the AM and forget the time passing. The most popular night markets are the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street near the Sun and Moon Pagodas Scenic Area, and the Xicheng Night Market on Zhongshanzhong Road. If you are looking for restaurants, specialty shops and bars at one place, the night markets must be the right choice.

Useful Link:
>> Guilin Nightlife
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Zhengyang Pedestrian Street Zhengyang Pedestrian Street

What to Do During Free Time in Yangshuo

Yangshuo is a worldwide popular tourist destination in Guilin, with a driving distance for about 76km (47 miles). The karst landscape there is wildly considered as the essence part of Guilin. Apart from the stunning karst scenery, tourists gather at Yangshuo from the whole world also because they are indulged in the compelling countryside and colorful “global culture”.

Join a Cooking Class on West Street

Recommended Hours: about 3 hours or so

If you are favor about the Guilin and also other Chinese foods, you are highly advised to take a cooking class on West Street to learn the dishes from scratch! Yangshuo cooking classes have been opened for decades and the chefs of the cooking class schools are very happy to teach and spread Chinese food culture to others. After the 3-hour class, you can also share the dishes you cooked with your family and friends!

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Impression Sanjie Liu Yangshuo Cooking Classes

Appreciate the Large Real Landscape Night Show - Impression Sanjie Liu

Recommended Hours: about 1.5 hours

A Yangshuo tour without Impression Sanjie Liu may be incomplete! This large night show with real karst scenery as backdrop is sometimes the sole purpose of most travelers coming to this area. With a short distance for only about 1.5km from West Street to the Impression Sanjie Liu venue, you can easily start your night show experience at any night in Yangshuo as you want. However, you are mostly advised to arrange this leisure tour at the first day in Yangshuo or after the hiking or biking journey around Yangshuo countryside.

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Impression Sanjie Liu Impression Sanjie Liu

Enjoy a Break at Bars and Search for Foods & Snacks on West Street

Recommended Hours: It’s up to you

For a change of pace during your journey, you can seek for some bars or restaurants on West Street to relax yourself. The bars and restaurants can be found everywhere on the main street and also alleys, and most of them provide service till the mid-night.

Do not worry much about the language barrier, most of the bars and restaurants on West Street can give you English service. Besides, there are numerous foreigners around this “foreigner’s street”, who can give you a hand if you ask for.

West Street West Street

Hike up to Xianggong Mountain for a Panorama View

Recommended Hours: about 3 hours

Xianggong Mountain (相公山) is about 28 kilometers from Yangshuo center and on the way back from Yangshuo to Guilin. This hidden wonderland is world-famous spot to snap the panorama of Guilin Karst Landforms, winding Li River, gorgeous sunrise, sunglows, mists, sea of clouds and shadow, etc. If you have a half-day free time in Yangshuo, you can take out your camera and pay a visit to this fantastic place. Check more about Xianggong Mountain if you are interested.

Top Popular Related Guilin Tour:
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Xianggong Mountain Xianggong Mountain

Visit Xingping Ancient Town and Take Photos of Yellow Cloth Shoal

Recommended Hours: about 2-3 hours

Xingping Ancient Town is about 27km from West Street and about 7.5km (driving distance) from Yangshuo High Speed Railway Station. Wandering around this old village, you can encounter with old brick buildings with horse head walls, flying eaves, painted rafters and windows with carved patterns, which tell the long history of the village. In addition to the old buildings, the most spectacular sight at Xingping is “Yellow Cloth Shoal”, known as the 20 RMB note scene.

Useful Link:
>> Yangshuo Transportation
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Xingping Ancient Town Xingping Ancient Town

How to Plan a Guilin Tour

Usually, it needs about 5-6 days to have an in-depth explore of the highlights of Guilin. You can take flights or domestic high speed trains to the Guilin city area, and stay for about one night there. In the next morning, you can head to Longji Rice Terraces area of Longsheng County for a majestic view of rice terraces scenery, and make a stay for about 1-2 days. Then, return to Guilin downtown area and transfer to Yangshuo by taking the stunning and leisurely Li River cruise. The cruise only makes single-way journey from Guilin to Yangshuo and that is the reason why you are suggested to go back to Guilin downtown area first. Once you are in Yangshuo, you are advised to spend 2-3 days to enjoy its ideal countryside life and amazing karst landscape. After the fully-exploring Guilin tour, you can continue your China Discovery tour from the Yangshuo High Speed Train Station or other high speed railway stations in Guilin downtown area. If you are favor about taking flights to your next stop or get back home, you can take the flights at Guilin Lijiang International Airport, which is the only available airport in Guilin.

Travel Guilin & Yangshuo with China Discovery

Want a Guilin & Yangshuo tour covering all the must-visit landmarks and with free time to get around with your friends or family, you can contact our professional travel consultants for a personal tour customized according to your interests and needs. During the journey, our local travel guide will warmly accompany you all the way and our friendly and experienced local drivers will escort you among your ideal tourist areas with comfortable private car. Therefore, you can focus all your passion and energy on the beautiful scenery and charming legends along the way. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.

Yangshuo Countryside Yangshuo Countryside
Li River Li River

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