Guilin is said to be the most beautiful place on
earth. The endless miles of limestone (karst) mountains, clear rivers
and enchanting caves make Guilin the quintessential misty and mysterious
Chinese landscape. It is a classical Chinese landscape painting
brought to life which is not surprising as for centuries Guilin
has been a source of inspiration for artists and poets in China.
The unique and surreal beauty now draws admirers from around the
Guilin is situated on the Li River in the northeast
of Guangxi. The city of Guilin covers an area of 4,200 sq km and
has a population of 1.2 million. The name Guilin means the "forest
of osmanthus trees", and along the riverside and throughout
the city osmanthus (cassia) trees can be seen everywhere. Osmanthus
wine and tea are specialties of the area.
Visitors to Guilin can enjoy the surrounding landscape
as they stroll through the city, but itís worth venturing out to
some of the imaginatively named limestone peaks to discover more
of the history of the area, climb a few meters and gain a new perspective
of the views. One of the most pleasant ways to enjoy the spectacular
scenery is to take a cruise along the Li River and simply drift
gently past the majestic limestone formations. After dark, night
markets line the riverbank and the river is lit by the tiny lights
of Guilinís cormorant fisherman as they float down the river to
make their catch.
Guilin lies in the subtropical zone and can be
visited throughout the year. Winters are mild and summers are hot
with heavier showers. The cityís new airport is 30 minutes away
from the city center and has excellent connections with all major
mainland cities as well as Hong Kong.