Home China Guide Guilin Tips & Articles Guilin 72-Hour Visa Free — Make the Most of It!

Guilin 72-Hour Visa Free — Make the Most of It!

lijiang river

Following Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Dalian, Shenyang, and Xi'an, Guilin is going to be the next 3-day visa-free city. Travelers from 51 countries with an onward flight from Guilin to the third country/region are able to benefit from this policy. At the end of this article are the requirements for and FAQs about the Guilin 72-hour visa-free policy.

1-Day Tour Recommendations

two rivers four lakesNight view of the Two Rivers Four Lakes water system in Guilin city

1. Guilin City

Guilin city has so many things to see in the daytime, but also at night. Many parks in the city area offer great natural scenery throughout the year, such as Elephant Hill Park.
Climbing to Solitary Beauty Peak, you can have a bird's eye view of Guilin city. It is physically challenging, and takes about 40 minutes.

It is much quieter at night. The night views of Guilin city are breathtaking. Decorated by colorful lights, the lakes look more fantastic. Strolling by the lakes and taking a Two Rivers Four Lakes cruise are good ideas. The cruise is about 1 hour.

At night, shopping on Zhengyang Pedestrian Street for some souvenirs and enjoying a cup of coffee in a cafe by the Li River are also poetic.

2. Ancient Towns Nearby

huangyao ancient townHuangyao Ancient Town

There are many ancient towns in the suburbs of Guilin, among which Daxu Ancient Town and Huangyao Ancient Town are the most popular ones. Daxu Ancient Town is about 1 hour’s drive from the city center. It remains old in appearance and quiet. The buildings in the town are old-fashioned with gray roofs and white walls. Situated on the bank of the river, the natural scenery there is also excellent. You can visit the local residents’ houses to see their antique decorations.

Huangyao Ancient Town is a little different from Daxu Ancient Town. It has a history of more than 1,000 years. The yellow-bricks and gray-tiled houses, located between the river and trees in the town, look classic. It is the set of the famous film The Painted Veil.

3. Yangshuo

lijiang riverEnjoy the beautiful scenery along Li River, Yangshuo.

It is a good idea to have a one-day trip to Yangshuo. Get up early in the morning and have a 1½ hour’s drive from the city center. alternatively cruising the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo is a top thing to do.

At about 2pm, you can have a ride in the countryside of Yangshuo or go bamboo rafting on the Yulong River. Along the biking route, you can see the Yulong River and miriads of mountains. It is popular with most tourists. The countryside turns into different colors depending on the season. Capture the beautiful countryside scenery in your camera! Bamboo rafting is a great outdoor activity in summer, and it takes about 3 hours.

Different from Guilin city, the downtown of Yangshuo becomes busy at night, especially West Street. You can stroll around the street and buy some special souvenirs, or find a quiet cafe to have a cup of coffee.

The night performance on the Li River is stunning! Decorated by the colorful lights, the performers wearing ethnic costumes deliver you a magnificent night performance on the Li River in front of the mountains. The Impression of Liu Sanjie tells a traditional Zhuang ethnic story. This performance has received high praise from tourists.

4. Longji

guilinLongji Terraced Fields is yellow in autumn.

Located about 1½ hours’ drive from Guilin city, is one of the must-visit places in Guilin. Hiking at Longji Terraced Fields in different seasons, you can see different colors. You can not only appreciate the stunning natural scenery, but also visit the ancient houses with a history of more than a hundred years.
China Highlights can take you to experience local food in a local farmer’s house. And you can have a unique experience of plowing in the fields. It is a good way to experience traditional local life.

2-Day Tour Recommendations

1. One Day in Guilin City and One Day in Yangshuo

Most tourists chose to stay in Guilin City for one day and spend the rest of the time in Yangshuo. It is more relaxing than having a hike in Longji Terraced Fields.

2. One Day in the Guilin City and One Day Hiking in Longji

For tourists who want to relax but also adventure, it is suitable to plan a one day tour in Guilin City with a one day hiking tour at Longji Terraced Fields.

3-Day Tour Recommendations

lijiang riverFishing lights in Xingping, Yangshuo

1. One Day in Guilin City, One Day in Yangshuo, and One Day in Longji

If you have enough time in Guillin, you can explore the three most attractive places in three days.

2. One Day in Huangyao or Daxu Ancient Town, One Day in Yangshuo, and One Day in Longji

3. One Day in Yangshuo or Longji, and Two Days in Sanjiang Dong Minority Village

Have a Visa-Free Tour of Guilin with China Highlights

China Highlights can arrange your own personal tour of Guilin for one day, two days, and three days. We select the best hotels, highly-praised restaurants, and attractions to create for you beautiful memories. Contact us to have us tailor -make your tour of Guilin!

About Guilin 72-Hour Visa-Free Policy


  • You must be a citizen of one of the 51 countries included in the 72-Hour-Transit Visa Exemption Program.
  • You must have valid international travel documents and air tickets for an onward international flight, with confirmed flight dates and seats, for a third country (or separately administered China region i.e. Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan).
  • You must enter and leave "China" at Guilin Liangjiang Airport within 72 hours (from 00:00 the day after you arrive).
  • You may not leave the administrative area of Guilin Prefectureduring your stay.

See Visa-Free Travel in China for more on the requirements and other cities you can visit visa-free.

Things You Should Be Aware Of

  • You should be accompanied by a tour guide arranged by a permitted Guilin travel agent, and stay only in 18 hotels (see below) in Guilin.
  • There is a 72-Hour Visa-free Transit Access Aisle at the airport.
  • Your travel activities are not limited to tourism. You can learn, travel, do business, and even earn money during your stay (no illegal activities).

Hotels You May Stay In

Sheraton Guilin HotelGold Dragon Ball Hotel
Royal Garden HotelGreen Lotus Hotel
Lijiang Waterfall HotelLongsheng Hot Spring Resort
Guilin Grand Link HotelYangshuo Tangrenjie Hotel
Guilin Bravo HotelGuifu Hotel Yangshuo
Guilin Park HotelNew Century Hotel
Guilin Plaza HotelShengyuan Hotel
Ronghu HotelGongcheng Qianjun International Hotel
Guilin Jin-Tone HotelXing’an Dihao Hotel

Tour Guilin with China Highlights

You can book a hotel online by yourself or contact us to help you. China Highlights offers a popular hotel booking service. If you are interested in staying in Guilin for a visa-free tour, why not contact us to design a tour according to your requirements? We will pick you up at Guilin Liangjiang Airport and drive you to your hotel.


guilin visa-free stampGuilin 72-hour visa-free stamp

1. How does it work? Do I need to submit an application to the Embassy?

  • You don’t have to submit an application. When you arrive at Guilin Liangjiang Airport, Immigration Department staff will direct you to the visa-free access check point, check your passport and onward flight tickets (and hotel and tour bookings) to make sure that you meet the requirements of the policy. After that, your passport will get a Guilin 72-hour visa-free permit stamp showing the date you arrive in Guilin and when you must leave by.

2. Does a travel agent apply for the visa-free access, or do I have to do so personally?

  • You have to do this personally and the procedure is very easy (see question 1). But you should obtain documentary evidence of an itinerary from a permitted Guilin travel agent, including which hotel(s) you will use and where are you going, in case the Immigration Department ask for that.

3. What travel agent can I travel with? Does it have to be a Chinese one, or can we book with e.g. Thomson?

  • The Guilin 72-hour visa-free policy only permits travel with certain Guilin travel agents. China Highlights is one of them. China Highlights has been specializing in tailor-making China tours for over fifteen years.

4. Is the 72-hour limit in the "72-Hour Transit Visa Exemption" calculated starting from the flight arrival time in Guilin?

  • No. The 72-hour limit is calculated starting from 00:00 the day after arrival. For example, if a traveler arrives at Guilin Liangjiang Airport on August 1, 2014, the visa exemption period is calculated starting from 00:00 on August 2, 2014. The traveler must leave Guiiln Liangjiang Airport before 23:59 on August 4, 2014 on an international flight.

5. Can I leave Guilin for another city in China which is also 72-hour visa-freeduring the 72-hour-transit visa exemption period?

  • No, the range of travel during the visa exemption is limited to the administrative area of Guilin Prefecture. This includes Yangshuo and Longsheng counties, but not any other China cities, or anywhere over the prefecture border.

6. What should I do if I cannot leave China within the 72 hours due to some unforeseeable circumstance?

  • In case of a special need to stay in Guilin Prefecture longer than 72 hours, due to force majeure, or some other reason for exceeding the permitted scope of stay, a passenger should apply for the relevant visa to the Exit-Entry Administration Department of the Municipal Public Security Bureau of Guilin (桂林市公安局出入境管理部门Guilin Shi Gong'an Ju Chu-Ru Jing Guanli Bumen).

7. If I buy something taxable in Guilin, do I still need to pay goods taxes at the customs check?

  • Yes. The visa-free policy is not a tax-free policy. Travelers still have to pay customs taxes for goods.