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Guilin Travel Guide and Tips

Guilin Tours Map

Guilin is in South China's Guangxi Region, close to Hong Kong and Guangzhou to the southeast, and now only 6.5 hours' ride from Chengdu by train, with an average elevation of 150m, Guilin is a world famous scenic city as well as a historic and cultural city. Guilin features typical karst landforms: mountains stand in thousands of postures, Li River is clear as a mirror, and caves are filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Everything in Guilin is just the classic represent of Chinese natural scenery. Hence it enjoys a reputation – “Guilin’s scenery is the best under heaven” since ancient times. Besides the beautiful scenery, Guilin is also the home to a dozen of ethnic minorities, including Zhuang, Yao, Miao and Dong, great chance to see the unique folk customs of the ethnic minorities.

Guilin is reputed as being one of the world's most beautiful places with its karst landscapes, clean rivers, idyllic countryside, majestic rice terraces, and ethnic minorities.

Why visit Guilin:

1. Numerous Scenic Attractions - Except the typical karst landform scenery, like the scenery along Li River and Yulong River, there are many other attractions, like Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, Daxu Old Town and Longsheng Rice Terraces. The attractions of Guilin are so diverse that one will never be bored of Guilin.

2. Rich Minority Culture - Guangxi has the largest ethnic population in China and houses over a dozen of ethnic minorities. There are all kinds of ethnic festivals and activities all year round, and travelers can experience the ethnic architectures, cultures and unique folk customs in here.

3. Karst Landscapes The karst scenery of Guilin is characterized by its green hills, clear water, pretty rocks, and mysterious caves.

How To Plan A Trip To Guilin

Normally, travelers will need 3 ~ 5 days to explore the highlights of Guilin, including Li River, Yangshuo County, Longsheng Rice Terraces, Elephant Trunk Hill… Travelers who have limited time can only visit the essence of Li River and Yangshuo, and this will spend at least two days.

For those who enter into China from Hong Kong, Guilin can be the next destination, for the distance between the two cities is relatively close. As for other destinations, like Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Chengdu are often added into the itinerary after Guilin Tour by travelers.

Our Guilin Trip Planner is the best tool which aims to help to focus on where to go, where to stay, where to eat, when to go and more vital travel information you need to know before you go, such as Visa-free Policy, city transfer, etc.

The scenery from the top of Xianggong Mountain

Elephant Trunk Hill Fubo Hill, and Folded Brocade Hill are all in downtown Guilin, and in most classic Guilin city itineraries. They offer fantastic outlooks over Guilin and its rivers, weaving among its many hills, but involve climbs on 100+ steep stone steps.

If you are not good at walking, Elephant Trunk Hill may be the best for you. It's the lowest with a riverside park around it where you can appreciate the views.

There are opportunities to interact with locals, such as visiting a local family. They'll share with you their stories of countryside life. A true benefit of a China Highlights Guilin trip is meeting locals in context, like at our friend Grandpa Qin's house during a Yangshuo countryside tour..

Weather & When to Go

Featured in subtropical climate, Guilin is blessed with a mild climate and plenty of rainfall. Average temperature is around 19℃ and the average annual rainfall is about 1900 millimeters. There is no bitter cold in winter and no brutal heat in summer.

Best time to visit Guilin is from April to October. However, each season has its unique beauty. In the late spring and early summer, Guilin will enter into a rainy season; this is the great time to see rainy and misty Li River, just like the scene from classic Chinese painting. In summer time, the sunshine is very great, and it’s the best time to experience the azure sky and peaceful and crystal-clear Li River and Yulong River. In autumn, the weather is cool and fresh, and the air transparency will reach its peak around the year, so it’s great time to shoot beautiful photos. Though winter is off-season, you can see snowy Longsheng Terraces if you are lucky.

Top Attractions & Places to Visit

Generally, the attractions in Guilin can be divided into three parts. Attractions in and around Guilin city center include Li River, Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave…Yangshuo County has Yulong River, Moon Hill and Big Banyan Tree and so on. The third part is Longsheng Rice Terrace scenic spot, and there is also great place to experience ethnic culture.

Li River

Li River

Li River is the most beautiful part of Guilin, features in typical karst landform, thousands of limestone mountains stick out of the ground along the river bank. Cruising on Li River is just like being part of a magical world.



Yangshuo County is located in the downstream of Li River, famous for its relaxing life pace and stunning idyllic scenery. Except for the great natural view, it attracts numerous tourists for various activities, like bamboo rafting, rock climbing.

Filled with graceful water and marvelous mountain, Yangshuo has many fascinating attractions for you. Among them, most famous ones are Yulong River, West Street, Moon Hill and Big Banyan Tree.

Elephant Trunk Hill

Elephant Trunk Hill

Elephant Trunk Hill, in the north of Guilin City, is a hot attraction and landmark of Guilin. Beautiful natural views merged with valuable cultural landscape make it a fascinating place which makes tourists fascinated and longing for.

Located in the Elephant Hill Park (Xiangshan Park) where the Taohua River and Li River converge, Elephant Trunk Hill is named after its unique shape of a giant elephant stretching its trunk to Li River and boozing.

How to Get to and Travel Around Guilin

Guilin is in China's subtropical (bordering temperate) monsoon zone with four distinct seasons and high humidity.
Although Guilin is suitable for traveling all year round, the best time to travel there is from April to October when the weather is comfortable and the scenery is charming. See more on Guilin Weather.

The Best Time to Visit Guilin

Guilin is easily accessible by high-speed train and flights from the main cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu, and Hong Kong.

Guilin city is a transport hub for your excursion tours to Yangshuo and Longji, taking about 1 hour and 2½ hours by car respectively.

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