Guangxi Province is as rich in ethnic culture as it is in natural scenery. From the famous karst landscape of Guilin and Yangshuo in the North East of the territory to the beautiful beaches of Beihai in the South
Guilin has always been famous for its scenic rivers and karst (limestone) peaks covered in lush greenery. The landscape has a long history as the most beautiful place in China and has inspired local poets and artists for centuries. Guilin means “Osmanthus Forest” and these sweet-scented tress can be seen all over the city. A few days soaking up some of the natural wonders of Guilin makes it a perfect antidote to the metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai.
Li River Cruise
Cruising along the Li River allows visitors to see what inspired the many artists to flock to Guilin and its surroundings. Travelling for 83 kilometres downstream to the beautiful town of Yangshuo, a Li River cruise winds it way through karst peaks, waterfalls, bamboo groves and ancient villages, enabling visitors to experience life in rural China. The former US president, Bill Clinton, remarked “Nowhere is like Guilin. It makes me think of the traditional Chinese paintings”.
Elephant Trunk Hill
With a height of over 100 metres, Elephant Trunk Hill is the most famous rock formation in Guilin. Resembling the shape of an elephant that placed his trunk in the Li River for a drink, legend has it that the elephant was turned into stone by an uncaring emperor, when it became sick and did not want to travel with the herd any longer.
Reed Flute Cave
With numerous stalactites and stalagmites to behold in tunnels winding more than 500 metres into Guangming Hill, Reed Flute Cave is a great example of an underground cave and the amazing power of water. Used by Guilin’s locals during WWII to escape the Japanese, the rock formations now attract visitors of the tourist kind.
Seven Stars Park
Named after the seven peaks that form the Great Bear constellation, which governs fate in Chinese mythology, Seven Stars Park is renowned for its views of the city, as well as the numerous poems, dating back to the Tang Dynasty, that are carved into its rocks.
Offering great views back towards to the city and natural skyline, Fubo Shan is north of the city. Enjoy the Buddhist statues and scriptures found at Returned Pearl cave on the Southern bank of the Hill.
Solitary Beauty Peak
North of the centre of town is Solitary Beauty peak with impressive views from the 150m high peak. The climb is steep but the views into the distance are well worthwhile.
Longsheng Rice Terraces
The aptly named “Dragon’s Backbone Terraces” surround the town of Longsheng, descending over 100 metres and culminating in picture perfect rice terraces. The majority of the local Yao minority tribe still live in traditional wooden houses on the hilltops tending their fields in a manner unchanged for centuries.
Famous for being the disembarkation town on the Li River cruise, Yangshuo is one of the most popular towns to visit in Southern China. This is because as well as being surrounded by soaring limestone peaks, it has retained the appearance of an ancient Chinese village, with its original streets and ethnic culture. A charming place to spend a few days soaking up the atmosphere; hiring a bicycle and pedaling through the rice fields allows the visitor a quintessential view of rural China.
Foreigner Street – Xijie
‘Foreigner Street or West Street is at the heart of all activity in Yangshuo. Whether you choose to stay here, eat here or shop here, West Street is lined with hotels, café and fantastic local restaurants.
Detian Water Fall
Close to the border of China and Vietnam is the beautiful Detian Waterfall. Located in the far West of Guangxi Province, the local ethnic minority people use the 200 metre wide pool at the foot of the waterfall to fish. Enjoy their singing and embrace this vibrant culture.
Wuzhou is a mix of old and new, with development ensuring that the city is becoming more and more prosperous. It is still possible to venture back in time with examples of the European influence of the early 20th Century. A pleasant city to explore.
Nanning acts as a gateway to the beautiful scenic regions found outside the city. Acting as the political and economic capital of Guanxi province it is more likely that business rather than leisure will bring you here. Enjoy the Botanical Gardens before venturing South West to the Zuo Jiang Scenic Area.
Guangxi Provincial Museum
With a history dating back over 50,000 years the museum offers an insight into the depth of history the area enjoys. Life size house of the Dong and Miao ethnic minorities provide visitors with a true to life experience.
Beihai offers a gateway to the more high profile beach resorts of Hainan Island. The Ferry port provides efficient transportation to Hainan Island. If time permits enjoy this laid back city, with remnants of its former glory as a port on the Maritime Silk Road still in evidence. A trading port for over 2000 years, Beihai offers Chinese heritage with a strong Vietnamese influence. Close to Hong Kong and Vietnam by Air or by Sea.
One of the most beautiful beaches on the South coast of China’s mainland, stretching almost two kilometres, Silver Beach is a pleasant place to relax and unwind. Located 10 kilometres form the city of Beihai, the pleasant tree lined boardwalk is a quieter option than its near neighbours on Hainan Island.