Guilin is a city in North Guangxi, China. Guilin is a scenic town and one of the best-known tourist destinations in China. Guilin is a beautiful city. The town center is surrounded by two rivers and four lakes and studded with sheer sided karst mountains.
Guilin itself is like most other medium size Chinese cities, other than that it has a large number of western-style hotels, tourists and is relatively free of air pollution. Many Chinese domestic tourists also flock to this area. What makes it special is its proximity to many picturesque limestone mountains and formations.
Guilin is most well known for its “green mountains, crystal waters, unique caves”. It has long enjoyed the reputation of “Guilin Tops the World in Landscape” and is most frequented by visitors from home and abroad. Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo for stunning karst scenery along Li River; In Longsheng, hike through the Zhuang & Yao minority villages of Longji Rice Terraces area. Also, do not forget to visit Sanjiang Dong villages for colorful ethnic culture .The city has been popular with sightseers for over 1,000 years, and many famous poets and painters have lived and worked there, celebrating its river and mountain scenery.
Guilin has been a favourite for a long time amongst travellers to China. This compact city is most famous for the green mountains, crystal clear waters, unique caves and the beautiful cliffs around it. The karst peaks and the surrounding area is world renowned for its beautiful scenery. Yet it is not only this stunning landscape that draws visitors to Guilin, its unique folk customs are also unforgettable experiences in themselves.
There are daily flights to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) from major mainland cities and from Hong Kong, Bangkok (not regular), Kuala Lumpur, Osaka and Seoul. Book air ticket early as the price will increase as it approaches your traveling day. At off season, air ticket may be cheaper than train ticket (even the hard sleeper price), it is worth a try to check the difference.
Guilin has three train stations. Guilin Station (Guilin Zhan) is in the centre of town on Zhongshan Nanlu while Guilin North Station (Guilin Bei Zhan) is far away from downtown area. Most, but not all, trains which originate/terminate in Guilin go to or come from Guilin North while trains which come through Guilin from elsewhere usually only go to Guilin Station and not Guilin North. High speed trains are now serving Guilin (January 2014) from Nanning to Beijing significantly cutting down journey time (Guilin to Nanning 2 hours), (Guilin to Liuzhou 1 hour) & (Guilin to Beijing 10 hours).
There are trains from North (Beijing, Changsha, Wuhan, Shanghai, Xian), West (Kunming), South (Liuzhou, Nanning, Zhanjiang), and East (Guangzhou, Shenzhen).
The Must-See Attractions
Li River Cruise
Fubo Hill Park
Reed Flute Cave
Elephant Trunk Hill
Longji Terraced Fields
Guilin Seven Star Park
Jingjiang Princes City
Renmin rd, Still water food street east from city square nearby Sheraton hotel has plenty of stands with very reasonable prices – steak with rice for 16-25RMB, Indian restaurant with Indian chief with dishes for 30-60RMB, many stands with milk tea around 8-10RMB, banana pancakes 10RMB and other options.
Shangshui Snack Street (located alongside the rear of the Sheraton Hotel, this street has a number of different eateries with cuisine from all throughout China as well as some International eateries)
Guilinren Wangjiao Food Street (桂林人旺角美食街; Guìlínrén Wàngjiǎo) at Zhongshan Middle Rd (bus 11,18, 100). This street has lots of snack vendors.
Nanhuan Rd (南环路; Nánhuánlù) connects Zhongshan Rd with Elephant Trunk Hill. The street has a number of budget and mid-range local restaurants. Many of the restaurants show living animal out in the street to illustrate what is on the menu.
Yiren Rd (依仁路; Yīrénlù) runs east-west on the north side of Central Square. The street has eateries ranging from buffet-style caferias to trendy cafes.
Ximen Bridge Area (西门桥周围; Xīménqiáozhōuwéi) has a large number of muslim restaurants.
UBC Cafe (Shangdao Kafei), Yiren Rd (near the Central Square). This is a Shanghai chain coffeehouse also serving both Chinese and Western food. The coffee card appears reasonable, but sometimes you get the feeling they serve more or less the same regardless of what you order. Large place with a piano player.
Kaya café & bar, Zhonghua Lu 6 (from the walking street, walk to Solitary Beauty Peak (North), at the gate, go right and first left again, 50 meters on your right side). One of the few real bars in Guilin. Very laidback atmosphere. Located in a quiet street near the center. Offers chilled out music. They also have a branch in Yangshuo.
West Bank Café, 4/F, Binjiang Building, 18 Binjiang Road, ☎ 0773-2882259. Decent coffee accompanied by jazz music and river view.
100 C (Baidu Jiu Bah), Binjiang Road (near sheraton hotel). Very good bar with great music.
Muse Nightclub, Walking Street close to the Waterfall Hotel. Guilin’s newest and biggest nightclub. Usually very busy most nights attracting people of all ages. Often there are Russian dancers performing in various different types of attire.
Joys Bar (Jueh Si Jiu Bah),City Center (street with KTV’s and other bars behind the McDonalds). Joys Bar has recently been renovated and is open again for business. Fun nightclub, which has been around for several years offering locals and tourists a party atmosphere.
5th Street Bar, Chuanshan South Road (street to Chuanshan Park, at the corner of Lijiang Road, close to Li River Chuanshan Bridge). This new bar attracts a slightly older & is more an upper-class crowd with pricing reflecting this. Sometimes a ferrari (and other expensive cars) will be parked out the front.