What To Do With A Day In Guilin
Guilin doesn’t seem to be a very popular city and most travelers head straight to Yangshuo, a smaller town about one hour down the road, which offers much more natural in a more relaxed and less smoggy setting. I didn’t like Guilin that much either, my throat was hurting from the fumes and smog I was inhaling and the city felt very crowded, loud, and dirty. Still, I did find a few awesome things to do in Guilin, or rather, I found some attractions to escape from just these aforementioned downsides of the city. You can see it all in a day, but if you want to spend some time in Guilin without hurrying from attraction to attraction, here are my favorite three:
In the Morning: Explore the Reed Flute Cave
The Reed Flute Cave is a limestone cave just 5 kilometers outside of downtown Guilin. It is located a bit away from the loud honking, the smog, and the crowds of the city and sits in the midst of the karst landscape surrounded by green nature and a lake. The cave gets its name from the reeds growing outside, which can apparently be made into flutes. As can be deducted from the many poems and inscriptions left behind in the stone, the beautiful underground world of stalactites and stalagmites was already popular during the Tang Dynasty over a thousand years ago. But soon after, it was forgotten for hundreds of years and only got rediscovered after a group of refugees stumbled on it in search of shelter in the 1940s. Now, the cave is the perfect place for a two-hour excursion out of the city. It is lit up beautifully in all colors of the rainbow and you can either join a tour and have the cave system and its features explained to you, or set off on your own.
How to get there:
Take bus number 3 or 58 to the Reed Flute Cave station.
In the Afternoon: Climb Diecai Hill
This park, often called the Folded Brocade Hill, is also a bit of a refuge from the busy, smoggy city and surprisingly a barely known jewel among western tourists in Guilin. Covering a big karst peak, the park includes several walking paths, viewpoints, and a few small caves with beautiful stone paintings. Diecai Hill’s best feature though is that from those viewpoints you get some amazing views of the sprawling city among the limestone peaks.
How to get there:
Take bus number 2 or 58 to Diecai Shan Station and walk down Diecai Road until you see the entrance to the left.
In the Evening: Visit the Sun and Moon Pagodas
Located on two islands on Shanhu Lake are two pagodas, a silver and a golden one. The 41 meters high Sun Pagoda with its nine floors is made of solid copper and the highest copper pagoda in the world. The Sun and Moon Pagodas are lit up as night falls and make for great photo opportunities. The lake was once part of the city moat and protected the town from intruders, but today it has been simply turned into a green spot to relax in. The twin pagodas are connected by an underwater tunnel and can be climbed, but it isn’t really necessary to do so, and taking a walk along the path around the lake, surrounded by green fir trees, is a much nicer, and also free activity.
How to get there:
The Sun and Moon Pagodas are located right in the middle of downtown, only a short walk from Guilin’s central square and can easily be reached by foot.
Popular Tourist Destinations
Sure, here are brief descriptions of five popular tourist destinations around the world:
Known as the “City of Love,” Paris is a cultural hub in Europe and a top tourist destination. Visitors can explore iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral, stroll along the Seine River, and indulge in delicious French cuisine.
An island paradise in Southeast Asia, Bali is known for its stunning beaches, lush forests, and spiritual culture. Visitors can relax on the beach, explore ancient temples and rice paddies, and experience traditional Balinese dance and music.
New York City, USA:
The “city that never sleeps,” New York is a bustling metropolis that offers endless attractions for tourists. Visitors can explore iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Central Park, see a Broadway show, and indulge in the city’s diverse cuisine.
Cape Town, South Africa:
Located on the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Visitors can explore Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope, see African penguins at Boulders Beach, and sample local wines and cuisine.
A bustling, futuristic city in East Asia, Tokyo offers a unique blend of ancient culture and modern technology. Visitors can explore traditional temples and gardens, indulge in delicious sushi and ramen, and experience cutting-edge technology and entertainment.
Sure, here are some general travel tips and advice:
- Research your destination: Before you go, do some research on your destination to learn about the culture, customs, and local attractions. This will help you make the most of your trip and avoid any cultural faux pas.
- Book in advance: To save money and avoid disappointment, book your flights, accommodation, and activities in advance. This will also give you more time to plan you’re itinerary and make the most of your trip.
- Pack light: Try to pack only what you need for your trip, as lugging around heavy suitcases can be a hassle. Pack versatile clothing that can be layered, and bring a small daypack for sightseeing.
- Stay safe: Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to stay safe, especially in unfamiliar areas. Avoid flashing valuable items, stay in well-lit areas at night, and keep your belongings close.
- Immerse yourself in the local culture: Try the local food, learn some basic phrases in the local language, and explore local neighborhoods. This will help you gain a deeper appreciation for the destination and make the most of your trip.
- Stay flexible: Be open to changing your itinerary or plans if something unexpected comes up, such as bad weather or a local festival. Embrace the unexpected and enjoy the journey!