Where is Guilin?

Guilin is a city in North Guangxi, China. Guilin is a scenic town and one of the best-known tourist destinations in China, is the third largest city in Guangxi, after Nanning and Liuzhou.
There are many scenic places within short traveling distance of Guilin. These include Longsheng with its famous Longji rice terraces; the Li River, a scene of which is printed on the back of 20CNY bank notes; Yangshuo, a small county downstream from Guilin; and much more. This makes Guilin an excellent base for exploring the northern end of Guangxi Province. Guilin is a beautiful city. The town center is surrounded by two rivers and four lakes and studded with sheer sided karst mountains. Outside the city center, the buildings are less well kept. The main industry in the city is tourism so the city is much cleaner than other Chinese cities. 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.
Separated from the center of China and the Yangtze River basin by the Nan Mountains, Guangxi has always been distinct from the rest of China. The Han Chinese empire first expanded into Guangxi in the 2nd century BC. The Ling Canal was cut around the time, allowing small boats to transit from the Yangtze to the south flowing Xi River via the Xiang River.
Trade grew along the canal and river routes. Guilin was founded as a trading post in the 1st century BC on the West bank of the Kuei River. During the Ming dynasty, a garrison was set up in Guilin and the surrounding area gradually civilized with the development of farmland. The city had a population of over two million at the time of the Second World War, but was utterly destroyed during the war. The population slowly recovered with post-war construction of several factories for the production of paper, chemicals and agricultural equipment. However, market forces have caused several of these industries to relocate out of Guilin.
Guangxi and Guilin are home to 12 different ethnic minorities besides the Han Chinese. Guangxi is an autonomous region for the Zhuang ethnic group, rather than a province. See List of Chinese provinces and regions. Various other minorities, such as the Dong, are also found in the area.

What's the weather like in Guilin?

Guilin weather is generally mild with four distinctive seasons – sunny and vigorous spring, rainy and foggy summer, cool and pleasant autumn, breezy and drizzling winter.
In Guilin, the climate in January is the coolest with an average temperature of 8 C (46 F), while July is the hottest with an average temperature of 28 C (82 F). Summer is the rainy season, especially in May and June. The best time to travel there is from April to October. However, remember to try to avoid the Chinese National Day Holiday from October 1st to 7th, when all the people in China seem to move around.

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Cruise the Li River

The best way to appreciate the beautiful scenery of a river is to take a cruise. The cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is one of the most popular activities in a Guilin holiday.
The Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is the centerpiece of any trip to northeastern Guangxi Province. Gorgeous Karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the limpid river under the blue sky. Water buffalo patrol the fields, peasants reap rice paddies, school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, the scenery along the river become one of China's top tourist destinations.
The upper course of the River Li is connected by the ancient Lingqu Canal with the Xiang River, which flows north into the Yangtze; this in the past made the Li and Gui Rivers part of a highly important waterway connecting the Yangtze Valley with the Pearl River Delta.
The 437-kilometre (272 mi) course of the Li and Gui Rivers is flanked by green hills. Cormorant fishing is often associated with the Lijiang (see bird intelligence).
Tourist cruises in different boats (varying from small bamboo-like rafts to larger, air-conditioned ships) are offered on the Li River throughout the year and are one of the major attractions of Guilin.The trip starts from the wharf south of Liberation Bridge in Guilin downtown area. Otherwise some agencies will transport tourists to take a one-hour bus ride to the Bamboo River Wharf (Zhujiang Wharf) or the Millstone Hill Wharf (Mopanshan Wharf) to start the cruise from its essential part.
The Li River originates in the Mao'er Mountains in Xing'an County and flows in the general southern direction through Guilin, Yangshuo and Pingle. In Pingle the Li River merges with the Lipu River and the Gongcheng River and continues south as the Gui River, which falls into the Xi Jiang, the western tributary of the Pearl River, in Wuzhou.

Yanshuo County

This small city and county is located in the southern portion of China. It is situated in the northeastern portion of Guangxi Province, and just a short southeasterly drive from the hustle and bustle of Guilin City. Situated on the banks of the world-famous Li River, Yangshuo has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The pure fresh waters of the river are a popular destination for river cruises and other water activities. With beautiful mountains and a lush green landscape, Yangshuo is one of the premier destinations for travelers to this beautiful part of the world.Located in the heart of beautiful mountain ranges, Yangshuo is a picturesque city located close to Guilin. A popular tourist destination, Yangshuo is well-known for the stunning natural scenery it can offer to guests, as well as for its many eating establishments and other social hubs that include bars and cafes.Yangshuo has maintained its sense of charm and the quaintness of a small town, which has resulted in a delightful destination that offers fresh air and freedom from the air and noise pollution that is so plentiful in other cities in China. With 1,400 years of rich and diverse history surrounding Yangshuo, the region has a deep and traditional culture that includes a significant amount of diversity in the ethnic groups that make up the population. Some of the ethnic minority groups in the region include Yao, Hui, and Zhuang; all of whom add rich diversity to the region by way of influencing local festivals, local food, and even fashion. Some of the specialty foods unique to this region have been influenced by the various cultures that make up this beautiful part of the world. Guests to the city can enjoy Niang dishes, Beer Fish, Shatian Shaddocks, mouthwatering kumquats and rich chestnuts.Cultural influences can also be found in the architecture of the buildings that make up this quaint region, and also in the souvenirs that tourist take home with them. From beautifully handcrafted fans to samplings of some of the local rice snacks, the influences of the diverse and rich culture that is Yangshuo makes it easy to see

West street

Yangshuo is a county of Guilin, about 65 km from Guilin. It is very famous for the West Street in the town. Hundreds of shops with many amazing variety of local crafts, antiques and souvenirs make this a shoppers' paradise. Or you can just wander through the many alleyways or along the river, people-watching. Many visitors prefer to stay the night in Yangshuo to enjoy it in a more leisurely way or take in some of the active nightlife.West Street (Xi Jie), situated in the heart of Yangshuo, is alive with cafes offering interesting Chinese and Western food. Ttravellers' can eat food from many differnt countries at very reasonable prices.Those who have been wandering around China for a while will probably want to take the chance to break from oily stir-fried vegetalbels and grab a cup of good coffee or have mueslie for breakfast. West Street in the town center attracts a large number of younger international travelers. West Street is filled with small shops and vendor's stands selling all kinds of souvenirs and snacks. Chinese teenagers mingle with young Western bicyclists and backpackers in Internet cafes, such as Mickey Mao's, Hard Rock Cafe or at Lisa's Cafe eating apple pie, beefsteak French fries, and ice-cream sundaes. These comfort foods from abroad are difficult to find in China. International tourists feel at home here because everyone speaks fluent English and restaurants and bars provide menus in several languages. Why not kick back here for a few days? Take the chance to recharge your batteries and connect with you freinds and relatives around the world in one of the internet cafes. The accommadation is very reasonable.Built in 590 during the Sui Dynasty with the Li River passing by the end, the street has experienced much wind and rain, but is well preserved, revealing the resplendence of past days. Since being opened to outside in 1978, the unique "Foreigners Street" - West Street has seen countless foreigners from all over the workd and it was reputed to be "Earth Village in China". Today, the 2000-m-long street has over 300 cafes, restaurants, hotels art crafts and tourist stores, foreign language clubs, internet centers and Kufu schools. It's an ideal place to eat, shop, entertain, study or just take a break..

Reed Flute Cave

Reed Flute Cave known as "the Palace of Natural Arts" is located in the northwest of Guilin City, 5 kilometers away from the center of the city. It is a cave on the southern shoulder of the Guangming Hill (Bright Hill) and is one of the most extraordinary scenic spots in Guilin. Counted as "must-see" sights in Guilin as well as Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo Hill and Folded Brocade Hill.According to a legend, Reed Flute Cave got its name because people believed that the reed by the cave's mouth could be made into flutes. The length of the Reed Flute Cave is 240 meters and offers a majestic fairyland of karst caves with landscape and rural scenery. It is a magic fairyland of stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone curtains, birds, plants and animals in fantastic shapes and colors, all glistening in colorful lights. Some of them were given names such as Pines in the Snow, Mushroom Hill, Dragon Pagoda, Sky-Scraping Twin, Virgin Forests , Red Curtain, etc. These remarkable scenes in the cave can evoke breathless admiration from domestic and foreign visitors. The cave is highly praised as the ' Huge Art Palace of the Nature'. Tourists began to visit here in the Tang Dynasty. There are 77 stone inscriptions covering many years of history.
One grotto, which called the Crystal Palace of the Dragon King, can hold about 1000 people. During the war, the grotto served as an air-raid shelter. The highlight in this cave is a great slab of white rock hanging from a ledge like a cataract, with a human-shaped stalactite on the opposite side.It is said that a visiting scholar tried to write a poem depicting the beauty of the cave. It took him so long to find the right words that he finally turned to stone.
The cave was opened to public in 1962. Famed as the Palace of Natural Art , the cave is now equipped with artificial lighting system to emphasize visual effect.

Elephant Trunk Hill

Elephant Trunk Hill stands majestically in the downtown area of Guilin city, at the junction of the Li River & the Peach Blossom River. The name was chosen because the hill looks like a giant elephant dipping its trunk into the river. The green water of Li River in front of it and the clear spring at the foot make Elephant Trunk Hill one of the most famous hills in Guilin City.Elephant Trunk Hill is regarded as the symbol of Guilin . Originally named "Li Hill", "Yi Hill" and "Chenshui Hill", the hill is 3.6 hundred million years old. The hill towers 55m above the Li River, measuring 108m in length and 100m in width and has an elevation of 200m above sea level.The Elephant Hill has several features: - Water Moon Cave (Shuiyue dong), Elephant's Eye Stone, and Pagoda for Puxian and Yunfeng Temple.Water Moon Cave is at the riverside with water of Li River flowing through. It looks like a full moon floating on the surface of the water with the moonlight reflected on the waves. Over 70 inscriptions from the Tang and Song dynasties were found on the walls in and around this cave, praising the beauty of hills and waters nearby.water moon cave On top of the hill stands a pagoda named Puxian Pagoda. Built in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), it looks like the handle of a sword. There are many carvings and inscriptions inside and outside the cave. The most well-known one is a poem by Lu You (1125-1210), one of the four great poets of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279).

Fubo Hill

Fubo Hill (Wave-Subduing Hill), is 120 meters long, 60 meters wide and 213 meters high. It stands solitarily in the northeast of the city and on west bank of Li River with half of the hill stretching into the river. Waves run back wherever they meet the blocks, hence the name "wave-subduing Hill". A tale has it that Ma Yuan who was called General Fubo from the Han Dynasty had once passed by Guilin on a southern expedition. He poured all the pearls he carried into the river, so the hill was named after him in his memory.On the southern slope of the hill is Pearl-Returning Cave (huangzhu dong). The legend about this cave says that once a fisherman entered the cave and saw an old man sleeping with a pearly by his side. The fisherman stole the pearl and took it home. Someone told him that the pearl belonged to the Dragon king and that he would get angry if the pearl was not return. Hence the cave is called Return the Pearly Cave.Inside Pearl-Returning Cave , a rock named Sword-Testing Rock hangs from the ceiling, nearly touching the ground. General Fubo is said to have tested his sword by cutting what was originally a stone pillar and has left a crevice at the bottom ever since. At the end of the cave is Thousand-Buddha Cave . There are 250 Buddhist statues and more than 100 carved inscriptions of various periods. Most of the statues are works of Tang and Song dynasties. On the western side, a flight of steps leads to Kuishui Pavilion and then to the top. From there, one can have a bird's-eye view of the Li River. There is another rock by the river on which legend says the emperor tested his swords for sharpness. The rock is therefore called cleft rock.On the eastern side of the hill is a winding corridor, a teahouse and a "Tingtao Pavilion" (Listening to the Waves) Pavilion" is built along the cliff of the hill.

Seven star park

Seven Star Park (Qi xing Gongyuan), is located on the eastern side of the Li River, 1 kilometer from the city center. Deriving its name from a cave called Seven-Star Cave. Being the largest comprehensive and most beautiful park in Guilin , it features fantastic hills, rivers, caves and rocks. Located in the center, Seven-Star Hill consists of Putuo Hill with four peaks and Crescent Hill with three peaks. The southern entrance straddles the ancient Floral Bridge . Dragon Retreat Cave near the southern gate houses great numbers of stone tablets.This delightful park that has been landscaped to encompass hills and natural waterways is a great favorite with the local people and tourists alike. At the end of Jiefang Donglu ( Jiefang Road, East ) and approximately one kilometer from the downtown. Seven Star Park got its name from the seven peaks that are supposed to resemble the star pattern of the Big Dipper constellation nearby - four peaks in the north are called Putuo Hill, three in the south are called Lunar Hill. The famous Seven Star cave is located at the Putuo Hill.
Seven Stars Park covers an area of 120 hectares and is Guilin's largest park. As such, it houses some of the finest sightseeing venues not only in the city of Guilin, but in the entire region. The major attractions of Seven Stars Park include Camel Hill, Flower Bridge, Guihai Forest of Steles, Seven Stars Cave, and Seven Stars Zoo.
Seven Stars Zoo is home to number of giant pandas, which - hands-down - is the driving force behind the zoo's popularity. In recent years, complaints from animal rights activists concerning the treatment of the zoo's pandas has resulted in a change of leadership and a change in policy, such that today, Seven Stars Zoo's giant pandas thrive once again.

Yulong River

Major tributary of Li River, Yulong River flows through some of the most beautiful Karst (limestone) scenery near Yangshuo. Local people use rafts as daily transportation up and down the river between house, markets, and rice paddies. Some villagers made bigger rafts and started to woo the travelers and soon it became a highlight of tour around Yangshuo. Sitting on the reclining chair on the raft, you can enjoy an all around view of the natural, rural life down the river. Swimming is also a popular activity on this river. There are several swimming holes on the river. Swimming here is safer than on the Li River as there is a smaller current and it is not as deep. Several bike rides and hikes also follow the Yulong river taking in local villages and rice paddies. These can be some of the most memorable days on your China experience.
This 400 year old bridge is located in a beautiful setting. It is also the location for bamboo raft rides.You can get here easily by bike taking in towns like Ima which is on the banks on the Yulong river.We definitely recommend a visit to this this bridge and to incorporate it into a bike ride. There is a very good village road leading from Yangshuo. Along the way you pass through small villages and past rice paddies and you will follow the banks of the Yu Long river. Very special indeed!

Crown Cave

Crown Cave is located in Caoping Village, 29km south of Guilin city. It is one of the most famous tourist spots along Li River. A crown like crag gives the hill its name. The hill is a popular and important stop for both river cruise tourists and those arriving from Guilin City by bus tour. Crown Cave is a twelve kilometer long, water eroded cave. It is a wonderland of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations. It was opened to tourists in 1995 and is fitted with illuminating lights, a sound control tour guide system and escalators. Tourists are able to see all of the most interesting areas by specially designed cars and boats.
The cave extends 12km, but only the 3km nearest the river has been explored to any large extent. The cave is protected by scheduled closures to ensure that its unique qualities are not lost. Stalagmites abound inside the cave making grotesque and imposing shapes that lead people into a fairyland. An underground stream originating from Mt. Haiyang empties into the Li River from this cave. The deepest spot is over 10 meters (over 30 ft). It is also possible to enjoy a leisurely rafting experience after visiting this enchanting cave.
Visitors can reach there by taking a bus from Guilin or making a stop at the Crown Cave Dock during your sailing along the Li River.

Daxu Ancient town

Daxu town was formed at the beginning of the Song dynasty. A 2.3km long and 2m wide stone street runs through the town with various ancient buildings lining both sides. These structures are mainly form the Ming and Qing dynasties.Perching on the northern bank of Li River, the ancient town has kept its antique style from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). A flagging street, lined with old residences, shops and stalls, runs two kilometers along the river bank through the town. Some well-preserved residences hidden behind the street doors may give you a surprise you when you occasionally explore further into a shop. These were quarters for businessmen in the past times. Try some dumping snacks from the stalls or peddle cars along the street. They will surprise you with both their taste and cheap price. People in the town are very kind to tourists. Further to south, there is a single-arched bridge in the town named Longevity Bridge. The town is really a sight off-the-beaten track. On the other side of the river, a millstone-like rock with the running waters resembles a mill for Grinding Grain.

Xingpin Ancient Town

The town of Xingping, located on the east bank of the Li River, 63 kilometers from Guilin and 27 kilometers from Yangshuo. Xingping is well known for its still waters, grotesque peaks, steep cliffs, and fantastic landscape.It was the largest town along the Li River in the ancient times and is now one of the four most famous ancient towns in Guangxi Province . Xingping Town was built over 1,000 years ago and in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). Xingping was the seat of Xingping County . In 590, Xingping County was incorporated into Yangshuo County . The present Xingping remains under control of Yangshuo County.
This area has many landmarks including Mural Hill, Snail Hill, Lotus Crag, and Fishing Village which can be seen from the Li River cruise. You can walk up to Yangdi along the River from here (around 5hrs). Those interested in hiking can take the 5 hr walk to Yangdi or ferry across the river and trek to the Stone City.Alternatively hire a local boat and go up and down the river to appreciate natural wonder.Tengjiao Temple is located there. Originally built in Ming Dynasty (1599), it is the best-preserved temple in Guilin . It is well known for its unique style.Other attractions in town include three caves, five wells, and twelve peaks.

Longji Terraced Fields

Longji Terraced Fields are also called Longsheng Terraced Fields, are located north of Guilin City (located in southern China's Guangxi Autonomous Region) with a driving time of two hours from the city center.Probably built 650 years ago, Longji Terraced Fields are now famous for its large scale of rice paddies on the mountain, stacked up to form a rather spectacular view. Longji Terraced Fields contain three villages. They are Ping'an Village (平安寨), Jinkeng Village (金坑大寨) and Guzhuang Village (古壮寨). Ping'an Village is the one most visited by tour groups while Jinkeng Village is higher up and larger with the availability of cable cars (70 Yuan one way, 120 Yuan round trip). While climbing up to the mountaintop, visitors can experience the rural lifestyle of local villages which are mainly dwelled by Yao and Zhuang minorities. Timber-built rural houses among the terraces are highlights, too.

Guilin Longji Pingan Zhuang Village

This village is a most tourist destination in Longji Terrace Field, it is located in the half way of mountain, more than 1200 meters above sea level, the whole village has more than 50 families, about 200 people, they are live on the farming for many generations, the local specialty here is red chilly. The rice terrace field was the top attraction which is renowned at home and abroad and the tourism change the life of the local people. The village still very peaceful even tourist come and fro everyday. There are a lot of Chinese and foreign tourists come to visit every day, nowadays mostly of the family are change the life style from farming to operating family hotel, massage shops, or selling handicraft.The villagers here is all from Zhuang ethnic groups, the girl wearing white and blue dress and the man are wearing black dress, the custom dress instead of sea, sky and earth. Tourist can have a good opportunity to try their traditional food, as Roosted Bamboo Rice, Dried Bacons, and Sweet Rice Puddings.

Tips for Travelers:

  1. Tourists should learning some information about the ethnic groups, and observe their customs.
  2. The guesthouse in the village are all made of wood and bamboo, it provide air-conditioning, TV, and hot water shower.

Longsheng Huangluo Yao Village

Huangluo Yao Village is located in the bank of Jinsha River, on the bottom of Zhuang Village, all the house are build base on the river bank, and made of pine wood.
Yao nationality is distributed in six provinces but the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region contains the largest population of the Yao people. They have their own language but most would also speak mandarin. Their origins date to the Qin Dynasty. There are several sub-groups within the Yao nationality. Yao people are distinctive by their colorful national dress and often the women will have extremely long hair which is coiled up on top of their head.
Yao People's costume is so colorful. The women of Yao are different in two, some of them wear short jacket with no collar in upper body, but others are in long coat. In some area three arc silver hairpins is decorated on head, which sometimes weigh half a kilogram. The Yao Minority in this village has special features, the ladies all dress-up in red, they roll it up the long hair on the head, the longer hair means more pretty, and they use the rice water washing the hair to keep it black and healthy.

The two rivers and four lakes

The “Scenic Area of Two Rivers and Fours Lakes” in Guilin refers to the section of Li River in the city, Peach Blossom River, Wooden Dragon Lake, Osmanthus Lake, Banyan Lake and China Fir Lake, which form a scenic belt in the city.
The first way to see the scenic area is taking 1.5-hour cruise which offers a chance to view Guilin's tranquil mountain and water scenery, along with traditional Chinese architecture, ancient inscriptions on the bridge arches and well-maintained park-style lake frontage. Another way to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the lakes is to take a walk on its banks. The walk can be done both for daytime and the evening, as the lake colorfully lit.

Wind and Rain Bridge in Chengyang

Built in 1916, the bridge is 64.4 meters long, 3.4 meters wide and 10.6 meters high, with a reputation as the largest wind and rain bridge. As one of the most magnificent wooden architectural structures and a symbol of the Dong ethnic architecture, Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge still keeps a complete appearance for people to study the Dong minority culture for about 100 years' history.
It also can be called Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge and takes a very important position in the Chinese architectural culture. Main materials used to build it are wood and stone. The most amazing thing in the construction of this bridge is that no single nail was used in the building of the whole bridge. Fir and wood board cover the surface of the bridge. The bridge is a perfect combination of painting, bridge, corridor, veranda and Chinese pavilion.

Moon Hill

To the south of the Big Banyan Tree in Gaotian Town, about five miles (8km) away from Yangshuo County of Guilin, there is a natural masterpiece called the Moon Hill. On the hilltop is a round hole penetrating the hill from north to south, which resembles a bright moon, therefore, the hill is named Moon Hill. It is the last stop when you travelling along the picturesque 'Ten-Mile Gallery', the superb tourism section in Yangshuo County. In 1972, the former U.S. president Richard Nixon and his wife climbed the hill. Now, Moon Hill also serves as a popular place for rock climbing.The thin hill measures 756 feet (230m) high, resembling a huge screen. With another hill behind the Moon hill for reference, you will find the 'moon' constantly changes from a new moon to an old moon and then to a full moon. The hill is fronted by Licun Village, where a moon-admiration path is developed for the sake of visitors. Walking along the path, you will enjoy a show of waxing and waning of the moon. This village is also the best place to take distant view pictures of the Moon Hill.
800 marble paved steps lead visitors to the "Moon Palace", the hole on the top of the hill. In this huge palace about 55 yards (50m) in diameter, you will find a smooth wall and various stalactites hanging from the ceiling. Locals believe that three of them look like the fairy Chang'e, the Jade Rabbit, and the woodcutter Wu Gang respectively. On a fine day, blue sky and white floating clouds make a fantastic background against the hole. At the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, people will light lamps made of grapefruit on the grassland at the mountain foot, then put them into the Li River at midnight to make good wishes.

Impression Sanjie Liu

Nightlife in Guilin is as attractive as its natural beauty. From modern nightclubs, romantic night cruise to folk customs center on the Li River, travelers can enjoy or relax themselves thoroughly.
The Li River Yinzuo Ferry is located at No.2 Dock, Binjiang Road on the west bank of Li River. This luxury ferry integrates ballroom, bar and Karaoke together. Travelers can admire the fantastic scenery on both banks and enjoy the modern entertainment.
Li River Ethnic Night is made up of Li River Night Cruise and Dancing in the Water Pavilion. The water pavilion is located at No.2 Dock, Binjiang Road on the west bank of Li River, next to the Li River Yinzuo Ferry. Travelers can watch the ethnic performance and then enjoy a cruise along the Li River. Li River Folk Customs Center is located where Li River meets the Xiaodong River. Travelers will appreciate the ethnic customs, arts, cuisines and architecture. Enjoying the singing, dancing performance and ethnic costume show as well, travelers are sure to find tasting the ethnic delicacies a memorable experience. Visiting Hours from 08:30 to 21:30
Guides at the Center speak Chinese, Cantonese, English and Japanese.
Impression Sanjie Liu is a major performance, which is set in the natural landscape of Yangshuo, and is directed by the famous Chinese director, Zhang Yimo. The stage for the performance is composed of a two-kilometer-long water area with twelve mountains as the background. It is the largest natural theater in the world. The whole performance lasts for about 60 minutes with a cast of some 600 performers, all of whom are local fishermen. Tickets for the performance range from CNY188 to 680 per person. The site of the great performance is about one kilometer away from the West Street. You can walk there in 10 to 15 minutes.

What to Eat in Guilin

Besides being one of the most picturesque cities in China, Guilin's local cuisine is quite special.Guilin is an eater's paradise, with hundreds of restaurants of all kinds standing on most street corners and with whole streets of restaurants. However, it is usually not so easy to find the food one is looking for, even for local people.Guilin cuisine is a combination of Cantonese and Hunanese styles. It is characterized by its sweetness and the delicate use of spices, particularly chili. Many foods are have a sour or spicy taste. Stir-frying and steaming are the most common cooking methods of Guilin Cuisine. Wild plants and animals, which are rarely eaten in the West, are sometimes found in Guilin Cuisine.

Guilin Rice Noodles (Mifen)

Guilin rice noodles, mifen, is the most famous and popular local snack in Guilin. It is pliable but strong, fragrant and mellow, and cheap. Local people consume it as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Guilin rice noodles can probably be found within 100m of any town or city area in Guilin.
Plain rice noodles are white, and taste soft and smooth. They are made from rice flour starch, and come in mainly two shapes, round (米粉 mifen /mee-fnn/ rice noodles') and flat (切粉 qiefen /chyair-fnn/ ‘sliced noodles). Rice noodles, gravy, fried peanuts or soybeans, chopped scallions, thin slices of different kinds of meat are added at the food counter by the mifen chef for various versions of this renowned and tasty dish. You can also add marinated eggs at extra cost (1.5 yuan each). Whatever the version of rice noodles, the gravy is the cream of it. The gravy is slow-boiled for several hours with various (up to 20) ingredients and spices, such as dried tangerine peel, cinnamon, and ginger. There is no standard recipe for making the gravy, so each noodle shop may have their own secret recipe that hopefully stands them out from other shops. Well-chopped condiments are usually put on a separate table for customers to add by themselves, including spring onions, chili, pickled beans, and pickled white radish in chili sauce.

Yangshuo Beer Fish (Yangshuo Pijiu Yu)

Beer fish, a famous local specialty dish in Yangshuo, has spicy and delicious meat without any fishy smell and is very appetizing. It is selected from the big fresh carps in the Li River and is firstly fried with camellia oil and then braised with superior beer produced in Guilin. The unique crispy fresh flavor makes it well-known throughout the world.As fine food in Yanshuo, it was originally introduced from a few individual stalls. However, large numbers of restaurants have occupied the county, especially West Street in Yangshuo, a famous place where various kinds of fine food are gathered. It is served by lots of restaurants in Yangshuo as an attracting dish to the owners and a delicacy to diners.It is such a unique food that, once moved to other places, the original local flavor will be different in taste. Therefore, only in Yangshuo can diners enjoy the color, smell, alcohol and delicate taste of beer fish. That is why beer fish has become part of the food culture scenery among the fine foods in Yangshuo.

Water Chestnut Cake

The cakes are shaped like a horse's hoof, which is another meaning of mati (water chestnut). They are made of water chestnut, flour, sugar and milk, with cocoa as dressing. They are usually sold in the cool season.