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Yao Mountain is the highest of Guilin's city peaks. There's an excellent view from the top, which you can get to either by cable car, or with a hike up the hill itself. The hike is worth it, particularly in spring when the mountain plays host to many wild flowers, azaleas being particularly noteworthy in March.
Location: Yao Mountain is located in the eastern suburbs of Guilin, about 10 km (6.2 miles) from the city center. It is famous for both natural beauty and ancient tombs. Its main peak reaches 909 meters, but the lower south peak is the one that has been developed for tourism.
About 450 meters above sea level is Yao Temple, built during the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC), which gave the mountain the name. In front of Yao Temple is "heaven-sent field" (an area with a stable yield despite drought or excessive rain).
At an altitude of about 700 meters is Bailu Temple, residence of a famous monk in the Tang Dynasty (618–907).
At the top there are facilities for resting, relaxing and shopping — or just hiding out from the rain — before heading back down again.
Travelers can take the cable car (40 RMB one-way, 75 RMB return) to reach the top of the hill. The cable-way has a length of 1.4 km (0.9 miles), and one-way takes 20 minutes. It is the first tourist cable-way in Guangxi.
The cart slide: Aside from the cable car and walking, going down offers the fun alternative at 35 RMB of a slide that can take you down much the length of the mountain on a strangely wheeled contraption at considerable speed (or somewhat more slowly should you remember to use the brake).
In 1996 the slide way was completed, with the second longest length nationwide and the first in Southwest China. Its top speed is 80 km/hour, but the speed is limited to 35 km/hour for tourist use. Most of the slide way is constructed through dense forests or places difficult to set foot in. Visitors can have a look at the special scenery there.
Alongside the mountain is the tomb complex of the local Jingjiang kingdom, in power in the region during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). The entry fee for the tombs is 20 RMB. They are also known as the Military Governors' Tombs of the Ming Dynasty.
Yao Mountain is a popular area for cemeteries and burial grounds because of the good fengshui. Also read the culture of death in China.
Guilin Tea Science and Research Institute, located near Yao Mountain, is also worth visiting. There you will get to know different types of tea, the production process, and enjoy a tea ceremony while sipping small cups of various teas.