16 Hours in Guilin
 updatetime:2012-03-24 14:58:39   Views:0 Source:CRI

Situated in China's Guangxi Region, Guilin is a scenic town and one of the best-known tourist destinations in China. There are many scenic places within short traveling distance of Guilin. These include Longsheng with its famous Longji rice terraces; The Li jiang river, a scene of which is printed on the back of ?20 bank notes; Yangshuo, a small city downstream form Guilin; and much more. This makes Guilin an excellent base for exploring the northern end of Guangxi region. Guilin is a beautiful city. The town center is surrounded by two rivers and four lakes and studded with shear sided karst mountains. Outside the city center, the buildings are less well kept. The main industry in the city is tourism.

Start your 16 hours in Guilin with a trip to Elephant Trunk Hill. Situated on the west bank of the River Li, this picturesque hill rises 55m above the surface level, and features a curving rock pillar that resembles a giant elephant's trunk. Take a bamboo raft out onto the water for the best view, then go into the park by Elephant Trunk Hill and walk along Water Moon Cave, read inscriptions dating back to the Tang Dynasty, and reach the Puxian Pagoda dedicated to the bodhisattva of universal benevolence.

Go northeast to the stunning karst landscape around Solitary Beauty Peak. Climb the ''Sky-Supporting Pillar of the South'' to get a panoramic view of Guilin and its surrounds. Back at the foot of the peak, explore the weird shaped rocks and stalactite-laden grottoes.

Then head back to town and find a good restaurant for lunch. Guilin cuisine is often said to be a blend of Hunan- and Cantonese-style cooking. Local specialties are as strangely-named as the city's sights - you can choose try some Thick Bamboo Tube Fish, Lipu Taro Buckle Meat or some Horse's Hoof Cake.

Spend the greater part of the afternoon wandering around the 120-hectare Seven Stars Park on the east bank of the Li. Walk its trails through graceful mountain and serene valleys, and explore its numerous cultural and historical spots. Not-to-be-missed spots are Putou Mountain, Seven Stars Cave, Camel Hill and the Guihai Stele Forest.

For dinner, enjoy Guilin's best specialty dish. And this one is more recognizable to the Western eye, too. Roasted Suckling Pig can be sampled at many of the city's restaurants, but if you want to eliminate any chance of disappointment, try it in the Guilin Sheraton by the River Li. Then watch the sun go down over a cocktail or a jasmine tea in the lounge.

Visit the enchanting Dreamland Theater on Qixing Lu, venue for the Dreamland Li River drama, based on a local fairytale. Nightly performances start at 7 pm. Bring yourself back down to earth with some drinks and live music at Baidu Yu Le, a European-style bar on Binjiang Lu, before heading for heaven once again among the local clubbers at the Fire Phoenix Disco Club in Hotel Universal on Jiefang Donglu.


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