Introduction



In Guang-xi Province



Summer: Hot, wet and humid - averages 19 C

Winter: Mild


Best time to visit: Spring and Autumn


Gui-lin is situated in the north-eastern part of Guang-xi Zhung Autonomous Region.

300 million years ago the surrounding area was covered by the sea; later earth movements forced up layers of limestone into round topped hills forming the magical scenery as seen today.

Gui-lin in Chinese means "Forest of Cassia Trees", four major species of cassia trees , in total of over 350,000 trees grow there, when full blossom in autumn the whole city is filled with a lovely scent in the air. There is no other place in the world with beautiful and natural scents.



The famous city water system consists of two rivers:-

Li Jiang and Two-fa Jiang (Jiang means river)

and four lakes:-

Rong Hu , Shan Hu , Mu-Long Hu , Gui Hu

As the saying goes, "City is within the scenery, scenery is within the city" , meaning one can just walk around the city and experience how unique and beautiful the city is.

The miraculous landscape unique shape and color has been a favorite subject for poets and painters for centuries. Lonely limestone hills proudly stand here and there, their apexes hidden in swirling mist; groups of unique hills standing in front of each other showing different colors shape and sizes; caves full of magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. One must see such views in person, as they are too difficult to describe in words.




oil-painting of Gui-lin








History

1) In B.C. 214 Qin Dynasty region , a small settlement was founded in
Li Jiang (River).
2) Settlement grew after the construction of Ling-qu Canal linking the Li Jiang in the North, which connected to the Yangze River, and Pearl River in the South. Food and supplies were sent by river from the Emperor to the imperial armies in the South.
3) 1368 1644 Ming Dynasty , Gui-lin became the provincial Capital, but later changed to Nan-ning in 1914.



City Map

(Note:- Jiang means River, Hu means lake, Lu means road, Shan means hill)




Places of Interest
1. Cheung-bay Shan (Elephant Hill)
2. Seven Star Park (Chi-sing Kon Yuen)
3. Di-cai Shan (Folded Brocade Hill)
4. Du-sau Feng (Solitary Beauty Peak)
5. Fu-bo Shan
6. Lu-di Cave (Reed Flute cave)

Li Jiang (Li River)

Lu (Road)
a. Wan-sing-bei-er Lu
b. Shanghai Lu
c. Wan-sing-bei Lu
d. Chong-shan-bei Lu
e. Chong-shan-chong Lu
f. Chong-shan-nan-Lu
g. Bin-jiang Lu
h. Nan-wan Lu
i. Jie-fang-tong Lu

R Gui-lin Railway Station










Cheung-bay Shan (Elephant Hill) (see 1 on map)

Located at the corner of Nan-wan Lu and Man-chu Lu , proudly sitting at the junction of Li Jiang (Li river) and Two-fa Jiang is the renowned elephant landmark of Gui-lin.



Seven Star Park (Chi-sing Kon Yuen) (see 2 on map)

Chi-sing Kon Yuen (Park), situated on the eastern side of Li Jiang, covers more than 100 hectares, houses some famous landmarks such as Chi-sing Cave (Crag).
Law-toa Shan (Camel Hill) and the Flower Bridge, to mention but a few.

Chi-sing Cave (Crag)

Takes 1 to 2 hours to walk through, one can experience the different sizes and shapes of magnificent stalagmites (rising) and stalactites (hanging), the growing rate is about 1 cm per 100 years, the age is indicated by their color; light, medium and dark, represent young, middle-aged and old respectively.






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Di-cai Shan (Folded Brocade Hill)  (see 3 on map)

Situated at the corner of Chong-shan-bei Lu and Di-can Lu , north of Du-sau Feng (Hill) , the hill resembles skeins of colored silk thread.
A small Pavilion located at the summit known as "cloud touching" , where one can observe the scenery around Gui-lin further afield. Near the summit, a cave known as "Wind Cave" , is in the shape a gourd, wide in both entrances, but narrow at the neck (middle) where only one person can pass through at a time. Countless carvings of Buddhas and poets can be found here and there, which were carved on the wall or cliff many years ago.


entrance


city view

Du-sau Feng (Solitary Beauty Hill) (see 4 on map)

Du-sau Feng is located in the middle of the city,
between Chong-shan-chong Lu and Bin-jiang Lu .

Climbing to its top is quite a job unless one is in good physical condition, but the hard climb will be compensated with the fine view from its summit terrace. From here one can see engraved Chinese Characters on the cliff dating back to the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907). The Hill used to be surrounded by a wall enclosing an Imperial City, Jing Jiang Palace during the Ming Dynasty.


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Fu-bo Shan (see 5 on map)

The Hill is named after a Han General who passed through the town whilst on a military campaign. The temple dedicated to him is no longer there, except for a 2.5 tons iron bell, which is still standing. A cave called Huan-chu Tong (Return Pearl Cave) is located; as the legend goes, a pearl was stolen from here, then returned afterward by a Fisherman.


Statue of General Fu-bo


inside the cave


iron bell


sword testing stone

Lu-di Cave (Reed Flute Cave) (see 6 on map)

The cave is situated about five miles to the north western part of Gui-lin. Its name was derived from the reeds growing around the cave entrance. The path through the whole cave is about one third of a mile, it takes about an hour to walk through, one can see the different sizes and shapes of magnificent stalagmites (rising) and stalactites (hanging), which are lit with colored lights, and have interesting names and stories attached.

"Crystal Palace" is one of the famous grottos, where the Sea Dragon King's residence is, in which a pillar known as "the magic needle", was taken by the Monkey King (One of the characters in the tale 'Journey to the West' ) after the Sea Dragon King was defeated.



magnificent stalagmites (rising) and stalactites (hanging)


Crystal Palace


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Stalagmites and stalactites from other cave



Li Jiang (Li River)

A boat trip is a must along the Li Jiang. The boarding wharf is either from Mo-pan-shan or Chu-jiang. Pre-booking boat trip and transport at the hotel is advisable.

The trip normally starts at around 8am, if the weather is permissible, for misty and hazy conditions are the norm. Lunch will be served on the boat. Returning to Gui-lin City by Bus from Yang-shao at about 3pm.

During December to February the boat-trips are restricted when the water level is not deep enough.


Chu-jiang boarding wharf


preparing lunch

River view:-

A series of magical scenes unfold slowly as the boat glides along shallow, clear waters, the changing colors and the unique shapes of the hills on both sides will certainly keep one's eye busy, without mentioning the on and off the bargaining sounds which fill both sides of the craft, when little bamboo trading rafts moor next to the tourist boat in order to earn their livelihood by selling local handicrafts and food-stuffs.

One can obtain a Li-Jiang (river) map from the tourist boat, which will be a great help in checking one's location.



bamboo trading raft


mooring next to the tourist boat

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Scenery along Li Jiang


Yang-shao

The destination of the boat trip is Yang-shao where one will have to walk through countless numbers of small shops housed in a converted old style village, selling postcards, handicrafts, foodstuffs, etc before boarding the bus back to the city. There are numbers of individual "walking shops" carrying all their merchandise chasing after every passer-by that certainly makes this boat trip another highlight. Bargaining sounds are everywhere until done-deal; at the end of the day, one may find that one has paid twice the amount for the same product which your friend paid for.


Yang-shao

 

 


old style village


walking shop





Other Features

Fishing using trained cormorants

Fishermen use their trained cormorants that have a string round their necks to prevent them swallowing the catch. One can join a night tour to witness such a unique way of fishing. The tourist will shout out "Ka-Yow" (keep going) to encourage the performance of the cormorants.

1500 year old Banyan Tree in Pin-Lok

Lin-chu (Canal) build during Qin Dynasty (B.C. 214).



From the Editor

1) There are little flower boys & girls, as we are being told, who were kidnapped from other villages by a snakehead to work without pay. When the kids spot tourists, they will follow, pulling their victims sleeves and begging for money. It is not advisable to buy flowers or give them money, instead one should shout "Kon-on, Kon-on" loudly (means "police, police"), and they will disappear without trace.

2) The temptation of "come and get me" is very seductive, bargaining is a must.

3) Bring along raincoat or umbrella.

4) Two days in Gui-lin is sufficient, a boat trip is a must.

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