Guilin | China Travel | Travel Photography | Yangshuo | Xingping | Longsheng | Ping'an | Rice Terraces | Li River | Travel Inspiration

25 Insane Photos of Guilin, China That Will Make You Want to Pack Your Bags

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If the title of “Best Karst Landscape in the World” doesn’t make you want to come to Guilin, China, then, we promise, these photos will! Guilin has one of the most iconic landscapes in the world. The incredible scenery of Guilin is unmistakable, no matter the photographer. If the natural wonder of Guilin’s sharp-peaked mountains lining the Li River isn’t tickling your fancy, don’t stop reading yet, because this place has literally everything but the beach. You can float down the Li River on a bamboo raft (or a cruise boat if that’s more to your liking), hike through the rice terraces and ancient mountain villages, kayak along the quieter Yulong River, hike up steps to the peaks of the tallest mountains for incredible sunset views over the river, grab a harness and rope and rock climb up the karst cliffs, explore inside one of the many incredible caves of the region, bathe in a natural hot springs, cycle through old village pathways along the river, shop in one of Guilin cities vibrant outdoor markets, sample the regions local specialty of beer fish and Guilin noodles, and so much more! My fingers were getting tired just typing that list, but seriously as long as it doesn’t involve salt water, Guilin’s got it.

*Just a note about locations. I’m using Guilin as a blanket location for this entire region since all the cool places are either in the city or within an 80 km radius of the city. The main places to see in Guilin are: the temples, parks, and markets of Guilin City, the rice terraces of Longsheng and Ping’an villages, the Li River and old town in Xingping, and the caves and outdoor activities in Yangshuo.

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Ready to see the awesomeness that Guilin has in store?

Guilin City

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The famous Sun and Moon Pagodas, built on a lake in the middle of Guilin City. The symbolism and cultural history of the two pagodas is not very well known but the combination of the Chinese characters for sun and moon combined means life, so there is some speculation that it symbolizes the growth and livelihood of the city. If you pay to go inside there is an underwater glass tunnel that connects the two pagodas as well as stairs (and even an elevator in the sun pagoda) to the top.
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A beautiful waterfall flows inside of Guilin’s Seven Star Park. Entrance fees for the park will cost 70 RMB/person and the park is open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm.
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Camel hill inside of Guilin’s Seven Star Park.
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Monkeys having a snack inside Seven Star Park.

Xingping

Panoramic views at sunset from the peak of Laozhai Mountain.
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A cormorant fisherman on the Li River. We captured this one alone, just doing his thing. You can pay for a sunset cormorant fisherman photography session where the fishermen dress in traditional clothing with lanterns on their rafts and pretend to fish at the riverbank while you take photos. Their actual fishing begins once you leave. We opted out of this as, while it can lead to some stunning photos it’s all completely fake. Luckily we caught a fisherman in action during our bamboo raft down the river!
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Sunset from the top of Laozhai Mountain. The steps to climb this mountain are located right on the edge of old town Xingping. If you walk down towards the river you’ll see the signs. It’s a ton of steps to the top but the view is well worth it.
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Sunset from the roof of our hostel, This Old Place, in old town Xingping.
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Views down the river from our bamboo raft. A cruise down the river is a must when in Guilin!
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Stunning views from the peak of Laozhai Mountain just after sunset.
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Nine horses hill, located along the Li River in Xingping. Supposedly you can see nine horses in the lines on the cliffside, but we must be blind because we just can’t see them. You?
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Another beautiful sunset from the roof of our hostel. They never get old here in Guilin.
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A post-sunset panorama looking out over town from the peak of Laozhai Mountain. It got perpetually cloudier as the sun was setting, but even without the color it’s still beautiful!

Ping’an Village/Longji Rice Terraces

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Panoramic views over the rice terraces and Ping’an town during our hike on top of the rice terraces.
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Rice terraces cascading down the sides of the mountains.
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Looking down, we saw nothing but terraced fields. The lines they make on the mountainside are incredible.
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The little village of Ping’an perched on the side of the mountain amongst the rice terraces. Isolated from the surrounding towns and cities, the people here have to live a completely self-sustainable lifestyle, growing most of their own food, and using the money from tourists to buy all other necessities they can’t produce themselves.
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Rice terraces stretching out into the valley.
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Rice terraces glimmering in the setting sun.

Yangshuo

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Panoramic sunset views from the bridge over the river in downtown Yangshuo.
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Views over Yangshuo town from the top of a mountain in Yangshuo Park.
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A waterfall flows inside of Gold Water Cave. This cave not only has a waterfall, but also a hot springs and mud bath that you can bathe in. Gold water cave was definitely a highlight of our time in Yangshuo.
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Reflections inside of Gold Water Cave.
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Who knows how this column of rock came to form like this. It completely stands alone! There are some old dilapidated stairs that at one point in time I think lead to that flagpole on top of the mountain. We tried to reach the top, but the stairs disappear about halfway up.
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Sunset over the river in Yangshuo.

What do you think? Ready to explore this stunning area of southern China?

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Guilin | China Travel | Travel Photography | Yangshuo | Xingping | Longsheng | Ping'an | Rice Terraces | Li River | Travel Inspiration

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