Guilin Travel - Beautiful Hills
Guilin has the best hills and waters in China. Therefore, Guilin travel must include some beautiful hills to visit. Here are the most famous and beautiful ones. They are all within the city of Guilin.
Elephant Trunk Hill
This is one of the ‘musts’ in Guilin travel. This place is famous for ‘moon reflection’. In Chinese calendar, there is a full moon on the 15th of each month. You’ll find an underwater moon here. Check with your tour guide and see what date you are visiting the Elephant Trunk Hill and see if there will be a full moon immerged in water. You can also do kayaking or bamboo rafting here. It is very relaxing and enjoyable.
Take free bus number 57 or 58 to Xiangshan Park (Elephant Hill Park)
The Beautiful Trio – Deicai, Fubo, Duxiu
Guilin’s hills are never too tall. They are cute, lovely, handsome and of unique shapes. Here are the three most popular ones. Your Guilin travel must include at least one, if not all.
Deicai Hill (Folded Brocade Hill)
The rocks on this hill overlap in layers like colourful brocades, hence the name. Just some tens of steps you’ll reach the Folded Brocade Pavilion where you can take a little break. Further up, there are lots of inscriptions on the precipices which are of high artistic value. Along a green path flanked by lovely trees, you’ll soon reach the peak where the Sky Pavilion is. Look up from here, you’ll feel like able to pick a star. Look down, you’ll have a stunning full view of Guilin.
Take free bus number 58 to Deicai Hill Park (Folded Brocade Hill Park)
Fubo Hill rises abruptly from the western bank of the Li River and offers superb views from its summit. It integrates with the Fubo Park where limestone caves, beautiful garden and unique rock formations are.
With half of the hill stretching into the river, Fubo Hill stands 213 meters solitarily in the northeast of the city of Guilin. It is certainly one of your Guilin travel highlights.
Waves run back wherever they hit the rocks, hence the name ‘Fubo’ (meaning wave-subduing). Another legend said this hill was named after General Ma Yuan whose title was Fubo. As a Chinese, I tend to believe this, as Fubo Hill has a lot of sites and stories about General Fubo.
A typical General Fubo legend is the Sword-Testing Rock which hangs inside the Pearl-Return Cave from the ceiling to almost touching the ground. Legend has it that once General Fubo tested his sword by cutting what was originally a stone pillar and has left a crevice at the bottom ever since then.
At the end of the cave is the Thousand-Buddha Cave, where over 200 Buddha statues of the Tang dynasty (618-907) caved out of stone were kept. Take steps up to top of the hill, you can have a bird's-eye view of the Li River. There are also winding corridors, a teahouse and a Tingtao Pavilion (wave-listening) built along the cliff.
Take bus number 2 to Fuboshan stop, or free bus number 58 to Fubo Park
Duxiu Peak (Solitary Beauty Peak)
Another Guilin travel highlight is the Duxiu Peak (Solitary Beauty Peak). This graceful peak rises abruptly from the ground west of Li River. Under sunset, it looks like someone in a purple robe with a golden belt. Hence it is also call Purple Golden Hill. After only 306 steps, you are at the peak where you can have a great view of Guilin.
There is a two-storey pavilion at the peak. Beyond the pavilion is an observation platform right at top of a cliff. Other than a panoramic view of the surrounding sceneries, you’ll feel clouds underneath your feet and can easily reach the moon and the stars.
At the foot of the Solitary Beauty Peak is the Prince's City of Jingjiang. He was the grandnephew of Ming Dynasty founder Zhu Yuanzhang. This place has a history of 500 years and was even older than the Forbidden City in Beijing. Actually, the Forbidden City was built according to the same floor plan.
In Qing Dynasty, the Prince's City was turned into an examination house. You can try sit for an exam here. Inside a cave, there are carvings of the traditional 60 Chinese zodiacal characters. You can look for your own zodiacal character according to your year of birth.
¥12 for Duxiu Hill only
¥50 for Prince's City of Jingjiang + Duxiu Hill
Take bus number 1, 18 or 20 to Fengbei Lukou Stop, walk ahead for 50 meters
Camel Hill & Seven-star Park
The Seven-star Park, located on the east bank of the Li River, is the biggest park in Guilin. Its name appears on almost all Guilin travel itineraries.
The name Seven-star derives from the seven beautiful peaks around the area. Camel Hill is one of them. Once you enter the Park via the Flowers Bridge, you’ll see the giant camel right in front of you.
The camel looks so real that you might think that it is an artificial hill. No, it isn’t. It is entirely a natural formation. The Camel Hill forms a beautiful natural backdrop for individual or group photos, hence has become one of the most famous landmarks of Guilin travel.
Seven-star Cave is situated inside the Seven-star Park. It is a limestone cave with a large number of stalagmites and stalactites lit up by Chinese style colourful lightings. Unfortunately, it is outperformed by the nearby Reed Flute Cave. However you would need to pay an additional entrance fee of ¥30 apart from the entrance fee of the Seven-star Park which is ¥35.
There is a bonsai garden contains specimens dating back several hundred years. Former US president Bill Clinton made a speech on environment protection in this park on July 2, 1998. He then signed a treaty in a room in the bonsai garden. The setting is preserved ‘exactly’ the way he left.
If you are interested in Chinese calligraphy, visit The Forest of Steles which is one the most important sights of Seven-star Park. There are over two thousand intact inscriptions on the precipices.
There is also a rock museum and a zoo. You must omit this zoo from your Guilin travel itinerary, especially if you are an animal lover.
Guilin Travel Highlight - Bill Clinton’s Speech at the Seven-star Park, 1998
For your pleasure reading, here is an extraction of Bill Clinton’s speech on environmental protection:
“Since Chinese civilization first began to express itself thousands of years ago, its poems and paintings have sung of the beauty of the land, the air, the water. No place in China is more evocative of the beauty of your country than Guilin. The stunning mountains along the Li River are instantly familiar to millions and millions of Americans. When we see them, the landscapes of Guilin remind of us China's past, but we know they are alive, and we are grateful for their preservation.”
Click here to read the full speech.
Guilin travel is a matter of hills and waters. This page describes the most beautiful hills in Guilin. They are all loved by tourists. I would suggest your visiting all of them if possible.
All admission fees listed on this page are updated May 2006. There might be subsequent changes.
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