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Guilin contains China's most haunting landscape, its limestone pinnacles (karsts) erupting like natural skyscrapers. The city itself is festooned with these stone towers, decorated over the centuries with inscriptions and pocked with small caves where Taoist hermits once resided. Solitary Beauty Peak (Duxiu Feng), Whirlpool Hill (Fubo Shan), and Folded Brocade Hill (Diecai Shan) can all be climbed on twisting, hand-hewn stairways in 30 minutes or so, with superb views from their 600-700 foot summits. Guilin's limestone is also punctuated with caves, Reed Lute Cave (Ludi Yan) the largest, Seven Star Cave (Qixing Dong) the most interesting. ...

Guilin contains China's most haunting landscape, its limestone pinnacles (karsts) erupting like natural skyscrapers. The city itself is festooned with these stone towers, decorated over the centuries with inscriptions and pocked with small caves where Taoist hermits once resided. Solitary Beauty Peak (Duxiu Feng), Whirlpool Hill (Fubo Shan), and Folded Brocade Hill (Diecai Shan) can all be climbed on twisting, hand-hewn stairways in 30 minutes or so, with superb views from their 600-700 foot summits. Guilin's limestone is also punctuated with caves, Reed Lute Cave (Ludi Yan) the largest, Seven Star Cave (Qixing Dong) the most interesting. The Two Lakes District downtown, with its walkways and gardens, is packed with seafood restaurants. The Li River that runs through Guilin is another exceptional attraction. During a four-hour float on a flat-bottomed tour boat down to the town of Yangshuo, the scenery becomes even more uncanny, and Yangshuo itself is a backpacker-friendly village of inns and cafes catering to Western travelers in a landscape as beautiful but more serene than Guilin's own.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April and November