Undeniably stunning scenery is what lures most travelers to lush, green, subtropical Guangxi, but this beautiful province is more than simply a photographer’s dream. True, the landscape will leave you gobsmacked, but it’s the opportunities on offer to get out there and enjoy it that make Guangxi so special. The famous limestone peaks of Guilin and Yangshuo are best explored by bicycle, offering a unique perspective, and the peaks in Yanghsuo in particular give rise to some of the best climbing in all of Asia.
Guangxi is a melting pot of minority groups, and hiking from village to village around the Zhuang, Dong, and Yao areas of the northeast makes trips to the soaring Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terrace and the sublime Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge even more rewarding. It also opens up the possibility of staying with locals in traditional wooden houses.
If all that sounds too energetic, it’s easy to slow things down with a simple stroll around an ancient village, while an aimless wander along the 19th-century streets of Beihai’s old town is a highlight of a trip to the far south.
Longsheng Rice Terrace:
The Longji Terraced Rice Fields are located 23 kilometers (14 miles) from Longsheng city. They are the most famous rice terraces in China. Construction started in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and the fields cover an area of over 66 square kilometers (16,300 acres) and at its highest point is 1100 meters high (3600 feet).
Longji (Dragon's Backbone) Terraced Rice Fields received their name because the rice terraces resemble a dragon's scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon. Visitors standing on the top of the mountain can see the dragon's backbone twisting off into the distance. In a early morning when weather is fine, the sunrise on the summit of Longji Rice Terraces is magnificent.
The terraced rice fields make Longji a paradise for photographers and people interested in China's minority cultures. In the morning many visitors like to get up early to watch the sun rise above the terraced peaks. During the day time, it is wonderful to see minority women working the fields in all of their colorful costumes.
Longji is spectacular in every season. The best time to visit Longji is totally up to your travel interests. However, spring and autumn is most recommended.
In spring, the rain irrigates the fields, and each field looks like a mirror reflecting the blue sky and fluffy clouds. In summer, the terraces look like small forests as the bright green rice plants begin to grow to maturity. In the fall, the mountains are covered in gold as the ripe rice plants wait to be harvested. In the winter, the whole mountain could be covered with snow making the mountain look like a giant sleeping white dragon (the snow season is short in Longji from Jan. to Feb.).
The Longji Dragon's Back Rice Terraces have an almost mystical quality to them. As visitors climb walk along the mountain paths, each view that opens up is more beautiful than the one before. The mixture of nature's beauty, the splash of color from the local women, and scattered villages make Longji a destination not to be missed.
Li River is the soul of Guilin, where nature shows its creativity, giving the area the fame of "the finest scenery under heaven". There are many ways to travel the Li River. The glamour the Li River comes from not only the crystal clear water but more from the uniquely shaped karst hills, rice paddies, and bamboo groves lining the rive. Once you are there, you will be overwhelmed and forget time.
Famed as "Guilin scenery is the best under heaven", people are stunned by its unsurpassed beauty. Li River is the soul of Guilin. Cruise on the two rivers and four lakes in Guilin, or boat on a bamboo raft in Yangshuo, and you may experience the lifestyle of a fairy. Cruising on the Li River has four different waterways.
First, the "Golden Waterway" is normally from Guilin to Yangshuo. It will take about 4 or 4.5 hours to arrive. In winter, when the water level is low, the "Golden Waterway" is from Yangdi to Yangshuo. It will take about 3 or 3.5 hours to arrive. Second, the "Diamond Waterway" is from Puyi to Fuli. Visitors will board at Yangshuo dock. The cruising will take 2 to 3 hours. Third, the "Splendid Waterway" is just cruising along the Li River in Guilin downtown. It takes 1.5 hours.
Fourth, the "President Waterway" is cruising along the Li River in Xingping. It takes 2 hours.
Cruising along the Li River may appreciate the amazing Guilin karst Mmountains and local lifestyle. The highlight of the Li River cruise is between Xingping to Yangshuo. The elegant hills along the Li River are fascinating!
The famous hills, such as "nine horses mural cliff" and "moon hill" attract tourists very much. You may also see the real beauty of the scenery on RMB 20 banknote, on which is a fisherman on his bamboo raft floating down the Li River through the spectacular karst mountains of Yangshuo.
Yangshuo, located near Guilin city is a major tourist destination. The area has some of the most beautiful karst mountain landscapes in the world. Yangshuo is reached by most visitors by taking a cruise down the picturesque Li River. The area is filled with karst mountains. The views are nothing short of breathtaking. The atmosphere in Yangshuo is a unique one. The streets are usually filled with Westerners and most of the shops, restaurants, hotels, and bars are designed to cater to them. Each year approximately 100,000 westerners come to Yangshuo, making it a unique blend of cultures.
The streets of Yangshuo are paved with large stones and the architecture of the town is Chinese in design. The main street of the town, West Street, is also the main shopping street. West Street has a history of over 1,400 years. The street is lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Many times during the year, westerners outnumber Chinese. Because of this, West Street is often called "Foreigner Street". Many people there can speak English. Many of the shop's signs are bilingual and menus always feature English. It is always surprising to hear an old farmer woman speak English. The shops offer handicrafts and items unique to this part of China. At different times of the day, West Street takes on different atmospheres. In the early morning the street is peaceful and quiet, during the midday the street is filled with shoppers milling about, and in the evening, the street is really hopping.
A visit to Yangshuo is not complete without a bike ride through the local countryside. Bicycles can be rented from almost every hotel in Yangshuo. The countryside around Yangshuo is exceptionally beautiful. The landscape is dotted with mountains, and the rice fields reflected in the water are particularly lovely. Farmers living in the countryside work the fields as they always have with muscle, sweat, and the occasional water buffalo. Visitors never know what they will discover around the next bend in the road.
Guilin city is more than just a gateway to the surrounding scenic areas. With countless limestone peaks and the Li River running across the downtown, Guilin city is like a natural wonderland of karst topography. Its natural skyline is rarely to be seen in other cities in the world. Elephant Trunk Hill and Camel Hill shape vividly like real animals as they are named. Solitary Beauty Peak, Fubo Hill, and Reed flute Cave are also famed for their unique beauty. When night falls, it is the time to relax in the bars on the Pedestrian Street. Guilin is where you would always wish to come back.
Elephant Trunk Hill is situated at the junction of the Li River and Taohuajiang Rivers. Rising over 55 meters above the water, it is a spectacular limestone karst hill with a naturally-shaped cave at the bottom. The hill, standing majestically on the western bank of the Li River looks like a huge elephant dipping its trunk into the Li River to quench its thirst. At dusk, it looks extraordinarily beautiful. It is a masterpiece of karst landscape. This hill is representative of the karst mountains of Guilin. It has become the symbol of Guilin. You can find its image on Guilin travel brochures, books, and many local businesses have used it in their logo. It is definitely a must see when visiting Guilin.
Guilin's Reed Flute Cave can be found on the itinerary of almost every visitor to Guilin and China Adventure Clubis no exception. There is an extremely good reason for this. Reed Flute Cave is a brilliant example of how glorious Mother Nature can be. Visitors never fail to be awed by the magnificence of Reed Flute Cave. The cave received its name in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) for the numerous reeds growing outside the cave. Local children liked to carve the reeds into flutes. Even today, children can be seen around the cave's entrance offering to sell the reed flutes that they make to visitors. What makes Reed Flute Cave so marvelous are the stalactites, stalagmites, and columns that can be found inside the cave. The formations were created over thousands of years by dripping water. A very small amount of calcium carbonate located in the water adheres to the stone with each drop. When the drop hits the floor of the cave it also leaves a small calcium carbonate deposit that will eventually become a stalagmite. These formations sometimes meet and become a column. They grow on average of one millimeter per year. The formations can be quite astounding and the ones found in Reed Flute Cave are particularly beautiful.