Hiking or walking is a nice way to see the beautiful karst landscape in Guilin, appreciate poetic countryside scenery, and seeing the life of locals. There are many places in and around the city to enjoy outdoor activities. The well-known Li River is considered as one of the top ten hiking routes in China. The lakes and inside the city are great places to walk around.
Hiking along the Yulong River in the Yangshuo countryside (from Gongnong Bridge to Yima Village) lets you immerse yourself in nature, as you appreciate the rural scenery, paddy fields, and tranquil villages. It is a popular way to explore the best of rural Yangshuo.
Longji is charming and spectacular all the year round. Hiking from Ancient Zhuang Village to Ping'an Village is a popular hike, which takes about two hours. The scenery along this route is fantastic, with seasonal colors and ancient minority houses. Most hotels are located in Ping’an Village, where you can appreciate enchanting sunrises and sunsets and see the magnificent panorama of Longji Terraced Fields.
Longji's terraced fields offer some of the most fantastic scenery in Guilin or indeed China. Beautiful when the sun reflects in the water of the paddy fields and glowing with yellow ears when the harvest is ripe, Longji (Dragon's Back) is a feast for the eyes. Read more on Longji Terraced Fields Hiking.
See our video of Longji Terraced Fields Hiking.
The beauty of the Li River cannot be fully appreciated on a boat. Instead, hike slowly along the river, stopping here and there by the river, and emerge your feet in the water. Follow the trail in the bamboo forest, tramping over golden rice fields and camp for one night to experience the sunrise and sunset. This is how to fully appreciate the beauty of the Li River. Read more and see China Highlights' Li River Hiking Tour
An unconventional way to get close to the Li River is trekking along the path from Yangdi to Xingping. It is the best way for photographers to take great photos, as you can stop still and set up a tripod, unlike on a Li River cruise. The scenery along the path is breathtaking and idyllic.
If you are lucky, you can see fishermen fishing with their cormorants on bamboo rafts. Twilight is the best time to see them.
Also see our video of Li River Hiking.
This walk is good for both the daytime and the evening, as the lakes are colorfully lit. On a hot summer's day some of the coolest parts of the city are by the Two Rivers and Four Lakes. Read more
Seven Star Park (七星公园 Qixing Gingyuan /chee-sshing gong-ywen/) has seven small limestone hills, some with steps that can be easily ascended for a view of Central Guilin. Climbing the one closest to the main entrance, straight on from Liberation Bridge (解放桥 Jiefang Qiao /jyeah-fung chyaoww/), would make a good start to the walk, as you can see all the key features of the walk laid out before you: the Li River and Liberation Bridge, to the left the grey face of the Waterfall Hotel, standing between Center Square (中心广场 Zhongxin Guangchang /jong-sshin gwung-chung/) and Pine Lake (杉湖 Shan Hu /shan hoo/), and further left down river Elephant Hill (象山 Xiang Shan /sshyang shan/). Read more