Guilin Hills

Guilin Hills

Description of Guilin Hills

Guilin Hills are situated on the west bank of the Li River and borders Hunan to the north. Its name can be translate as a "Forest of Sweet Osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant sweet osmanthus trees located in the city. Guilin Hills has long been renowned for its scenery of karst topography and is one of China's most popular tourist destinations. Guilin Hills are major karst geological formations in a Guangxi region in China. Millions of years ago the region was a part of the sea and was shaped like a gulf. Over time salt water began its erosion of the rock. It was formed by dissolution of limestone by waters leaving picturesque and unusual hills. But besides hills Guilin are also famous for its caves that were formed the same way. In particular two caves, Crown Cave and Reed Flute Cave, are particularly famous and popular among the tourists.



Guilin belongs to the southwestern part of the Nanling mountain system, the average height above sea level is 150 meters. Characterized by karst landscapes, which are the main tourist attractions.



The climate is tropical, monsoonal. Relatively short winter. The seasons are pronounced, but all are distinguished by a large amount of precipitation. The average annual temperature is 18.9℃. August is the hottest month with an average temperature of 23℃. The coldest is January, 15.6℃. No frost - 309 days a year. The annual amount of precipitation is 1949.5 mm, of which 1490-1905 mm evaporate. At the same time, the humidity is relatively constant, at the level of 73-79%. The north wind prevails, averaging 2.2–2.7 m/s. Annually sunny days are 1670 hours. The average atmospheric pressure is 994.9 GPa.


Sightseeing features

Reed Flute Cave
Guilin's largest and most impressive cave is the Reed Flute Cave (蘆笛岩 / 芦笛岩, Lúdíyán), located in the Mountain of Light northwest of the city. It gets its name from the reeds that grow at the entrance to the cave and can be used to make flutes. In the 240 m deep stalactite cave, the visitor makes his 500 m long path through a sea of stalactites and stalagmites. A grotto called the “Crystal Palace of the Dragon King” holds 1,000 people. The colored lighting is impressive, but it also encourages moss and algae growth.

Elephant Trunk Hill
Elephant Trunk Mountain (象鼻山, Xiàngbíshān) stands at the confluence of the Yangjiang and Li Jiang. It resembles an elephant drinking water and is the symbol of the city of Guilin. There is a pagoda in the front part of the Elephant Trunk Mountain. According to a legend, an elephant was stabbed here while drinking water (by the pagoda).

Peaks of unique beauty
The Peak of Unique Beauty (獨秀峰 / 独秀峰, Dúxiùfēng) is located in the middle of the city on the campus of the Guangxi University of Education. From the top you have a panoramic view of the Li River and the surrounding mountains.

Park of the Seven Stars
The Park of the Seven Stars (七星公園 / 七星公园, Qīxīng Gōngyuán) is located in the city of Guilin. It gets its name from the seven mountains that resemble the constellation Ursa Major. The park has a small zoo, flowerbeds and play areas for children. There is also a stalactite cave to visit here. An extraordinary attraction is the Camel Mountain (駱駝山 / 骆驼山, Luòtuoshān) - a group of rocks in the shape of a camel.

Mountain of colored layers
The rock layers of the Mountain of Colored Layers (疊彩山 / 叠彩山, Diécǎishān) resemble a stack of different colored silk ribbons.

Mount Fubo (伏波山, Fúbōshān) is a single peak that rises abruptly from the plain. It protrudes into the Li River, blocking the waves. Fubo is the name of a Han Dynasty general who once visited this mountain. Fubo also means: “blocking the waves”.

Landscape of the Li River
The Li River (Lijiang) originates at Cat Mountain in northeast Guangxi and flows through Guilin. The scenic 40 km long route between Guilin and Yangshuo is traveled by numerous tourist ships. Right on the river between the two cities, there is a larger cave (Crown Cave) to admire. Most of the tourist ships stop here to allow tourists to visit the cave. The cave is characterized by its size and variety of stalactites. Among other things, part of the cave can be visited by boat. Local cormorant fishermen can be seen on the Li River in the Yangshuo area.

Ming royal tombs
In the northeast of the city there are royal tombs from the Ming period.

The associated buildings and structures in the City of the Prince of Jingjiang (靖江王城, Jìngjiāng Wángchéng) are quite well preserved and almost not frequented by tourism.

Longsheng rice terraces
About 100 km from the city of Guilin, in an area predominantly inhabited by the Yao minority, are the Longsheng rice terraces.

Other inner-city sights and attractions
Zhongshanlu (中山路, Zhōngshānlù – “Sun Yatsen Street”) is Guilin’s shopping street. In addition to department stores, there are also several shops and boutiques here. In the evening, some side streets of Zhongshanlu are closed to traffic. Here, souvenirs, clothing but also other items such as toys or fruit and vegetables are offered at market stalls.

There is a large square with an open-air stage directly on Zhongshanlu. Performances and open-air exhibitions often take place here in summer. Right next to it is the Lijiang Waterfall Hotel, where you can occasionally marvel at light displays and the waterfall coming down from the hotel roof in the evenings.



Despite the fact that the administrative unit called "Guilin District" (桂林郡) was created during the Qin Dynasty, it was located in a completely different place. These same places during the Han Empire were part of the established in 205 BC. e. Guiyang County (桂阳郡). In 111 BC. e. Lingling County (零陵郡) was separated from it, while Shi'an County (始安县) was created on the site of modern Guilin. During the Eastern Han era, the county was transformed into Xi'an fief (始安侯国).

In the era of the Three Kingdoms, when these lands were conquered by the kingdom of Wu from the kingdom of Shu, in 265, the Shian district (始安郡) was created, which lasted until the middle of the first millennium.

In the era of the Southern and Northern dynasties, the Xian District was disbanded in the 6th century, and the Guizhou Region (桂州) was created to administer the regions south of the Nanling Mountains, and after the unification of Chinese lands into the Sui Empire, the headquarters of the Guizhou District was located here in 590. commander.

After the change from the Sui Empire to the Tang Empire, Xi'an County was renamed Lingui (临桂县) in 634. At the end of the 7th century, the construction of the Lingqu Canal began, connecting the upper Lijiang (Pearl River basin) with the upper Xiangjiang (Yangtze basin). At the end of the 9th century, the Guizhou region was devastated during an uprising led by Huang Chao.

During the Song Empire, in 997, the Guangnanxi Region (静江路) was created, the authorities of which were located in the same place as the authorities of the Guizhou region. In 1133, Guizhou Province was elevated in status and became Jingjiang County (静江府).

After the Mongol conquest and the establishment of the Yuan Empire, these places became Jingjiang Region (静江路). When Zhu Yuanzhang overthrew the rule of the Mongols and founded the Ming Empire, the "regions" were renamed "governments", and in 1367 the Jingjiang region was renamed the Jingjiang district (静江府). In 1370, Zhu Yuanzhang gave his great-nephew Zhu Shouquan the title of "Prince of Jingjiang", and he placed his residence in these places. In 1372, the Jingjiang government was renamed the Guilin government (桂林府). The Guilin Government became the seat of the Guangxi provincial government.

At the end of 1911, the Xinhai Revolution took place in China, and the military government of Guangxi Province was established in the seat of the Guilin Government, which moved to Nanning in October 1912. In 1912, Lingui County was disbanded, and its lands came under the direct control of the authorities of the Guilin Council. In 1913, China carried out a reform of the administrative division structure, during which the councils were abolished, and therefore the Guilin government was disbanded, and the territory under the direct control of its authorities became a county again, this time called Guilin (桂林县) .

In 1932, the Guangxi provincial government returned to Guilin County. In June 1940, the urbanized part of Guilin County and the surrounding area was officially separated into a separate city of Guilin, and the rest of the county was again called Lingui. During the Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese army carried out Operation Ichi-Go in 1944, during which on November 10, 1944, they occupied Guilin, which remained under occupation until the end of the war.

At the final stage of the civil war, the Kuomintang authorities in Guangxi province moved again from Guilin to Nanning in October 1949, and on November 22, 1949, Guilin was occupied by the PLA troops.

As part of the PRC, the Guilin Special Region (桂林专区) was formed, consisting of 11 counties; The authorities of the special region were located in the city of Guilin, but the city itself was not part of the special region, reporting directly to the authorities of Guangxi Province. In 1951, Longsheng County (龙胜县) became the county-level Longsheng Multinational Autonomous Region (龙胜各族自治区). In 1952, Yining County (义宁县) was disbanded; its lands were divided between Lingchuan County and the Longsheng Multiethnic Autonomous Region. In 1953, Luzhai County was transferred from Liuzhou Special Region to Guilin Special Region, the lands of Ziyuan County were divided between Xing'an and Quanxian (全县) counties, Baishou County (百寿县) was annexed to Yongfu County. In 1954, Ziyuan County was re-established and Lingchuan County was annexed to Guilin County. In 1955, the Longsheng Plurinational Autonomous Region became the Longsheng Plurinational Autonomous County.

In 1958, Guangxi Province was transformed into Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Guilin City was downgraded to the authority of the Guilin Special Region, while being divided into Urban and Suburban regions; Luzhai County returned to Liuzhou Special Region, and Pinle, Gongcheng and Lipu (荔浦县) counties from the disbanded Pinle Special Region (平乐专区) were transferred to Guilin Special Region. In 1959, Quanxian County was renamed Quanzhou. In 1961, Guilin City was withdrawn from the Guilin Special Region and again became directly subordinate to the authorities of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. In 1962, Lingchuan County was re-established.

In 1971, the Guilin Special Region was renamed Guilin County (桂林地区).

On July 1, 1981, the State Council of the People's Republic of China transferred Yangshuo County from Guilin County to the jurisdiction of Guilin City.

On October 8, 1983, by the Decree of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Lingui County was transferred from Guilin County to the jurisdiction of the city of Guilin.

On February 3, 1990, Gongcheng County was reorganized into Gongcheng Yao Autonomous County by the Decree of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

On December 2, 1996, the Guilin Suburban District (桂林市郊区) was renamed Yanshan District by the Decree of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

On August 27, 1998, the State Council of the People's Republic of China merged Guilin City and Guilin County into Guilin City.

On January 18, 2013, the State Council of the People's Republic of China reorganized Lingui County into an urban area.

On August 17, 2018, Lipu County was upgraded to an urban county.



Guilin is a popular holiday destination in China because of its karst mountains and countless caves. In addition to the Li River, several tributaries, tributaries and canals meander through the city, which is surrounded by a whole belt of mountains with bizarre rock formations.

About 50 km south is the small town of Yangshuo, to which river trips are offered from Guilin on special ships with a very shallow draft. In the main travel season, up to 10,000 tourists make the four-hour journey every day (as of 2007). The drive and the surrounding area of Yangshuo offer mountain scenery similar to Guilin itself, but even more impressive. It is also possible to take the bus to Yangshuo and from there take a shortened river trip (approx. 2 hours). Here the most interesting areas are approached by ship.