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Guilin

Travel Guide Asia China Guangxi Guilin

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Introduction

Guilin

Guilin

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Guilin (桂林) is a city on the banks of the Lijiang River in the northeast of Guangxi in southern China. It owes its name to the fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees in the city and literally means "forest of the Sweet Osmanthus".

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Sights and Activities

  • Jingjiang Princes City, Ming Dynasty Complex
  • Reed Flute Cave
  • Elephant trunk hill
  • Seven star park
  • Four lakes and two rivers
  • Yao mountain
  • Fobu hill park
  • Western hill park

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Events and Festivals

  • Guilin Dragon Boat Festival - On the 5th May of Chinese Lunar Year, dragon boat racing will be held on Li River. local people will flock by to see the contest.
  • Guilin Mountain and River Festival - Guilin Mountain and River Festival is a grand ceremony introduced by Guilin Municipal Government. The festival incorporates the mountain and river sightseeing with the performance of local folk lore and traditional artistic performances to give visitors the impression about Guilin's beauty and history.

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Weather

Guilin's weather mostly is relatively warm and humid, though winter temperatures can get quite low sometimes. Summers last from late May to early October when temperatures are averaging between 28 and 34 °C during most days. Nights are a balmy 20-25 °C. Winters are from December to early March, but with temperatures between 12 and 16 °C it is actually quite comfortable. Nights are 5 to 7 °C, so bring a sweater. Winters is also the dry time, with around 50-75mm of rain a month. From April to August it's very wet, with May and June having an average precipitation of around 350mm! Autumn (September-November) is a good time to visit.

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Getting There

By Plane

Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) (桂林两江国际机场) is the nearest airport to Guilin and is about 28 kilometres (17 miles) from the city. This medium size airport serves almost every major city in China, including Beijing, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Guangzhou. It also has limited international service to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Seoul, Taipei Hong Kong and Macau. The budget airline Air Asia has service to this airport (to/from Kuala Lumpur). The only way to reach the airport at this time is by taxi.

By Train

The train station is located in the center of town. This is a major train station with direct trains to almost every city in China. Remember that most trains might be filled by the time they reach Guilin, because most of the trains start in Kunming or in Shanghai, making standing tickets the only ones available during busy times. Also right outside of the train station there are direct buses to Yangshuo that start at 7:00am and end around 9:00pm.

There has been bullet train operated in Guilin, so it has been easier for travelling from changsha, nanning and other cities; after bullet train operated between guangzhou and Guilin, there will be more travel choices then later 2014

By Bus

Buses serve main cities througout China, and many regional destinations as well, including regular services to Yangshuo and Longsheng (gateway to rice terraces, Dragon's Backbone).

By Boat

There are passenger services to/from Yangshuo, but mostly for tourists, as (mini)buses are much faster. Cargo services exist as well, but capacity is limited.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Major sites in down town Guilin can be reached by public bus, take No.3 bus to reed flute cave

By Foot

Elephant trunk hill, four lakes and seven stars park are all located in city center, and walking on food could be great

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Eat

Like everywhere in China, food is all around. The best choice for any traveller is to taste the food in the local shops. Be sure to try out Guilin mifen (rice noodles), found in about every street in the city. Also, what is more fun than going into a local place, with nothing but Chinese on the menu, and to the point and be surprised trick. For western food, check out the youth hostels and some places near the walking street.

  • Rosemary's, decent western food, in a side street of the main walking street.
  • Little Italian, also known as Zheli bar (the Here bar). Good pizza's and pasta. In Binjiang Lu, next to the river, south of Jiefang qiao (liberation bridge).

Things to eat when in Guilin
Guilin Rice Noodles, Steamed Mung Bean and Meat Wrapped in Lotus Leaf, Water Chestnut Cake, Glutinous Rice with Mung Bean Paste, Guilin Water Glutinous Rice Cake, Yangshuo Beer Fish, Oil Tea & Lipu Taro Looped Meat.

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Drink

Despite it's status as a tourist hotspot, Guilin does not have much of a bar culture. Western style bars and good live music are hard to find. If you are not fussy, and not too worried about your finances, try your luck around the walking street in the city centre. There are some bars and clubs. If you do want some quality, ask your guesthouse to direct you to a cool spot, or check out one of the following places:

  • Le Feitz Irish Pub. Exiting place with live music and parties located in Guilin's universities area (100m near Guangxi Normal University campus).
  • Kaya café & bar. Recently opened in a quiet street close to the centre, this bar is one of the few good drinking spots in the city. Very laidback atmosphere with regular concerts, parties or other activities (big screen movies, parties). It has another branch in Yangshuo. Zhonghua Lu 6 (from walking street walk north to solitary beauty peak, go right and first left again, 50m ahead.)
  • Suan Le bar only opens for concerts and parties, but it is the the top spot for some great live music, mainly underground. At Jing Ji Lukou (Jing Ji crossroad with Liu He Lu), close to Guilin university of electronic technology.

Local drinks are Liquan beer and some local brands of Baijiu: ErHuoTou, SanHua for example. Guilin gets it's name from the fragrant Osmanthus tree, which is also used to make tea.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Anne's AppartmentLijiang GardernApartment79
Grand 0773 HotelNo. 31, Wenming RoadHotel79
Backstreet Youth Hostel3 Ren Min RoadHOSTEL79
Guilin Dozycat HostelNorth Liumashan LanwHostel72
How Flowers Hostel6 Shangzhi Lane Block 2, South Zhongshan RoadHostel67
Guilin Fubo HotelNo.27, Binjiang RoadHotel76
Guilin Oasis Inn4th Floor of Continental Mansion Central Zhongshan RdHostel63
Guilin Riverside HostelNO.6 Zhu Mu Xiang,Nan Men BridgeHostel84
Xiao Yang Lou International Youth Hostel110-25 South Zhongshan Rd Nanmen BridgeHostel-
Lakeside InnNo.1-1-2 Sha Lake Buiding Shahu BeiluHostel-
New Plaza Hotel72 Zhongshan South Road.Hotel67
Wada Hostel in GuilinNo.212,Huanchengxi 1 RoadHOSTEL91
Top Level Tour Holiday ApartmentsNO 233, Zhongshan RoadApartment-
3 Stars- Soluxe Qixia Hotel GuilinSoluxe Qixia Hotel New BridgeHostel-
Zelin Hotel GLNo.76 South ZhongShan RoadHOTEL72
Fawlty Towers Hotel32 Pan Tao Road Yangshuo townHotel-
Buddy's HostelNo.27 Fengbei Road Diecai District, GuilinHOSTEL72
Ming Palace International Hostel10-3 Dong Hua Rd XiuFeng District, GuilinHOSTEL82
Green Forest Hostel110-25 South Zhongshan RdHOSTEL85
Yulan Tree InnNo.34 Yinding Road GuilinHOSTEL-
This Old Place International Youth HostelNo.2 Yiwu RoadHOSTEL81
LongJi International Youth HostelPing'An Village Long ji Terraces,Heping Town Longsheng County,Gui'lin City,Hostel-
Jinjiang Inn( Guilin Seven Star Road)No.79, Seven Star RoadHOTEL-
Dazhai Dragon's Den Hostel in the Rice TerracesTiantouzhai, Dazhai Village Heping, LongshengHostel88
Dazhai JinKeng International Youth Hostel(Longji Terrace)Tiantou Zhai, DaZhai village Heping TownHOSTEL-
Yongxing HotelRoom 313 Yangguang Business Building, No. 4 Mid. Zhongshan RoadHOTEL-
Peace Family Hotel#12 diecui road,guilin guangxi CHINAHOTEL-
Guilin sweetome vacation rentalsEast Rood No.11-113 Qixing District ChuanshanHostel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 25.2791
  • Longitude: 110.276299

Contributors

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Guilin Travel Helpers

  • AnnaSui

    I have been in Guilin for over 10 years, after graduated from Guangxi Normal University. I have spent many times in and out of Guilin by biking, car or through some walking. I love Guilin very much and would like to be of help so that more people can know more about this city.

    Ask AnnaSui a question about Guilin

This is version 59. Last edited at 13:45 on Mar 27, 14 by Utrecht. 12 articles link to this page.

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