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Guilin Famous Waterfall

Cycling Along The River Li, Guilin

Local Ferry, River Li, Guilin

Girl Washing Clothes as a small Tourist Boat Passes - River Li, Guilin

Cormorant Fisherman, River Li, Guilin
Tourist Guides for China
Guilin Tourist Guide (October 2008)
General Comments:

Beautiful Guilin is a paradise for foreign visitors. It is pictured on the reverse of the Y20 bank note - such is it's fame in the Orient. Guilin is a modern city with Regional airport and good transportation links. It lies to the North West of Guangxi Province, just across the border from Guangdong

Standard excursions to Guilin are usually of 4 days, and fully inclusive prices should be in the region of $150 if you book locally. However you may wish to spend several weeks there - it is a very special place. Hotels are plentiful and cheap, and finding one that suits you should be quite easy except during Chinese National Holidays. The scenery is magnificent, and the nightlife is full of Americans, Australians and British ... people like yourselves who were 'Just passing-through', but decided to stay a while

Visitors to Guilin usually opt for the charabanc tours, or walking and cycling options along the Li River. As with most Chinese tours, these are quite hectic affairs, with your whole itinerary planned leaving little time for taking time-out to relax in the wonderful scenery and simply chill. More adventurous people will also find stiffer challenges such as white water rafting, climbing and canoeing available nearby, however they will need to book excursions locally themselves

My personal version of this trip is slightly longer, as I prefer a little less of the organised tour, and a little more exploring and interaction with local people. I would include a one day package, but prefer to spend a free day and night in Guilin itself. The nearby town of Yangshuo offers good relaxation, and a very westerners-accepted chill. There are a plethora of local things to do, and I prefer to mix local and see what happens - chances are you will have dinner with a local Chinese family in their home, and next day the son or daughter will escort you to see what others never see, the local streets and curios

Breakfast, shops/adventures, lunch and chill. Later we join a local fisherman and go fishing the river. This art is now dying out, being replaced by modern fishing vessels, but the old Cormorant Fishermen can still be found, if only putting on displays for tourists. They fish by trying a string around the Cormorants neck so it is unable to swallow. They then dive and return with the fish they have caught. However, Cormorants are not stupid, and can count up to seven fish. After this they refuse to dive again unless they are fed

There is also a magnificent waterfall here which is a photograph mecca. All Chinese who visit have their picture taken here, and you should do likewise. See left. In addition, take time to sample a river cruise. There are several versions, the longer ones usually feature a meal on board and are very good value. Do hire a bicycle, the terrain is flat and easy. Tandems are available, and bikes are left at the destination unless you book a longer tour

Otherwise you may find Guilin a busy city with industry and a smog problem. Tourists and commercial enterprise are also responsible for mildly polluting the river, and whilst some efforts are made to clean this up, the effects can put a damper on what should be a beautiful memory. In its defence, Guilin city is now tackling the problems of factory and tourist pollution, but it will be several years I worry until the benefits are visible

Guilin does boast good shopping and an excellent nightlife, completed by numerous restaurants serving dishes from all over China. In addition, there are a great many street restaurants that stay open late into the night

I am certain most people will enjoy a few days spent here, but we suggest you also explore nearby Yangshuo which is a far more relaxing and rewarding experience. Independent travellers and those seeking the thrills of more extreme sporting pastimes should use Guilin as a base until they find exactly what they are searching for

Guilin is one of China's top tourist destinations and a must see. The enigmatic peaks along the Li River are wondrous to behold, and memories will stay with you for a lifetime

This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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