Attraction & Sightseeing In Guilin - Guilin Destination Guide
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River tours between Guilin and Yangshuo are an extremely popular way to see the natural scenery along the river, which is some of the best in China. However, the tours can be on the expensive side with a one way ride to Yangshuo costing about RMB360 and some trips costing as much as RMB500 (but including a bus ride back to Guilin). These prices also include lunch on the boat.
Tickets can be booked through many hotels or bought at the ticket office on Binjiang Road near the Lijiang River and south of Fir Lake. The boats leave in the early morning at about 8 or 8:30 am and hotel shuttles to the dock typically leave at 7:30am.
As the best sections of natural scenery are near Yangshuo, if you plan to spend a lot of time in Yangshuo, then you may wish to skip the Guilin Lijiang River tour and take one of the minibuses that leave Guilin South Railway station, where trains from Beijing and Shanghai (and all destinations north) arrive. The bus should cost you RMB5 and this is the most convenient way to reach Yangshuo.
The Ling Canal (Ling Qu) in Xing'an County, has an interesting and ancient history. Construction of the canal was begun by the first Emperor of China with the aim of supplying his troops and uniting the empire.
The canal is a masterpiece of China's ancient irrigation methods and is one of the oldest canals in the world. The area makes for a nice day trip if you like hiking or visiting ancient Chinese ruins.
How to get there: The market town of Xing'an, the seat of Xing'an County, is about 70 kilometers north of Guilin and reachable by a two hour bus that departs from the long distance bus station daily at 11:30 am. Xing'an can also be reached by train from Guilin as well as by minibuses that leave from the Guilin Railway Station.
About an hour bicycle ride southeast of Yangshuo, is Moon Hill (Yueliang Shan). The fantastic views from the top have made this hill one of Yangshuo's best attractions! Moon Hill has a natural round cave at the peak and from a distance, the cave (a hole in the peak) resembles the moon, hence the name.
Moon Hill Village can also be seen from Moon Hill's peak. Local villagers will offer guided tours of Moon Hill and the surrounding peaks, caves (see below) and villages for relatively reasonable prices (RMB50-100 for one day). They are quite friendly and may even offer you lunch at their home as part of the tour.
Between the village and Moon Hill, stands a Banyan tree that according to legend, was planted in the Jin Dynasty, about 1,500 years ago. While impressive and very old, up close you will find it is just an old tree and not particularly inspiring!
On the way to or back from Moon Hill, it is great fun to explore the nearby caves. The Black Buddha New Water Caves and the Black Dragon Caves are lots of fun for those who love a little adventure. The Black Dragon Caves tour is partly by boat and requires some wading. This expedition takes you through some great underground swimming holes so go prepared to get wet and dirty! The caves are only open in the summer and tours cost as much as RMB100, but you can bargain (especially when part of a larger group) and it is very much worth it.
How to get there: By bicycle, take the main road leaving Yangshuo and take a right heading south. Travel for less than an hour (10 kilometers one way) and you'll see Moon Hill on your right. Moon Hill is also reachable by car or mini-bus from Yangshuo via the highway.
Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan) contains some of the most extraordinary underground scenery in all of China.
The natural rock formations in the cave make up several scenes including "Primitive Forest", "Crystal Palace", and "Flower and Fruit Mountain". While the multi-colored lighting may be annoying, the caves are really quite impressive.
You can either follow one of the tours that go through the cave every 20 minutes, or take your time rejoining a tour later on.
Reed Flute Cave is located on the northwest outskirts of Guilin, 5 kilometers away from the downtown area. Tickets into the cave cost RMB45 and it is well worth it.
to get there: Take Bus No. 3 from the Railway Station to the
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