GuilinCopyright: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
GuilinGuilin has long been a favourite among travellers to China. This compact city is most famous for the green mountains, crystal clear waters, unique caves and the beautiful cliffs in its outskirts. The karst peaks and the surrounding areas are world renowned for its beautiful scenery. Yet it is not only this stunning landscape that draws visitors to Guilin, but its unique folk customs, that make for unforgettable experiences in themselves.
The CityThe centre of Guilin is around Zhongshan Rd, which extends from the front of Guilin Railway Station northward to Zhengyang Pedestrian St and Cross St, the most bustling commercial area of the urban city. The most famous suburb is Yangshuo, one of the top ten ancient towns of China, which now has become a global village.
Do & See
Guilin is famous for its extraordinary karst landscapes and exotic local culture of ethnic minorities. Major attractions in Guilin include the Li River, Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave, Seven-Star Park and Longsheng terrace fields. The city’s pride is that it is just like a stone museum where amazing geological finds are displayed.
The city’s cuisine is most famous for Guilin rice noodles, which have been the local breakfast staple since the Qin dynasty and are renowned for their delicate taste. Guilin snacks and the use of spices, especially chili, are also well known. The famous Guilin chilli sauce, used widely in cooking by locals, is made of fresh chili, garlic and fermented soybeans. Guilin delicacies generally taste slightly spicy and are on the heavy side, since they are influenced by the nearby Guangdong and Hunan Provinces. Most places in Guilin close at 10 pm and those in Yangshuo run until 1 am. Guilin also happens to be the area of Chine where consuming dog meat is far from taboo. Dog cadavers might be seen at the local market, and dishes featuring dog meat are offered in some restaurants, normally indicated with the character "狗". Try to avoid any dishes with this character on the menu if you don't feel comfortable with the practice.
There are many places where you can enjoy a cup of coffee in downtown Guilin, especially in Yangshuo. Every café in Yangshuo is distinct from the others with their unique characteristics, while all of them share one thing in common – they are all full of drawings, messages or scribbles left by the customers in notebooks, on the desks or even on the wall. Internet is available in most of them. Cafés in downtown Guilin usually close at 1.30 am.
Bars & Nightlife
The best Guilin bars can be found in West Street, Yangshuo. There are so many of them, each different from the other, and impossible to run through in one go. Most bars and clubs in Yangshuo are open later than the ones in downtown Guilin.
Guilin is a great city for shopping. Shopping places in Guilin are mainly made up of pedestrian streets, night markets, malls and the West Street in Yangshuo. If you are looking for souvenirs and more exclusive items, landscape paintings, the famous painted fans or delicacies like Sanhua Liquor, Fermented Bean Curd, Chili Sauce, Osmanthus tea and sugar and Luohanguo should be on your shopping list as well.