My Guilin Travel Guide
Guilin is a historical and cultural city as well as a tourists' wonderland of world fame. It literally means "cassia tree forest", named for the local cassia trees, whose scent wafts through the city in autumn.
"Guilin boasts the most beautiful scenery under Heaven" is a saying popular among its admirers. There are green hills and fields, forests of peculiar pinnacles and the beautiful Li River winding through the city. From Guilin to Yangshuo, the river travels 83 km with both shores decorated with "numerous green hills popped up out of the ground," a poetic and picturesque environment in which one cannot but feel relaxed and refreshed.
Guilin is a multinational city, which has many ethnic groups living here. There are more than twenty nationalities, namely like Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao, Tong and so on, with Han is the majority race that takes up about 85.22 per cent of the population of 4.76 million. The diversity in dresses and social customs of different ethnic groups offers colorful folk life and attracts large numbers of tourists from home and abroad.
The history of Guilin dates back to over 2,000 years ago. It became a town of strategic importance in southern China when the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty ordered digging a canal to link the Xiang River (which flows into the Yangtze River) and the Tan River (which flows into the Pearl River), thus connecting two of China's major waterways. Over the last few thousand years, generations of writers and poets have chanted out numerous pieces of verse and prose in its praise, many of which have been passed down to the present day thanks to various carvings and inscriptions on precipices. The picturesque city is graced with humanistic flavor by ruins of prehistoric cultures of about 40 to 50 thousand years ago; stone tombs of the Ming Dynasty, inscriptions and sculptures on rocks scattered around in every corner of the city. Guilin, now a world famous tourist city, attracts large numbers of tourists from the world over. The increasing number of tourists has promoted the rapid development of tourist facilities. Today, there are over 20 air routes connecting Guilin with Hong Kong and major domestic tourist cities.
Guilin is a clean city with charming waterfront and ever-changing moods. Hills and parks mottle the urban landscape. A few sights, like Elephant Trunk Hill, Wave-Subduing (Fubo) Hill, and the port area, are illuminated at night. And the many small restaurants offer particularly Li River cuisine, such as fish, eel, frog, snail, shrimp and snake.
In addition to the landscape tour in Guilin, tourists today are offered added attractions in the neighboring areas, including a virgin forest in Longsheng, the Ancient Ling Canal in Xingan and floating on Li River, etc.
The scenic city Guilin is located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, southern China. The total area of the city covers 4,195 sq. km. The city is embosomed by the verdure mountains; the altitude is descended from west to east, the Li River the Yi River flow pass through Guilin from north to south. Guilin is a typical karst landform area. Several hundred million years ago, it was a sea here, under which there were accumulated limestone layers a few thousand meters thick. In the movement of the earth's crust, rocks deep down below the sea surged up and the sea gave way to the land.
Then, about another 70 million years had passed before the landscape of Guilin developed, with the help of the natural elements of wind and rain, into a wonderland of weird shaped, isolated peaks, with bizarre and fantastic-looking caves amidst limpid waters and nice fields. Thus the landscape of Guilin is formed by many kinds of matured karst physiognomy such as dissolution pluton, eroded dissolution pluton and erosion pluton etc. Wetlands and plains with strange-shaped low peaks are very common sceneries in the city. The administrated area of Guilin is divided into five districts and two suburb counties.
Guilin lies in the central part of the subtropical monsoon climate zone, with abundant sunshine, high annual precipitation and moderate temperatures. The mean annual temperature in Guilin is 18.9 degrees Celsius, and the coldest month is January, which the daily average lowest temperature is about 5 degrees Celsius, while the hottest month is July, which the daily average highest temperature is around 32 degrees Celsius; thus there is no extreme weather for the city. Snows are seldom also, except for the mountains in outskirt of the city during wintertime.
The annual average rainfall is about 1,900 mm and the rainy season is from April to July that over half of annual rainfall is concentrated. During the rainy season to visit Guilin may be a very romantic experience for which the sceneries are covered with a foggy veil. It is a tourist attraction that is famed at home and abroad! In autumn is the peak travel season, Guilin's clear and pleasant weather makes the low karst peaks reflect themselves on the water, and the water is so clear that one can see fish swim below.