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The sheer limestone peaks rearing from the flat plain around the city of Guilin form a strikingly beautiful landscape that has, since classical times, formed a key motif of Chinese art and literature.

The Li River winds its way through this dramatic landscape, past bamboo groves and villages where locals still fish with tethered cormorants.

Guilin to Yangshuo

Shared boat journey along the Li River, GuilinWe recommend a cruise downriver from Guilin to the market town of Yangshuo, a less commercial and more relaxed location, and a fabulous base from which to explore the stunning local countryside. Nearby, set in the heart of the karst peaks are some exceptionally picturesque villages — including Fuli with its cobbled streets and traditional fan making — that can be reached by scenic boat trips or on rented bikes.

Evenings can be spent watching cormorant fishermen at work, or dining at local restaurants on the banks of the Yulong River. For the more active the area surrounding Guilin is ideal territory for extended cycling or trekking itineraries, allowing you to experience the beautiful minority areas beyond the standard tourist trail.

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Map of Guilin

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Guilin

    Our expert guides to exploring Guilin

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Guilin, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Guilin at its best.

    • A guide to Chinese food (and where to find it)
      Dumplings, China

      A guide to Chinese food (and where to find it)

      A guide to Chinese food (and where to find it)

      There’s more to Chinese food than Western takeaways let on. Each region of China has its own distinct cuisine, from the west’s hot and spicy delicacies to the hearty dishes of the north. China specialists Anthony and Duncan discuss the best ways to experience food in China.

      8 min read

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    • The slow side of China: visiting the rural provinces
      Li river, Guilin

      The slow side of China: visiting the rural provinces

      The slow side of China: visiting the rural provinces

      There are still places to visit in China that remain almost untouched by the modern world. Country specialist Cheryl shares her experiences of rural China, from meeting local people and learning about their minority cultures to hiking through mountains and rice terraces.

      10 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Guilin

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Guilin. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Guilin

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Guilin, and which use the best local guides.

    • Li River Cruise
      Yangshuo, China.

      Li River Cruise

      Li River Cruise

      Spend the morning on a leisurely cruise along the Li River, starting at Guilin and ending at the small town of Yangshuo. En route, the cruise passes through extraordinary scenery, with karst limestone pinnacles thrusting up from the bamboo-covered plains.

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