Guangxi Guilin Attractions & Travel Tips

This article for Guangxi Guilin Attractions & Travel Tips is contributed by my site visitor @WaittingLee370 via Twitter. I really appreciate her effort and support:)

Guilin is located in Guangxi Province and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China. I visited Guilin twice many years ago. The beautiful Li River and Guilin landscape are still in my memory.  In this article,  @WaittingLee370 shared her photos and travel tips to visit the famous Guangxi Guilin attractions and surrounding areas. The article contains a large amount local information, which I believe are very useful for the foreign visitors. 

The content covers:

  • Key Guangxi Guilin attractions and famous local food
  • Guilin travel tips on best visit time
  • Recommended itinerary for 5 days
  • Money
  • Clothing
  • Local transports 
  • Warnings

For the rest part of this article, the Chinese writing and photos (except the header image) are provided by @WaittingLee370, the content editing and translation from Chinese to English are made by me.

Guilin Attractions & Travel Tips

Guangxi Guilin Attractions 1#: Li River


China Guangxi Guilin Li RiverGuangxi Guilin Attractions 1#: Li River

This picture is the famous Li River. “桂林山水甲天下” is an old Chinese saying, means that Guilin scenery is the best in the world. The landscape of Li River is the most iconic symbol of Guilin. 

When visiting Li River, a must-not-miss activity is the bamboo rafting. When the worker start to move the bamboo raft and we are floating along the Li River. With the view is widely open, the stunning mountains and ### stones are all in the view.  The sense of a harmony between the human and nature is gradually arisen inside, which is such as pleasant feeling.

(Min's addition note: the last sentence in Chinese is very common and standard Chinese writing. But it is so hard to translate. Phew, hope I did this right :)  

在岸边找到了画在20元人民币背后的那座山. 如果路过这里也可以来试试!:-)

Along the shore, we found the spot which has the view used in the Chinese yuan 20RMB. If you come passing here, you can try this too:)   

China Guangxi Guilin Li River on MoneyGuangxi Guilin Attractions 1#: Li River

Guangxi Guilin Attractions 2#: Elephant Trunk Hill Park


Guangxi Guilin Attraction: Elephant Trunk Hill ParkGuangxi Guilin Attractions 2#: Elephant Trunk Hill Park

This picture is taken from Elephant Trunk Hill Park within the Guilin city. The park is famous and well-known because of this elephant trunk hill. It is named due to the shape of the hill is like an elephant drinking water from the river. It is the symbol of Guilin city and the park is a must-visit attraction for the tourists.

Guangxi Guilin Attractions 3#: Dragon Backbone's Rice Terraces 


Guangxi Guilin Dragon Backbone's Rice TerracesGuangxi Guilin Attractions 3#: Dragon Backbone's Rice Terraces

This picture is taken from Dragon Backbone's Rice Terraces. Although the time when we visited was during the rain season, luckily we met a sunny day!

Dragon Backbone's Rice Terraces is about 80km away from Guilin city, which is a place mainly has two China ethnic minorities, Zhuang and Yao nationalities living here. You can see people wearing the dress in unique and colorful traditional costume. You can also enjoy the authentic original culture from the ethnic minorities and visit their traditional houses too.


Because we visited it in April, there was no water in the rice field yet. According to what locals said, they start to fill the water to the rice field from the end of May. Once filled with water, the view of rice field will be more beautiful than this. For those who like to take photograph, we recommend to visit the rice field after the water is filled and stay for few days. Definitely you will have lots beautiful pictures here.  (Wow, sounds so good, I 'd love to go! Min :)

Guangxi Guilin Attractions 4#: Guilin Rice Noodle Soup


Guangxi Guilin Rice Noodle SoupGuilin Rice Noodle Topped with Meat, Red Chili, Roasted Yellow Peas. Yum!

The most famous Guilin local food is -- Guilin rice noodle soup! In fact, there are rice noodle soup shops everywhere in Guilin. But the one we had in this picture was taken from 崇善米粉总店, Chongshan Rice Noodle Shop, located at the Zhengyang shopping street. This noodle shop is a famous brand. If you worry about the hygiene of the rice noodle from the street noodle shops, you can come here to have a try. 

Rice noodle soup would normally have many different flavors. The differences are what meat ingredient you choose. For example, you may choose the soup with the pork or beef flavors.

(Min's additional notes, cannot help adding more here. As seen in this picture, the noodle soup comes with veggie and tofu as the side dish. if pay attention, you will notice that the Guilin rice noodle is the round shape noodle. In Hunan, we also have the flat rice noodle (check this post for famous Hunan food here). Another special part of Guilin rice noodle is that apart from the tender meat and pickled veggie, it normally have the roasted, crunchy yellow peas (or peanuts) on the top, which adds something different to the noodle soup. That was why I still remembered it :)

Guilin Travel Tips 1#: Time to Visit

最佳旅行时间: 桂林的最佳旅游季节是9-11月。一般4-5月桂林会进入雨季,漓江水位会涨,江水会比较浑浊,有时雨势过大还会封航。但是下雨的时候天气会比较凉爽,雨中的漓江也别有一番风味。7-8月是雨季的中期到末期,气候比较闷热,同时也是旅游的黄金季节,游客会比较多。9-11月降水较少,气候也比较适宜,江水的水量适中,适合泛舟漓江。

The best time to visit Guilin is September to November. The month of April to May is the start of rain season for Guilin. During this period, the water level of Li River will increase and the water may appear muddy.  The bamboo rafting or boat trip may be canceled if the rain is too heavy.  Of course, the positive part of visiting Li River in the rain is that the weather can be cooler. The view of Li River in the rain has its unique beauty too.

The month of July to August is the middle of rain season. It is hot and humid but also the gold time for tourism. There will be lots tourists. 

Month Sep to Nov has less rain and better weather, which is suitable to visit Li River (taking the boat trip or bamboo raft).  


For the rice field, because the locals will start to water the field around Duanwu Festival, it is recommended to visit after the water is filled.

Time to avoid:  the week around May 1st and Oct. 1st, more specifically, the week of May 1st - 3rd and Oct 1st - 7th. These two weeks are the public holidays in China and many Chinese people will take their time to travel. It may affect hotel and transport booking and the price can go up too.  

Guilin Travel Tips 2#: Days to Visit & Itinerary


Recommended Days: One Week

Day 1: Guilin town center and Elephant Trunk Hill; 

Day 2: Li River Boat Trip, starts from Guilin to Yangshuo;

Day 3: visit Yangshuo ancient town, enjoy local snack and evening bar. There is also a water fountain show Liu San Jie.  Liu San Jie  (Liu the Third Sister),  was the first musical film in China which tells the story of Liu San Jie, a legendary folk female singer of Zhuang minority in Guangxi Autonomous Region. It has many scenes taken from Guilin Li River.)

Day 4: Boat trip return from Yangshuo to Yangti, then take the coach/bus back to Guilin. Visit Guilin city and enjoy the night view of Guilin city by evening boat tour (夜游两江四湖).

Day 5: Dragon Backbone's Rice Terraces, experience the Chinese ethics minority culture of Miao and Zhuang. can stay overnight and return to Guilin on  Day 6.

Guilin Travel Tips 3#: Money


The admiration fee for the Guangxi Guilin attractions (price per adult):       

  • Li River Bamboo Rafting: 200 RMB
  • Elephant Trunk Hill Park: 75RMB
  • Dragon Back Terrace Field: 100RMB
  • 夜游两江四湖 Evening boat tour in Guilin city: 200 RMB  


  • Hostel: ~ 80RMB,
  • 3 star hotel: ~180 RMB or higher
  • 4 star: ~ 280RMB or higher


Very flexible depending what you eat. The Guilin rice noodle soup, the cheapest is 5RMB. But if you want to have beer fish (啤酒鱼), a popular Guilin local dish), it cost about 100RMB per person.   

Guilin Travel Tips 4#: Clothing


  • March-April: the weather is still cool (temperature around?). Recommend to take a jacket (wind and water proof).
  • May- June: rain season, make sure take the umbrella and waterproof cloth.  This period is also very humid, so it is better to wear something breathable and can keep you cool.
  • July- Aug: summer time, protect from the strong sun lights (sun cream).
  • Sep-Nov: autumn, can wear trousers and long sleeve cloth.
  • Dec-Feb: winter, cold and wet, you need to prepare coat to keep you warm. (In the south of China, there is not center heating system installed in most buildings and households. Air condition is likely used in the big shopping malls but for most places)  
  • Footwear: visit Guilin will involve lots walking and activities near water, it is better to wear the comfortable, flat shoes.   

Guilin Travel Tips 5#: Transport & Taxi


  • Flights can arrive Guilin Liang Jiang International Airport. There are airport shutter buses to city center, the ticket price is about 20 RMB per person. The final stop is the stop at 民航大厦 (Civil Aviation Building).
  • The train can reach to Guilin Railway station and North Guilin Railway station, but most trains arrive at Guilin Railway station.
  • Public transport within the city: Bus basically 1RMB per person, air condition bus 2RMB per person. Need to have the exact note or coins as no change will be given.  If my memory was right, no English announcement on the bus, so you need to check the bus stops in advance to avoid miss your stop. (But most case you might just take a taxi)
  • Taxi fare during the daytime: initial fee: 9RMB/2km, after 1.9RMB/km. Taxi fare for the evening: initial fee 11RMB/2km and 2RMB/km afterward. 1RMB extra charge is always added for fuel cost at any time. (Min: better to print or write the address in Chinese in advance because it is very unlikely the taxi driver can communicate in English.) 
  • Bicycle: the best way to get around is the bicycle. The rent of a bike for is about 10-15RMB per day. 

Guilin Travel Tips 6#: Other Warnings

其他 warning:不要在火车站广场打车, 可能会有不良司机引导客人去他们合作的酒店,最好出了广场到路边去拦车,也不要听从司机的引导去陌生的地方消费,包括吃饭和景点等;大部分消费场所不能用信用卡消费,如果住宿最好提前和酒店确认一下是否可以刷信用卡;漓江漂流时一个竹筏能坐四个人,如果不够四个人是需要支付空位费的,或者和别人拼一个竹筏一起坐,有的筏工可能会收取小费以减慢划船速度增加游览时间,是否要支付这笔小费需要事先和筏工讲好,一般小费给40rmb左右。

About the Taxi:
Do not take the taxi at the Railway station. There are some taxi drivers will lead the guest to their (affiliate) hotel. It is recommended to go pass the railway station square and get a taxi on the road. Also do not follow the taxi driver’s suggestions to somewhere (you don’t know), such as a place to eat or an attraction, (as they might charge unreasonable price.)

About the credit card:
Most local shops do not accept credit card. Make sure to check with the hotel before booking.

Bamboo Rafting on Li River:
The price is charged for one raft, which can accommodate four guests, even if you use it alone, you have to pay the whole price for one raft. To save money, you may share one raft with other people.  

If you want to raft operator drive /move/ride slowly so you can have more time on the river, you may negotiate with the worker. The charge for additional time is about 40RMB. (Guess this is a tip for the operator).

Well, that's it. This is such a long post. Hope you find the information  for Guangxi Guilin Attractions & Travel Tips useful. If so, please like it on Facebook and share with others. Once again, big thanks to my visitor @WaittingLee370 to contribute this article.

If you have some wonderful travel photos or stories about food and travel in China, and like to share with other via posting on my site, please contact me to find out more about how to contribute to this site. Thank you:)

(Post: 20/03/17)

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