An English Teacher’s Tour of Guilin: All The Essential Information You Need
Guilin is in the northern part of Guangxi Province. It is the most scenic and one of the most popular tourist destinations in China. It is well known for its limestone Karst landscape. The town centre sits between two rivers (Li River and Tao Hua River). Similarly, it has four lakes (Banga, Wooden Dragon lake, Shahu Lake, Gui Lake) surrounding it.
The best time to go: Weather in Guilin
Guilin has mild weather and experiences the four seasons. It has sunny springs, rainy and foggy summers, cool autumns and drizzling winters. The best time to visit Guilin is between the months of April and October. However, be sure to keep an eye on the Chinese calendar. Even more, avoid travelling during the peak season of the National Day Holiday.
Getting aroundGuilin: Transport
Air transport is available in Guilin from Liangjiang International Airport. The airport provides local and international flights. Trains enhance intercity travel. There are three railway stations in Guilin. These are Guilin Railway Station, Guilin North Railway Station and Guilin West Railway Station. Similarly, subways and long-distance buses also enhance intercity travel between Guilin and other cities in China. Cars, city buses, boats, and canoes help with movement within Guilin.
What to see in Guilin: Attractions and sites
Besides the beautiful Karst scenery, there is so much to see in Guilin. Most of these areas are accessible using cars, bikes or boats.
Li River stretches 83 kilometres, linking Guilin and Yangshuo. Its waters shine and sparkle in the sunlight. A good view can be captured when one takes a cruise boat to Yangshuo and back. A cruise ride ticket across Li river goes for 109$.
This is a small village town 65 kilometres from Guilin. Visitors may access it using cruise boats from Guilin. Furthermore, there are plenty of activities to engage in. Enjoy biking, rafting, rice field tours and hiking in Yangshou. It has a breathtaking and peaceful rural scenery. Activities that take place here cost between 25$ to 40$.
Elephant Trunk Hill
This landmark is a huge lump of rock. It resembles a huge mammal that seems to be dipping its snout into Li River. It sits at the confluence of Li River and Tao Hua River. Viewing of this landmark does not attract any charges.
Seven Star Park
Located on the Eastern banks of Li River, Seven Star Park has seven peaks which form the shape of a Big Dipper. The park has become popular for its attractive and exquisite landscape. Admission charges into the park range between 20-30CNY (3-4.5$)
This is the highest mountain in Guilin City. It rises to a height of 2983 feet (909.3 metres). Even more, it gives a birds-eye view of the city below when one is at the top. Hiking up the mountain takes approximately one hour. Moreover, cable cars provide a perfect alternative. They give panoramic views of Guilin during the ascent. At the foot of this mountain sits the…….
Mausoleum of Jingjang Princess of the Ming Dynasty
It is a collection of tombs of the eleven princes of the Jingjiang Family. There are no charges to view Yao Mountain, but cable car charges apply. Entry into the mausoleums is 20CNY (3$).
Where to sleep in Guilin: Hotels
Most of the hotels in Guilin locate inside the city or very close to Guilin City. One can easily walk or use a car to get to Hangzhou City. When you arrive in Guilin to teach English, visit hotels such as Ming Palace, Karma Inn, Guilin Jiatianxia Youth Hostel, Beyond Villa Guilin, Guilin Insight and Jundu Holiday Hotel.
Their services are excellent, offering large, spacious, air-conditioned private rooms. Most provide free parking, restaurant services, internet services, gymnasiums, spas and swimming pools. Additionally, laundry services, restaurants, room service, airport shuttle services and banquet facilities are available. A few will allow you to bring your pet with you. Hotel charges vary between 5$ to 135$ per night.
Where to eat in Guilin: Restaurants
Seafood delicacies are common cuisines in Guilin. It is a town that is centrally located between lakes and rivers. Ancient town Fish Restaurant is the seafood haven. Crescent Restaurant situated in Seven Stars Park avails vegetarian dishes such as nun noodles. These are noodles dipped in soup boiled for a long time with fresh straw mushrooms, soybean sprouts, winter bamboo shoots, and shiitake mushrooms. Treat your taste buds to wild boar, rabbit and cured meat dishes at Cengsan Jiaweiguan Restaurant. Enjoy Indian dishes like samosas, onion pakoras, and butter chicken and lamb biryani at Kali Mirch Restaurant. All the spices used in this restaurant come from India.
Pop into Rosemary Café for a variety of western dishes such as rosemary pizza, stir-fried bacon, and chilli. Guilin is home to all types of restaurants. Other places to visit for a meal are Little Italian Café, Rice Noodles Pub, Zhengyang Tang Cheng, Tong Lai Guan, Café Nissi, and Left Bank Restaurant.
Shopping in Guilin
Zhong Shan Road
Zhong Shan Road is home to departmental stores. These include Niko-Niko Do Plaza, Dream Island Departmental Stores and Osmanthus Shopping Plaza. These stores have boutiques, shops and restaurants. Shop for clothing, household goods, clothes, shoes and electronics along Zhong Shan Road.
Shop for accessories, jewellery, quality clothes, bags, shoes and cosmetics along Zheng Yang Pedestrian Street. It hosts high-end beauty parlours, restaurants, bars and fashion boutiques.
Wa Yao Tour Products Wholesale Market
Wa Yao Tour Products Wholesale Market avails products at wholesale prices. It is a six storey building organised into sections selling clothing, houseware, antiques and art products. Sourcing goods here is easy because of its organisation.
The Artistic Pottery and Porcelain factory
The Artistic Pottery and Porcelain factory manufactures porcelain products and artistic pottery. Visit the factory and purchase a whole variety of artwork at a cheap price.
Where to dance and drink: Guilin Nightlife
Shop by night at Guilin Night Market. Here, souvenirs, handicrafts, paintings, calligraphy, accessories and local products get displayed for sale. Enjoy street food as you shop.
For lovers of night adventure, take a night cruise on the two rivers and four lakes surrounding Guilin. It is an incredibly excellent experience. You will enjoy the perfect scenery and the Impression Sanjie Liu performed in Yangshou. The Lu River night cruise provides an ideal opportunity to enjoy the scenery. Likewise, enjoy modern entertainment and the dancing in the water pavilion.
Watch live performances at Gui Opera Troupe and Lijiang Theatre. Locals perform cultural dances and gymnastics. Tea houses such as Mengqing and Yiaxuxuan are open late into the night. Visit bars such as Garden Night, Jiu long Night, Baidu Bar, Guohui Bar, Meng Bi and Yiren Bar. You will enjoy your drink and some music.
Alternatively, take your time and watch the artificial waterfall at Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel. It runs from the rooftop of the hotel at the height of 40 metres and flows down to the ground floor with a width of 73.5 metres. It is interesting to watch the beautiful colours and music that plays as the waters flow wildly.