The Chinese city of Guilin is famous as the first place where tourism became the main source of income. For many decades, the gorgeous landscapes of this picturesque area have been called “the best in Greater China”. Chinese politicians have always liked this settlement and chosen it when they needed a suitable area for meeting foreign delegations. In short, Guilin has become a so-called “calling card” of the country, and Chinese authorities have always tried to show this beautiful place to guests. In modern times, tourists enjoy visiting Guilin despite the fact that this city welcomes many tourists every year. Despite a big number of guests, all the streets are tidy in the city.
There is no exact data regarding the foundation date of Guilin. As Chinese historic documents do not mention this, local scientists still argue on this subject. However, there is an approximate date – 214 BC. Even at that time, the new settlement immediately became an important city. Guilin had a beneficial location – it was situated near an ancient canal that connected the south and north parts of China. During the reign of the Han dynasty, the city had another name – Lingui.
Do you enjoy exploring caves? Guilin offers its guests to visit a natural attraction of this type. The cave has an unusual name – the Reed Flute Cave. Such a name choice is not random. There is dense reed vegetation near the cave. The flute made from this material has a peculiar sound. It is hard to find better flutes in China, and so local people are proud of the origin of the popular musical instrument. The cave itself is a moderate-sized grotto, the length of which is five hundred meters. Once you step inside, you will get into a colorful world of numerous stalactites and stalagmites. As all of them have different colors, the cave looks incredibly fancy.
According to a local legend, a local poet was strolling near the cave one day. When he was passing the cave by, he decided to take a look at the beauty of the grotto. The man was so charmed by the beautiful look of the cave that he decided to immortalize this place in his poems. The poet was moving from one hall to another, looking at the play of colors and admiring the view. The first lines of his poem were dedicated to the beauty of the Reed Flute Cave. The talented poet was walking in the cave for so long not being able to find the right words to describe the mesmerizing beauty of this place. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the poem and kept walking in the cave until he turned into a stone.
The Elephant Trunk Hill is one of the oldest symbols of Guilin. This hill has an unusual shape, and its name describes the rocky formation precisely. If you take a look at the hill, you will notice that it looks like an elephant that put his long trunk into water. A local legend says that this majestic animal came down from heaven in order to help local people in a tough moment. However, the God of Heaven was furious because of such a move of the kind-hearted elephant. He stabbed the animal with his dagger. The huge elephant petrified in a second, turning into a stone hill.
There is a round-shaped cave between the stone trunk and the rest of the hill. The Li River flows here. If you visit this landmark during the full moon, you will see the grotto reflection that looks like there are two moons over the river. All local people enjoy watching this unusual effect. Not many people on Earth can say that their town has a reflection of two moons.
In the heart of Guilin, tourists can see a gorgeous architectural landmark – the mesmerizing Jingjiang Princes' Palace. This is a truly impressive building. The palace was built in the 14th century by the order of the Ming dynasty. This is not just a palace but a whole complex consisting of forty buildings. Jingjiang Princes' Palace has managed to retain its original look and beauty until modern times. All constructions in the palace are painted in red and yellow colors and have carved balustrades, marble stairs, and unique sculptures. The wall made of rare blue stones surrounds the palace.
Airplane is the best means of transport to get to Guilin. The city has its own airport that accommodates flights from neighbor cities and other countries of the world such as Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. Tourists from many European countries may not be able to make a direct flight to Guilin, and so they will need to fly to Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou first. The airport is situated away from the city center, so you will need a taxi to get to the heart of Guilin or get on a shuttle bus.