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Guilin
    2007-08-14 15:20:02     CRIENGLISH.com

2007-08-14

--Intro: The capital city of Guang Xi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, Guilin, is famous for its remarkable natural beauties and wonders. Its landscape has been frequently depicted in Chinese paintings, making this picturesque land famous world-wide.

 --selected Natural Wonders in Guilin

-The Elephant Trunk Hill: This is the landmark of Guilin, situated on the west bank of the Lijiang river. As its name suggests, the shape of the hill is just like an elephant drinking water from the river with its trunk. The "Water Moon cave" is formed by the half moon shaped cave in the hill and its reflection in the water. If you want to further explore these natural beauties as well as the historical relics around the hill, it will take you roughly half an hour in the Elephant Trunk Hill Park.

Opening Hours: 8:30-16:40

Bus Route: Tourist Buses 58, 57(free of charge)

-Reed Flute Cave: Located five kilometers to the northwest of downtown Guilin, this brilliant cave is a fascinating wonderland. Tourists can go inside this 240-meter-long water-eroded cave and explore the different sights illuminated by the colored lighting inside. Due to the dimness inside the cave, it's not easy to capture the full beauty using regular cameras, so it's better to enjoy the sight with your own eyes. The cave got its name from the verdant reeds growing outside so a nice reed flute is obviously an unique gift for friends at home.

Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30 Bus Route: 3, 58

--Main traveling activity: Lijiang River Cruise

Lijiang River is a major theme of Guilin scenery. The Lijiang River Cruise will pass by the Elephant Trunk Hill, Pagoda Hill, Daxu ancient town, crown cave and Xingping scenery. Fishermen and cormorants, water buffalos and bamboo groves are also on the voyage. Upon reaching Xingping, where the Lijiang River takes a big turn near the end of your cruise, remember to take out a 20 RMB note and check out the picture printed on its back. Looks familiar now? You are now right in the picture on the paper note of the Chinese currency!

 -How to take the cruise: The trip starts from the southern dock of Liberation Bridge in Guilin downtown area.

-Length of the trip: over 80 km

-Estimated duration onboard: 7-8 hours

--Local specialties: Healthy fruits to eat in Guilin

 -Gingko: The fruit of the "living fossil" Gingko tree found in Guilin, is said to be able to promote blood circulation, moisten people's skin and reduce wrinkles.

- Luo Han Guo got its name from its resemblance to the belly of Buddha. It's been used as a traditional Chinese herb. It is sweet and mellow and is good for lowering your blood pressure. You can drink the instant Luo Han Guo tea for all its benefits.

 -Shaddock is the best-known fruit in Guangxi. With a light sweet scent, the fruit is very rich in Vitamin C.

-Cumquat is a popular fruit from Guangxi with an eatable rind and an acidic center. It can be enjoyed fresh, preserved, canned or as a fruit juice. It is rich in Vitamins.

 --Local souvenirs: Guilin Stone, Embroidered silk balls, jade ware, bamboo and woodcarvings.

-- places for shopping and entertainment

-Guilin Zhengyang shopping street has earned a reputation as "the No.1 street in western China". Here you can enjoy a splendid night of shopping, dining and entertaining. Location: Zheng Yang Road. Buses to get there: 14,11,10

--Transportation to Guilin:

By air-from Beijing to Guilin: around $200, single trip, 3 hours.

By train-from Beijing to Guilin: around$70(hard sleeper),single trip,overnight 22 hours.

Besides taking the plane or train, you can try to travel by water if you were in Guangzhou,HongKong or Macao.This can lead you directly to ports of Xiangjiang River and Lijiang River.

 --Accommodation in Guilin

-Luxury hotels: Royal Garden Hotel (5 star) Location: along the Lijiang River

-Moderate hotels: Guilin Plaza(4 star) Location: City Center

 -Budget hotel: Guilin Flowers (Huamanlou) International Youth Hostel Location: Opposite the Guilin Railway Station

--Tips:

-Always bring an umbrella with you in the summer rainy season of May and June.

-To better accustom yourself to the local weather and water, remember to drink some local herbal tea during your stay.

photo resource: http://community.iexplore.com

                         http://www.friendlyplanet.com

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