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 A Day in Guilin - Low Budget (on a Shoestring)

A Day in Guilin - Low Budget (on a Shoestring)

Written by GavinUpdated Jan. 17, 2024

See Guilin and Yangshuo's classic attractions and eat for less than 100 yuan each (accommodation not included).

Item Cost (yuan)
Guilin map 6
Two 1.5 litre bottles of water 6
Breakfast 6
City bus to train station 1
Bus to Yangshuo 20
Lunch 10
Bicycle rental 10
Dinner 10
Banana pancake 10
Street snacks 5
2 bottles of local beer 10
Total 92

On arriving at Guilin Railway Station buy a 6 yuan Chinese-English Guilin map from a kiosk or street stall, and buy a 1.5 liter bottle of water (a significant saving on the 500 ml bottles).


Beautiful Bridge of Seven Star ParkBeautiful bridge of Seven Star Park in the morning.

Get into Seven Star Park before 6:30am for free. Climb up the hill with the pagoda and, if you feel like it, shout at the opposite peak, like the locals. You should see the sun rise from behind the opposite peak, and the panorama of Guilin's small city center surrounded by.


Eat breakfast in the park at the rice noodle shop by the large square. Mifen (米粉 rice noodles) is Guilin's classic and always popular cheap breakfast. At 3.5 yuan for 100g and 4 yuan for 150g it should be tried. There fried dough sticks are 0.5 yuan each, and cups of soya milk are 1 yuan each.

From Seven Star Park walk out of the main entrance and on Liberation Bridge you can take a look at Elephant Hill to the left and Folded Brocade Hill to the Right. Look down in the Li River below and you might see someone going for a morning swim.

Straight ahead from Liberation Bridge on the right of the road is a bus stop. Catch bus 10 (1 yuan) to the railway station for the cheapest bus to Yangshuo (around 18 yuan).


On arriving in Yangshuo exit the bus station from the entrance, and take an early lunch of clay pot rice from one of the shops on the opposite side of Pantao Road. Shaguo fan (砂锅饭 rice and assortment of cheap meat and veg cooked in and eaten from a clay pot) is about 10 yuan, but varies with ingredients.

Buy a 1.5 liter bottle of water if you're running low.

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Cycling In CountrysideCycling in countryside with friends is a good idea.

Rent a bicycle from one of the many places around West Street and see the countryside. Rental prices start from about 8 yuan. If there are two of you, you can save with a tandem (5 yuan each). The deposit is up to 200 yuan.

Some of the best things in life are free to behold. See our Yangshuo bicycle routes. For a full afternoon of cycling and sight-seeing a combination of the first two routes would be good.

Visit the Yulong River along the way. Bathing is at your own risk, but quite pleasant and much safer than the Li River, as it is slower-flowing and only deep in the middle in some stretches.

View Moon Hill from the little road that branches right after Li Village.


On returning to Yangshuo return your bike, and get a Chinese "fast food" dinner from one of the canteens on side streets east of Diecai Road. Alternatively, there are shops selling dumplings (饺子 jiaozi), or wonton and noodle soup. You can fill up for 10 yuan.


deguocantingWest Street

After dinner watch the sun go down from the peak with the pagoda in Yangshuo Park (free entry, only about 10 or 15 minutes up the steps). First buy a beer to drink on the top. Cold local beer can be bought from supermarkets and corner shops for 5 yuan per 500 ml bottle.

Then tour West Street. See the various outlets selling everything from silk to trinket-type souvenirs, cheap outdoor clothing to Chinese character T-shirts.

Snacks and Chilling Out

A classic Yangshuo snack/dessert is the banana pancake. The cheapest they go for now is about 10 yuan. You may also want to try a local street snack, like a bowl of sweet black sesame curd for 5 yuan. A scoop of flavored ice cream in a wafer cup also goes for 5 yuan.

For a bit of piece and quiet and to reflect on your day, buy another supermarket chilled beer, and head down to the Li River. Relax and watch the moonlight play on its waters.

Also read: Photography Tips and Locations in Guilin.


The cheapest accommodation in Yangshuo is 30 yuan/night: a bed in a dorm with air conditioning, or a small room in a back street hotel with a fan, but no air conditioning.

Let us help you plan a personalized Guilin day tour for you or tailor make the travel arrangements for you.

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