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Guilin

Guilin is the third-largest city in the Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a world-famous scenic tourist destination and a city rich in history and culture. It is Guangxi's most popular tourist destination, and is known to boast "some of the finest mountains and rivers under Heaven." The city is situated in north eastern Guangxi, and is the province's political, economic, cultural, and technological center. The completion of China's high-speed rail project will bring the city within three hours' travel of the economic powerhouses of Changsha, Nanning, Guiyang, and Guangzhou, and it will become a transport hub linking the four provinces of Hunan, Guangxi, Guizhou, and Guangdong, as well as the southwest, central south and southeast of China. Guilin is located in an area of mountains and hills, with typical 'karst' topography; the limestone rocks which surround the city have been weathered over many thousands of years to form a ring of innumerable peaks and meandering rivers, giving the area its uniquely stunning rock landscape.

The Li River

The source of the Li River is in 'the greatest peaks in southern China,' the Mao'er mountain range, and it flows into the Pearl River system. The Mao'er range is lushly forested, giving the area its fresh, crisp air, and superb ecological environment. Upstream, the main tributary to the Li Jiang is called the Six Caves Creek; the river then flows south into Xing'an county, where, close to Simenqian, it is joined from the east by the Huangbo River, and from the west by the Chuan River, and these combine to form the Rong River; Canal waters flow in at Rongjiang, and the river then flows through Lingchuan, Guilin, and Yangshuo to Pingle, where it flows into the Xi River, a total of 437 kilometers. The 83-kilometer stretch of water from Guilin to Yangshuo is called the Li River.

Address: Eastern part of the Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Elephant Trunk Hill

Also known as Miriam Hill, Deepwater Hill, and often simply known as elephant Mountain, this hill is 200 meters above sea level, 50 meters above river level, and is 108 meters long, 100 meters wide, and is approximately 13,000 square meters in size. Formed approximately 360 million years ago through limestone deposits on the seabed, the Hill's shape resembles an elephant extending its trunk for a sip of water, hence its name.

Address: 2 Longzhu Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin.

The Two Rivers and Four Lakes

This water system, which surrounds the city, is formed from the Li and Taohua Rivers, and the Shan, Rong, Gui, and Mulong Lakes. The gentle lap of the waters along the shores of the lakes and rivers, and the verdant embankments leave a lasting impression on every visitor. Brightly lit at nighttime, the vista becomes even more breathtaking as you enjoy the scenery. Take a stroll to gaze at a total of 28 bridges of various sizes and styles, and more than 100 picture-postcard views. The Two Rivers and Four Lakes perfectly encapsulate the soul of Guilin. The satin-like rivers, the emerald-colored lakes give local and foreign visitors alike the sensation of sailing on perfect blue waters, traveling through a painting.

Address: In the center of Guilin

Guilin is a well-developed urban tourist destination, and visitors will find everything they want, from sophisticated, pricey jewelry through to inexpensive baubles. The newly transformed Zhongshan Zhong Road is a good place for shopping; visitors can window-shop until they feel peckish, at which point they can pick and choose from the goodies on offer at the various roadside stalls, or head for the food court at the Central Square for a real treat of many well-known local products such as pomelo, oranges, mangosteen, ginkgo, taro, and many more. Alternatively, treat yourself to a piece of embroidery, comb, paper parasol, hand-painted screen or other handicrafts. Regardless of your plans and itinerary, no trip to Guilin is complete without buying a few Guilin souvenirs.

Central Square

Known as "Guilin's reception hall," Central Square is home to the well-known "Guilin – the finest mountains and rivers under Heaven" stone inscription, as well as the "Guilin communiqué" issued by the members of APEC. Beneath Central Square, you will find Guilin's largest underground mall.

Address:close to Zhongshan Road and Zhengyang pedestrian street, and adjacent to Guilin's Rong and Shan Lakes, and the Li River.

International Tourism Commodity Wholesale City

Covering a total of 100 acres, this venue brings together product processing, manufacturing, and sales under one roof; the Wholesale City has already become a well-known tourist handicraft retail market, not only in China's southeast, but also nationally. The venue includes a northern area, which specializes in wood and tree root carvings; A Southern area, with jewelry and jade; A Western area with stone rockeries and calligraphy; And an Eastern area with small gifts and goods. Here, you will find arts and crafts of all kinds, not only from within China, but also from Southeast Asia: Agates and soapstone from the northeast, double sided embroidery from Hangzhou, jewelry and jade from Southeast Asia, as well as calligraphy and wooden carvings from Guilin itself – you will find the choice bewildering.

Address: Wayao Industrial Area, Guilin.

Zhongshan Zhong Road Night Market

At night, the section of Zhongshan Road extending from Guilin Department Store to Weixiaotang Road becomes a bustling night market, with stalls selling arts and crafts, local specialties, knickknacks, and popular snacks; stroll through the market, asking prices and buying as you go; the night market is open until the early hours, 365 days a year, and has become one of Guilin's major attractions.

Address:Zhongshan Road extending from Guilin Department Store to Weixiaotang Road, Guilin.

Weixiaotang Mall

This mall mainly sells everyday goods, household appliances, clothing, footwear, bags, knitwear, leisure and sports goods, watches and clocks, hardware, enamel ware, plastic products, food and alcohol, gold and silver items, jewelry, and more than 60 more kinds of goods; you will also find a Xinhua bookshop, a beauty salon, a coffee shop, a food court, and a range of video games.

Address: 37 Zhongshan Zhong Road, Guilin.

Guilin cuisine is legendary across China for its unique local flavor, which combines the spicy bitterness of Hunanese dishes with the gentle, light flavors of Cantonese cuisine; Guilin's Jiachang stir-fried dishes have more than a hint of Hunanese influence, and you will be hard pressed to find a restaurant with no spice on the menu; restaurants naturally adapt their menus to the tastes of their local customers. Of course, the inexhaustible growth of the tourist industry means that restaurants are constantly expanding their menus – Huaiyang, Mingnan, Chaozhou, and Northwestern dishes, as well as Guanxi's ethnic minority cuisine are all gaining increasing acceptance in Guilin. Fashionable dining is also becoming increasingly popular in Guilin, with authentic western food and simple Chinese meals a firm favorite with the city's youngsters.

Guilin rice noodles

Guilin rice noodles are a must for every visitor – these come in different flavors including vegetable, beef brisket, seafood, original soup flavor, pickled, spicy, and horsemeat. Cooking of the bone stock begins before dawn, giving a mellow, flavorful taste; the chef will slice up some braised pork, add some delicious peanuts and sliced onion, and top the dish with steaming broth.

Beer fish

Yangshuo's specialty, beer fish, is fragrant on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside; the dish's name comes from the thick yellow juices; this dish first appeared on privately-owned street stalls. To start off with, only a few stalls sold it, but today, you will find beer fish on many menus in restaurants of all sizes, especially on Yangshuo W Street.

Guilin snails

Guilin snails are a popular snack with a very local flavor. To eat them, you must first open the cover at the end of the snail, seal your lips around the aperture, and suck the snail into your mouth; after eating it, take a drink of soup to truly appreciate its spicy yet fresh taste, which is particularly appetizing.

Bus

Buses in the Guilin city area are particularly beautiful, with a well-developed network of routes; most are one man operated, so you will need to have plenty of change handy. Many buses are double-deckers, which makes them ideal for sightseeing. The basic bus fare is CNY 1, and CNY 2 for air-conditioned buses.

Taxi

Guilin has a relatively high number of taxis, most of which are VW Jettas and Santanas, although you will find a few Citroen ZXs. Taxi fares are calculated on the basis of two periods, daytime and nighttime: Daytime (6:30-23:00): Minimum fare of CNY 7 every 2 kilometers. Nighttime (23:00-6:30): Minimum fare CNY 7.80. A fuel cost of CNY 1 is also added.

Currency:Chinese Yuan (CNY)

Voltage: 220 V/50 Hz

Telephone code:+860592

Climate

Guilin has a subtropical climate; the weather is mild with abundant rainfall, with average annual precipitation of 1900 mm, and approximately 300 days frost free per year; the city receives an average of more than 1550 hours of sunshine a year, and the average temperature is 19°C; winters are mild, while temperatures in the summer remain quite acceptable. Historic highest and lowest annual temperatures are 36℃ and -3℃ respectively.

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