Cheap Day Trips from Guilin (Yangshuo, Moon Hill, and More)
Guilin is a city in southern China known for its dramatic landscape of limestone karst hills. At its center are 2 lakes, Shanhu (Cedar) and Ronghu (Banyan), remaining from a medieval-era moat that once surrounded the city. Boats travel through these and other lakes via connected rivers. On Cedar Lake's shore, twin pagodas, the Sun and Moon, light up the sky at night. Guilin was China's first city to develop tourism after 1949. For decades, children's textbooks proclaimed Guilin's landscape is the best under heaven. It was the darling of Chinese politicians, the star city proudly presented to visiting dignitaries. Today Guilin's natural endowments still amaze, yet, thanks to imperfect urban planning, there is a pervasive feeling that the city is past its prime. No matter where you're going in Guangxi, you're likely to spend a night or two here - Guilin is a convenient base to plan trips to the rest of the province. It's clean and modern, with a high percentage of English-speaking locals. With so much to see and do Guilin is a great place to experience, and there are several options for exciting day trips to help you make the most of your time in this area of China.
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Depart from your Guilin hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan and climb aboard your awaiting boat to commence your 4-hour cruise upriver. Sink into a cushioned seat in the main cabin or capture fantastic photographs of the scenery from the open-air viewing platform as you sail. Marvel at the luscious landscapes that have inspired Chinese artists for centuries and scour the scenery for rare wildlife and fascinating flora. Pleasure your palate with a flavorsome and fulfilling lunch served onboard; feast on freshly caught fish from the Li River and disembark at the village of Yangshuo to stroll amid the bustling local market place. Inhale enticing aromas of street food stalls then climb back onto your comfortable coach for the return trip back to Guilin. On arrival, visit some spectacular shopping spots to peruse boutiques selling precious jade artifacts and refined Chinese paintings. Opt to remain in Yangshuo if you wish and partake in some exhilarating activities at your own expense. If you wish to stay, please note that you will need to make your own way back to Guilin.
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Longmen Water Cave in Longmen Village, 2 miles from Moon Hill, is one of the most recent attractions to open to tourists in the Guilin area. The caves are the largest natural cave systems in Yangshuo, running for approximately 2 miles through 3 mountains. On this full-day tour you will join a private guide as you travel from Yangshuo Town to the cave system, where you will get the chance to explore by boat. The tour then continues with a visit to the miraculous Moon Hill arch in the surrounding mountains. Yangshuo has literally hundreds of caves buried below the surface of its mountain range, but the water caves are perhaps the most exciting. Used as a refuge by local villagers during Japanese attacks during World War 2, you will get to explore the narrow maze of passages and caves that provided the villagers with shelter. Passing through 8 rocky green peaks, today the inside resembles a fairy-tale land that is beautiful, breathtaking and mysterious. Gaze in awe at the stalactites dripping like molten wax from the ceiling, and then refresh yourself as you come across a 330-foot high waterfall pouring into the underground pool. Make strange music by running your fingers along the stalagmite "piano" and listen to the echoing applause of your audience of curious stalagmites and stalactites. Go for a splash in the blue waters of the crystal dragon pool, and slide down the wet clay into a natural mud bath. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter, the caves are a true wonder of nature. Pause for lunch, before moving on to Moon Hill, to observe the intriguing natural arch carved through the karst mountain formation. A popular tourist attraction, Moon Hill offers lovely views of the Yangshuo countryside and you will have time to explore before returning to Yangshuo Town in the mid afternoon.
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Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel in Guilin downtown. After approx. 20 minutes' drive, you will be in the peaceful countryside with sub-tropical views around. Daxu Ancient Town, meaning "Big Market" in Chinese, was a very important and prosperous trading port in the old times. Starting with a local cinema, your tour continues to visit a local pharmacy selling traditional Chinese herbal medicine. The bare-foot doctor will demonstrate how to make herbs into medicine. Afterwards walking cross a 600-year-old Longevity Bridge, you will get to a better preserved section. Your guide will show you inside some of the old houses so that you would learn how the locals have been living for generations. You may choose one of the side streets down to the riverside to see fishermen and their fishing birds, cormorants. If time allows, take a local ferry to the other side of the river to a small island called Maozhou Island. Take a leisurely walk through the village and vegetable fields. The local residents are making better living by running guesthouses and organic restaurants for weekends or holidays. You could also try some street food such as salt baked quail eggs, boiled sweet corn and home-made pan cake. After the tour is completed, your guide and driver will take you back to your hotel or any places you wish to explore in Guilin city.
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