Guilin Photography Tips 2020 - What, When & Where to Shoot

Guilin, the dream destination for scenic seekers and photographers, is extremely outstanding with the famous marvelous landscapes for centuries. However, among so many popular places published on the Internet, what are the best shooting places, when is the best time and what themes will be shot in Guilin City, Yangshuo and Longsheng counties? Check the tips below, and you will know everything you need about the most beautiful photography themes and where and when to shoot them best before your photographing tour in this lovely place in China!

Guilin Photography

Top 10 Photography Themes in Guilin, Yangshuo & Longsheng

Due to the particular Karst topography, fast changing weather in a day, plentiful rainfalls, and multiple ethnic minority groups living there, Guilin boasts a wide range of fabulous views to rank top in Chinese tourist destinations. For common tourists and professional photographing enthusiasts, we list the top 10 photography themes for your great creation of lights, shadows and colors!

1. Karst Mountains

The Karst landform is the best scenic highlight of Guilin. The scattering rising hills are made into various shapes and looks with different patterns of yellow, white and dark grey among the emerald cliffs. To enjoy the stunning hills closely, we suggest you take the Li River cruise to admire the large number of popular hills with fun appearances and also in the very famous beautiful river section, where you will encounter with the Nine Horses Fresco Hill, Goat Hoof Hill, and scenery on back of the 20 RMB Chinese note.

However, besides, you are highly recommended to climb on the peaks to catch the panorama of the jagged Karst mountains from where you stand to the far end.

Recommended Shooting Places in Yangshuo: Li River, Yulong River, Ten-mile Gallery, etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places for panorama in Guilin: Yao Mountain, etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places for panorama in Yangshuo: Moon Hill, Xianggong Mountain, Cuiping Five Fingers Mountain, Laozhai Mountain, etc.;

Best Time: spring for rainy Li River with misty rains, summer for bright river and mountain view with blue sky and white clouds, autumn for morning mists and glows, winter for Li River mountains with mists. April - November for Yulong River and Xianggong Hill, April - May for Cuiping Mountain, April - December for Laozhai Mountain, etc.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Karst Mountains:
>> 3 Days Classic Guilin Tour - Guilin Brief Vacation (Li River, Yulong River, Ten-mile Gallery, Moon Hill, etc.)
>> 6 Days Guilin In-depth Photography Tour (Xianggong Hill)

Guilin Photography - Li River 20 RMB View on Li River Guilin Photography - Xianggong Mountain Karst Panorama from Yangshuo Xianggong Hill

2. Fishing Lights on Li River

A lot of fancy photos of Li River fishing are shared and awed a lot of people. At dusk and morning moments, local fishermen row their primitive bamboo rafts on the Li River with rosy fishing light and cormorants side by, and with the quiet reflection of the lights and surrounding mountains and groves, it is really charming and flavored to create the classic superb photographic works.

Recommended Shooting Places in Yangshuo: Yellow Cloth Shoal at Xingping Town;

Best Time: all year around; before sunrise and after sunset;

Warm Tips: 1. Few fishermen fishing on Li River nowadays. To take photos of fishermen with bamboo rafts, fishing lights and cormorant, you are recommended and required to ask a local fisherman and make a reservation in advance for at least 1 month. As photographing items and figures move on the river, shutter speed is required not too low in case of fuzz;

Suggested Equipment: Tripod for panorama; torch for sunrise and sunset shooting.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Fishing Lights on Li River:
>> 6 Days Guilin In-depth Photography Tour (Xingping, Li River)

Guilin Photography - Li River Fishing Lights on Li River

3. Rice Terraces

It is a big pity to miss the rice terraces in Longsheng, Guilin, since this city holds the world’s best terraced fields with awesome subtle curves and layers. Local farmers elaborately cultivate the rice terraces to present visitors with different but incredible landscape on the mountains in different months, including the mirror-like layered fields, lush fresh emerald crops, and vast golden harvesting wheat. Not only that, standing high on the viewing decks there, you can take fantastic photos of the natural images formed by the layers of fields in different shapes and sizes, including the famous Nine Dragon and Five Tigers, Seven Star around the Moon, West Hill Music with gorgeous sunrise and morning mists, Golden Buddha Peak with huge phoenix-like rice terrace scenery, etc.

Recommended Shooting Places in Longsheng: Nine Dragon and Five Tigers, Seven Star around the Moon in Longji Pingan Village; West Hill Music, Golden Buddha Peak, and Large-scale Thousand-layers Terraces in Longji Jinkeng Dazhai Village;

Best Time: From mid-April to mid-June for mirror-like view, mid-June to mid-September for green view , from late September to the beginning of October for golden view; sunrise at “West Hill Music”, “Nine Dragon and Five Tigers” and “Seven Star around the Moon”; sunset at “Nine Dragon and Five Tigers” and “Seven Star around the Moon”;

Suggested Equipment: Tripod; torch for sunrise and sunset shooting.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Rice Terraces:
>> 5 Days Best Guilin In-depth Vacation (Longji Rice Terraces)
>> 6 Days Guilin In-depth Photography Tour (Longji Rice Terraces)

Guilin Photography -  Longji Rice Terreaces Mirror-like Rice Terraces in Jinkeng Dazhai Village Guilin Photography -  Longji Rice Terreaces Autumn in Jinkeng Ping'an Village

4. Yangshuo Countryside View

Yangshuo’s countryside view is really idyllic to match the lovely world in fairytales stories. Pieces of farming fields irrigated with water in different geometric shapes stitching one by one by the straight and winding countryside paths look like giant stunning silk covered on earth, especially lit by the warm rosy sunglows in the morning and dusk moments. Besides, with the emerald agricultural crops rising in spring and summer times, surrounding the scattered tiny black and white houses, the typical countryside landscape is extremely pleasant to create outstanding shooting works.

Recommended Shooting Places in Yangshuo: Xianggong Mountain, Putao County, Cuiping Mountain, etc.;

Best Time: April-May, 16:00-17:00 in sunny days;

Warm Tips: backlight is suggested to shooting at Putao County;

Suggested Equipment: wide angel lens, medium telephoto lens, etc. are suggested; torch for late afternoon shooting.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Yangshuo Countryside View:
>> 6 Days Guilin In-depth Photography Tour (Xianggong Hill, Cuiping Hill)

Guilin Photography -  Yangshuo Countryside View at Yangshuo Putao Town

5. Water & Reflections

As the saying goes the landscape of Guilin is the best on earth, the view of running water and reflection of the mountains in Guilin is not to be missed for any photographer. The most famous landscape of water and reflections is at Li River, where diverse types can be appreciated in different weather condition, time of a day, and season of a year. In light rainy days or foggy days, you can catch the flavored view of river and mountains just like the traditional Chinese ink brush painting. However, in sunny days with the backdrop of blue sky and white clouds, the green mountains in diverse shapes and height, rippling water and the inverted images of all the plants and hills can create highly outstanding symmetrical compositions. Besides, with local bamboo rafts or river cruises sailing, the scene of traveling in a painting will be easily encountered, especially at the Yellow Cloth Shoal. For some shooting sites, sunrise and sunset hours provide more charming atmosphere for photography, such as Yellow Cloth Shoal, Yulong River, etc.

Recommended Shooting Places in Guilin: Elephant Trunk Hill, etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places in Yangshuo: Yulong River, Xingping, Yellow Cloth Shoal, Langshi Landscape, Zhuobi Peak, etc.;

Best Time: for Li River, misty river view in spring, bright view with blue sky and white clouds in summer, mists and sunglow in autumn and winter. For Yulong River, April to November is suitable. For Elephant Trunk Hill, late autumn to early winter for sunrise glows and summer for bright view with blue sky and white clouds; early morning and dusk is recommended to avoid crowds.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Water & Reflections:
>> 3 Days Classic Guilin Tour - Guilin Brief Vacation (Elephant Trunk Hill, Yulong River, Li River)

Guilin Photography -  Li River Yellow Cloth Shoal of Li River Guilin Photography -  Yulong River Yulong River Reflection View

6. Sunrise

You can enjoy several kinds of sunrise in Guilin.

Staying by the Li River, you can take your photographing equipment to shoot the rising sun, morning glows, mists, fishing lights, etc. changing gradually with the sunshine coming from the remote end of the world.

Moreover, to take photos of sunrise, Xianggong Hill is surely not to be omitted. Going up to the peak in the early morning, you are going to embrace the gorgeous rising sun to ignite the blue sky into wonderful and draw out the sublime outlook of the groups of Karst mountains from far to near with its strings of glows. With the floating sea of clouds and mists, the world in front of you can match the heaven. To shoot the similar sunrise view, you can also visit Yao Mountain where shows wider vision of the Karst hills.

Apart from the above, Longji Rice Terraces Scenic Area is also a terrific place to shoot sunrise. Especially in spring when all the rice terraced fields are irrigated with water, the sunrise glows illuminating to dye each one into a beautiful piece of enamel.

Recommended Shooting Places in Guilin: Yao Mountain, etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places in Yangshuo: Xianggong Hill, Yellow Cloth Shoal,etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places in Longsheng: Nine Dragon and Five Tigers viewing point and Seven Stars around the Moon viewing point in Longji Ping’an Village, West Hill Music viewing point in Longji Dazhai Village, etc.

Best Time: May to November for Yao Mountain sunrise, April to November for Xianggong Hill sunrise and Li River sunrise, April to June for Longji Rice Terraces sunrise;

Suggested Equipment: Bugeye lens, wide-angle lens, medium telephoto lens, standard lens, etc. for Xianggong Hill; wide-angle lens, medium telephoto lens, standard lens, etc. for Yao Mountain; wide-angle lens, medium telephoto lens for Longji Rice Terraces; wide-angle lens are more used for Li River, and standard lens are also suitable.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Sunrise:
>> 6 Days Guilin In-depth Photography Tour (Xianggong Hill, Yellow Cloth Shoal, Longji Rice Terraces)
>> 4 Days Guilin Highlights Tour (Longji Rice Terrace)

Guilin Photography -  Xianggong Mountain Xianggong Hill Sunrise Guilin Photography -  Longji Rice Terreaces Sunrise Longji Jinkeng Dazhai Village

7. Sunset

Sunset in Guilin is also a good theme for splendid photography works. One of the top recommendations is Cuiping Hill in Yangshuo County, where you will be rewarded with the very fabulous sunset glow above the idyllic countryside view and Karst hill groups. Besides, the famous sunset of the Yellow Cloth Shoal section on Li River enables a chance to shoot the atmospheric view of the river, mountain, forest, reflection and fishing scene, and so forth.

While, if you visit Longji Rice Terraces, you shall not miss the sunset landscape in Ping’an and Dazhai Jinkeng villages.

Recommended Shooting Places in Guilin: Yellow Cloth Shoal, etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places in Yangshuo: Cuiping Five Fingers Hill, etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places in Longsheng: Nine Dragon and Five Tigers viewing point and Seven Stars around the Moon viewing point in Longji Ping’an Village, etc.;

Best Time: April to May for Cuiping Hill, April to November for Li River, April to June for Longji Rice Terraces;

Suggested Equipment: tripod and torch for Cuiping Hill and Longji Rice Terraces;

Recommended Tours to Shoot Sunset:
>> 6 Days Guilin In-depth Photography Tour (Cuiping Five Fingers Hill, Yellow Cloth Shoal, Longji Rice Terraces)

Guilin Photography -  Longji Rice Terreaces Longji Jinkeng Sunset Guilin Photography -  Yangshuo Cuiping Mountain Yangshuo Cuiping Mountain Sunset

8. Ethnic Minorities & Architectures

Guilin is an outstanding gathering of ethnic minority groups, therefore, you can completely seize your days there to record their splendid costumes, typical architectures, daily life, to you works. Among all the ethnic minorities living regions, Longsheng County stands out prominently. As there are several villages for typical Zhuang and Yao people, particularly in Ping’an Zhuang Village, Jinkeng Dazhai Yao Village, and Longji Ancient Zhuang Village. Furthermore, Huangluo Yao Village, the world longest hair village is an awesome shining pearl for appreciation of women with very long hairs up to 1.8 meters and in bright red costumes and ornaments. During your wandering along the rice terraces, you can prepare your camera to shoot their featured tilted houses constructed against the mountains.

Recommended Shooting Places in Longsheng: Ping’an Zhuang Village, Jinkeng Dazhai Yao Village, Longji Ancient Zhuang Village, and Huangluo Yao Village;

Best Time: all around the year.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Ethnic Minorities & Architectures:
>> 5 Days Best Guilin In-depth Vacation (Longji Rice Terrace)
>> 6 Days In-depth Guilin Tour from Hong Kong (Longji Rice Terrace)

Guilin Photography -  Longji Rice Terreaces Longji Jinkeng Red Yao Ethnic People

9. Karst Caves

Owing to the featured Karst landform, it presents Guilin a series of stunning Karst caves and caverns with diverse shapes of stalactites and stalagmites. And with the wisdom and pursuit of beauty of human, the colorful gorgeous palaces are formed for all people. Inside there, you can see incredibly interesting and lifelike figures, vegetables, animals, natural items, etc.

Recommended Shooting Places in Guilin: Reef Flute Cave, Silver Cave;

Best Time: all around the year.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Karst Caves:
>> 3 Days Classic Guilin Tour - Guilin Brief Vacation (Reef Flute Cave)

Guilin Photography -  Reed Flute Cave Guilin Reed Flute Cave

10. Ancient Towns, Villages & Streets

Besides natural views, ancient buildings are also frequently chosen for most Guilin photographers and shutterbugs. Just enter the top ancient towns and villages, frame the exquisite historical buildings, paths, bridges, lanes, pavilions, temples, and local people’s life scenes, etc., and press your shutter. Also, you can visit the old West Street stuffed with many global visitors and business owners to seek the blending flavor of tradition with international modern culture.

Recommended Shooting Places in Guilin: Daxu Old Town, etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places in Yangshuo: Xingping Old Town, Jiuxian Village, Fuli Old Town, West Street, etc.;

Recommended Shooting Places in Longsheng: Longji Ancient Zhuang Village, etc.;

Best Time: all around the year.

Recommended Tours to Shoot Ancient Towns, Villages & Streets:
>> 6 Days Guilin In-depth Photography Tour (Xingping Old Town)
>> 2 Days Guilin Ideal Li River Cruise with Yangshuo Essence Tour (Jiuxian Village, West Street)

Guilin Photography -  Xingping Xingping Ancient Town

Travel with China Discovery

The photography places in Guilin are really very great for shooting outstandingly beautiful pictures, however, transportation to some of them is a little complicated with limited public vehicles. If you are planning a Guilin photography tour to visit the top places, you could travel with China Discovery. Our private transfer service will save your time for waiting for the vehicles and other parts along the road. Besides, our professional local guide will give wonderful introduction and guide for photography of each site. You just have a relaxing rest on the private car and focus on the highlights.

Furthermore, for your fruitful trip to China with more to see and less to pay, our sincere travel expert will help you with the tour customization to let you travel to more destination in and around Guilin, including Yangshuo and Longsheng, and other destinations in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Zhangjiajie, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Huangshan, Yunnan, Guizhou, etc. For more details about private tour with China Discovery, you could contact our professional Travel Consultant who would help tailor make your tour best suitable for your needs and budget.

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Picturesque Li River
4 Days Guilin Highlights Tour (Li River, Yangshuo & Longji Terrace)

Guilin / Yangshuo / Longsheng

Longji Rice Terrace Spring Ploughing Scene
5 Days Best Guilin In-depth Vacation (Li River, Yangshuo & Longji Terrace)

Guilin / Longsheng / Guilin / Yangshuo

Cuiping Five Fingers Mountain Sunset
6 Days Guilin In-depth Photography Tour

Guilin / Longsheng / Guilin / Yangshuo / Guilin

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