Guilin has lured in famous poets and artists for thousands of years with its verdant hills, towering rocks and mysterious caves. Home to some of the most famous karst topography in the world, time here is best spent cruising on the Li River, pedalling through the countryside and visiting minority villages.
Things to do in Guilin
For a classic Guilin experience, take a cruise on the Li River to Yangshuo to admire its beautiful karst mountains and see fishermen on bamboo rafts. If you prefer to travel on dry land, go on a bike excursion through the countryside past rice paddies, grazing water buffalo and local farmers’ houses.
For deeper insight into the local life, take a guided tour through the ethnic minority villages and walk through the Longil Terraced Scenic Areas to see terraced fields and ancient stilted houses. Include the Reed Flute Cave on your itinerary to see the mesmerising collection of rock formations with multicoloured lights and inscriptions from the Tang dynasty.
Looking for evening entertainment? Catch the famous Impression of Third Sister Liu, a river night show featuring colourful lights, music and folk songs staged on the Li River. It’s the largest show performed in a natural landscape in the world and depicts a popular love story.
You can’t leave Guilin without sampling some of its local delicacies, namely the delicious rice noodles. While each restaurant has their own special variation, it’s commonly topped with gravy, pickled vegetables, peanuts and meat.
Getting around Guilin
You can reach Guilin by flying into Liangjiang International Airport, which is 40 minutes from the city centre, or by catching a train to the main Guilin Station. The most convenient way to get around is by taxi or private car.