Just as Beijing is a must when you travel to China, so is Guilin. A popular Chinese saying goes: The scenery in Guilin is the finest, but Yangshuo's is still better. The well known poet Han Yu in Tang Dynasty described Guilin's landscape: "The river forms a green gauze belt, the mountains are like blue jade hairpins." All this words will give you a general impression of this beautiful city.
Located at the northeast of Guangxi Province, Guilin is one of the oldest cities there; therefore, there are sites of the Neolithic Age dating back to about 10,000 years ago. Guilin City was set up in 1940. It is not only a famous tourist destination but also a renowned historical and cultural city in China, eulogized as "the most beautiful landscape on earth". Moreover, its unique karts landform and the beautiful Lijiang River make it the world-famous tourist resort. In short, its beautiful scenery can be summarized as "strange mountains, limpid waters, beautiful rocks, and odd caves". Naturally, countless tourists both at home and abroad are deeply drawn by its scenes, local customs, and history and culture.
Most of the sights in Guilin are scenic. Although the mountains are the usual peaked mountains, they are rounded at the top and there are tons of them, very picturesque. Traditional Chinese painting often features exotic and imaginary scenes of mountains and rivers. But as many visitors to China exclaim, the scenery at Guilin looks just like a traditional Chinese painting. Perhaps many of those painting scenes were not imaginary after all.
About 30 ethnic groups like Zhuang, Hui, Miao, Yao, and Dong inhabit in the city. Each minority has its own unique customs and festivals and this means that they are much more abundant here than in many other places elsewhere in China. Travelers can enjoy these pageants at the Li River Folk Customs Center.
The new city, composed of former city of Guilin and the Guilin Prefecture, encompasses 27,797 square kilometers. The city is rather compact when compared with other leading cities in the country. However, situated within this area one can find green mountains, crystal clear waters, unique caves and beautiful stones. Major attractions include Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave, with remarkable stalactites and stalagmites. Seven-Star Park, which dates from the Sui Dynasty over 1000 years ago is said to be one of the nicest city parks in China. The seven stars refer to the seven peaks in the park which are said to resemble the layout of Ursa Major, the Big Dipper. A boat trip down the peaceful Li River is the absolute high point of any visit to Guilin. You can also take some spicy Guilinjiang, a type of pepper sauce back home.
Yangshuo is situated at the northeast of Guangxi Province and to the southeast of Guilin City. Since ancient times, it has been praised as "the most beautiful scenery in Guilin". The special geography gives it breath-taking beauty while over 1,400 years of history bless it with a deep traditional culture. The diverse ethnic minority groups including Hui , Zhuang , Yao and others, enrich it with special folk cultures represented by their various festivals ; while many foreign residents add exotic flavors to its fascination.