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How to Plan a Guilin Trip

With the picturesque riverside scenery of crystal clear waters exquisitely mirroring the conical limestone peaks, Guilin’s landscape has mesmerized hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

From amazing Li River cruise to hiking in idyllic countryside and admiring terraced rice paddies and minority culture, Guilin is a perfect getaway from modernized life with loads of fun, relaxing activities. Join in us to find how to enjoy a leisurely Guilin tour!

When to Visit

It’s possible to visit Guilin all year round, yet the best travel time is between April and October, when the mild weather is ideal for outdoor activities, say Li River cruise and Yangshuo cycling tour, while enjoying it enchanting natural beauty varying with the season.

Guilin’s winter is cold and damp, but rarely snows. Everywhere is full of greenery. Less crowded scenic spots, cheaper hotels and local traditional celebrations can be expected.


Avoid Chinese holidays like Labor Day (May 1–3) and National Day (October 1–7) due to huge tourist crowds and higher rate on hotels, transportation, etc.

More information about Guilin Weather will help you to make a better plan of your Guililn trip.

How to Get to Guilin

Flights to Guilin: Guilin Liangjiang International Airport operates frequent domestic flights to and from major tourist stop like Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, etc.

International airline connect Guilin with Hong Kong, Macao, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul. Hong Kong, about 283km from Guilin, is a hot transit city for travellers visiting Guilin as the first stop of their China trip.

Trains to Guilin: Guilin has three railway stations, running both common trains and high-speed trains from large- and medium-sized cities around China. A G-train is a quick option to get to Guilin from Guiyang, Changsha, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, taking no more than 3 hours.

With a well-developed transport system, it is easy for travellers to get to Guilin from major Chinese cities. See more information about Guilin transportation.

Top Guilin Highlights

Pristine Guilin is best known for its karst landscape which will feast your eyes with limpid rivers, grotesque peaks and incredible underground caves. Still, there are magnificent rice terraces, quaint villages and colorful minority customs bound to bring more surprises along your trip.

Cruising along Li River

The Li River winding among the fairy-tale karst spires is the essence of Guilin landscape. And there is no better way to experience its unparalleled beauty than a boat cruise to Yangshuo, as one will feel like in a classical Chinese ink painting while admiring the breathtaking vistas of emerald waters, gorgeous peaks, lush bamboo groves and rural countryside at a rather relaxing pace, along with a golden opportunity to click hundreds of postcard-perfect shots!

Li River

Exploring Yangshuo

It’s easy to lose yourself for days in Yangshuo, a small county yet claiming the most breathtakingly beautiful scenery of Guilin, say the clear rivers, jutting karst pinnacles, rice paddies and village embraced among idyllic countryside. All this makes Yangshuo a paradise for rafting, cycling, hiking and more outdoor activities. Back in town, Yangshuo West Street features numerous westerners in cool bars and cafes. Have a little drink and soak in the leisure rhythm.


Longji Terraces Hiking

2.5 hours’ drive from Guilin, Longji Terraced Fields is praised as the most beautiful in the world, where layers of rice paddies cascade down the steep mountain ridges, forming a rather stunning picture in all seasons. In this splendid setting are primitive villages of Zhuang and Yao ethnic people. Drop by to meet traditional dressed locals, glimpse unique wooden dwellings and experience their traditional lifestyle having been carried on for centuries.

Longji Terraces

See more top things to do in Guilin.

How Many Days to Stay

Generally, it takes three days for travellers to enjoy Guilin’s world-famous natural scenery, the first day for settle-in and free exploration, then one day for Guilin city attractions like Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave, the other day for Li River cruise and Yangshuo countryside.

A trip to Longji Terraced Fileds will need 1-2 extra days to explore its spectacular terraces as well as experience unique local minority culture.

Li River

3 Days - Best of Guilin and Yangshuo
4 Days - Classic Guilin with Yangshuo and Longji Terraced Fields

See our Guilin tours to find more options including easy day-trip in Guilin. We are also happy to help you tailor make your town Guilin tour to discover more that it has to offer.

Guilin Accommodation

Guilin City:
There are diverse accommodations ranging from luxury to small inns and hostels to meet your budget. Most our travelers prefer to stay near the “Two Rivers and Fours Lakes” in downtown, like Guilin Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin Sheraton Hotel and Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel, affording amazing vistas of the city’s waterscape.

Yangshuo has a collection of boutique hotels, resorts and cheap guesthouses catering to worldwide backpackers.

A popular place to stay is on the West Street, but it may be a little bit noisy due to the lively nightlife. Accommodations along the Li River or Yulong River should be nice options for whose who want to enjoy nature and tranquility, say Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel.

Guesthouses in Longsheng are built in traditional wooden stilt houses and with basic facilities. Those on the terraced mountainside are generally recommended to enjoy more stunning terrace view as well as sunrise.

Guilin Dining

As well as its beautiful scenery, Guilin is also a great place to eat in China, brimming with all kinds of restaurants and street stalls serving up delicacies with an intriguing balance of sour and spicy, tender and sweet.

The most popular Guilin food is its rice noodles. Freshwater fish and seafood also appear on local restaurant menu. Beer Fish, Stuffed Snails, stir-fried Li River shrimps, Lipu Taro and Pork Loaf and many more will wet the appetite.

Guilin Rice Noodles

Both Guilin and Yangshuo feature a number of great options where you can treat your palate to decent western cuisine.

Guilin Shopping

For shopping, Guilin is famous for its hand-made crafts including landscape paintings, painted paper fans and umbrellas, wood carvings and local handicrafts such as beautiful embroidery and brocade of Zhuang ethnic group. All these can be found in Zhengyang Pedestrian Street and Yangshuo West Street, the top places to pick up souvenirs.

Some large department stores and shopping malls offer everything from electronics to international brands. Read more about shopping in Guilin.

Guilin Nightlife

Guilin has a vibrant nightlife scene, greeting fun seekers with amazing bars, hustling food streets as well as night cruises on its mesmerizing waterscape. While in Yangshuo, you won’t go far wrong by heading to the West Street where its nightlife are centered around, with many expat-run bars to chill out. You also could enjoy the small town ambience with a leisurely stroll, or savor local culture in the performance of Impression Liusanjie.

Get more about how to enrich your nightlife in Guilin.

Enjoy Hassle-free Guilin Trip with ChinaTours

Feeling headache? Join in us to have a hassle-free and memorable Guilin trip during which you will be accompanied by a local insider to discover the city’s peerless scenery.

1 Day - Longji Terrace Rice Field Private Tour
2 Days- Classic Guilin and Yangshuo Private Tour
6 Days- Best of Guilin & Longji & Zhaoxing Tour

Li River

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