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Holidays in Guilin allow you to explore an unspoiled region of China. This place is known for its astonishing limestone karst hills, lakes and rivers.

Life in Guilin has changed little over the millennia. Fishermen still fish with cormorants on bamboo rafts and farmers still plough the fields with water buffalo. The modern town itself is an oasis of colour, with lush gardens, bright flower beds and osmanthus trees lining the streets - but the real attraction is the landscape that surrounds it.

Guilin holidays: China’s rural heartland

Cruising on the Li River to Yangshuo is an essential activity during your holiday in Guilin. Drift lazily along as the otherworldly landscapes unfurl before you. You can travel this route by boat or bamboo raft; the latter offers total silence in which to absorb this delightful rural atmosphere. The green hills rise up like something from a fairytale and the towns you pass are quintessentially Chinese.

The countryside around Yangshuo is particularly beautiful, with stunning vistas of rice paddies and ancient villages. Bikes are a popular way for you to explore the area, giving you access to places impossible for cars to pass. You can visit gorgeous Moon Hill, a vast natural arch visible for miles around.

The small towns and lantern festooned villages around Guilin serve quality street food; from rice noodles to the delectable beer-cooked fish. For a truly unique experience, visit the Impression Sanjie Liu in Guilin. This spectacular show is based on a folk tale and is performed by a cast of hundreds in the world’s largest natural theatre, with the hills behind providing a splendid backdrop.

Destination Highlights

  • Marvel at the world-famous limestone karsts that dot the landscape
  • Take a cruise along Li River and see fishermen using cormorants to get their catch
  • Cycle around picturesque lakes and rice paddies of the Yangshuo region
  • Experience the spectacular Impression Sanjie Liu, a show performed in the world’s largest natural theatre

Explore Guilin

Time Zone


Flight Time

Around 15 hours via Hong Kong


CNY - Yuan Renminbi

Visa Information

British Citizens are required to have a visa to enter China.


The official language of China is Mandarin. A number of dialects are also spoken

Best time to visit Guilin

The weather in Guilin is at its best between April and October, when skies are generally clear and the temperature is mild. It can be hot in summer, with temperatures averaging 32°C.  

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“Explore the countryside of Yangshuo by sidecar, jeep or bike. Enjoy the slow pace of life as you pass farmers ploughing the fields and workers tending the rice paddies.”

Destination Executive
Isla, Destination Executive

“The Longji rice terraces are an essential sight on any Guilin holiday. The best time to visit is around mid-May when they are irrigated, and September to October when the crops are turning gold. A large number of hikers and photographers come to the area during these months.”

Destination Executive

Local Cuisine

Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Guilin holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.

Rice noodles

Rice noodles are a specialty in Guilin and the surrounding area. They’re served in a complex broth with a variety of different toppings, including meat and locally grown vegetables.

Beer-cooked fish

Beer-cooked fish is a dish unique to this region. River carp is fried in camellia oil and braised with beer, vegetables and chilli. Be warned - it’s often extremely spicy.

Let’s talk

There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.

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