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The old Chinese saying goes, "Guilin's mountain and water scenery is the best under heaven." Guilin has the most famous karst topography in the world, with limpid rivers and lakes, verdant hills, grotesque rocks, and mysterious caves. Touring Guilin and the surrounding towns of Yangshuo and Longsheng is all about scenery and leisure, such as cruising along the Li River, pedaling in the countryside, and visiting minority villages.
China Highlights has listed for you the following top things to do in Guilin.
The 83-kilometer-long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo is like an artist's masterpiece. A cruise along this ink-painting-like river is an unforgettable experience. It is the must-see attraction in Guilin. Read more on Li River Cruises.
Biking leisurely by the rice paddies, fruit orchards, karst hills, and tranquil villages gives you a fascinating insight into China's rural lif. You may also visit the local farmers' houses.
The stretch from Xingping to Nine Horse Hill offers a great opportunity to see the gorgeous Li River scenery and the life of riverside farmers. The hiking route takes about 1 hour.
Reed Flute Cave is a fascinating gallery of natural sculpture. It is filled with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in weird and wonderful shapes. It is the best among all the caves in and around Guilin. Visit to the cave takes about 4 hours.
The Two Rivers and Four Lakes Water System forms a continuous picturesque waterway through the center of Guilin City. The sight is especially pretty at night with the colorful lighting. There are two ways to visit the two rivers and four lakes - one is to take walk around the lakes, and the other is to take a cruise boat.
The Yulong River, a small tributary of the Li River only has bamboo rafts to ferry passengers down the river. It is a most relaxing experience to recline on a bamboo chair of the raft and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
Yangshuo's famous West Street is said to be a street having the most foreigners visited in China. You can simply relax yourself in one of the bars or cafes, or do some souvenir shopping at the numerous stands. At the West Street, you will never get bored.
The Impression of Third Sister Liu (Impression Liu Sanjie) is a spectacular nighttime show with colorful lights, music, and folk songs, all staged on the Li River.
Yangshuo has a variety of traditional Chinese classes, such as a Chinese calligraphy and painting Class, a Chinese Taichi Class, and a Chinese cookery Class. These classes offer a good opportunity for you to learn about a different culture.
In Longji, you can try some local activities, like making oil tea, cooking rice in bamboo tubes, and learning embroidery from Yao women. In Gaotian, a village near Yangshuo, you can try some farming activities like planting vegetables and plowing a field.
Relaxing on the Li River, and cycling among the paddy fields of Yangshuo's countryside can be leisurely enjoyed in 3 days.
Discover the old town of Daxu and watch local people do traditional handcrafts such as lantern-making or painting lion head-used for ceremonial dancing.