First Impression of Guilin, China

eTramping in Guilin

Guilin, Guilin! Here we are! Knackered after over 13-hour bus ride, we finally got to China’s most picturesque region. How does it feel to be exploring one of the world’s most beautiful and famous travel destinations? Awesome, truly amazing!

A girl is smiling, Xing Ping scenery, China
Enjoying the scenery of Xing Ping
A boy admiring the view of Longsheng's Rice Terraces, China
Cez admiring the view of Longsheng’s Rice Terraces

About Guilin:

  • It’s located in Guangxi Province.
  • Sits on the west bank of the stunning Li River.
  • Its name is translated as “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus”.
  • There is a very popular Chinese saying 桂林山水甲天下 meaning “Guilin’s mountain and water scenery is the best under heaven”
Guilin's Two Rivers and Four Lakes Scenic Spot. The pagodas look spectacular at night.
Guilin’s Two Rivers and Four Lakes Scenic Spot. The pagodas look spectacular at night.

Our First Guilin Impressions

#1 Epic meeting with Sarah of  The further adventures of bennett

We were thrilled and excited to finally meet a fellow travel blogger – Sarah – in person. Sarah found our blog last year and made a first comment on my post regarding things I hated about China. We quickly became friends and supported our travels. We also wrote a book together about our life and teaching experiences in China which will be published very soon (we can’t wait for it)!

3 people are sitting and smiling on a bus from Xing Ping to Guilin
That’s us on a bus from Xing Ping to Guilin

Sarah is an extremely cheerful and adventurous person. She has been working as an English teacher in China for the past 20 months (what a milestone!) and she has been sharing her China experience on her blog. Although we come from different countries (Sarah is British), we still managed to share the same sense of humor (we were laughing all days long), had a lot of fun and explored Guilin on a budget!

3 people are cycling in Xing Ping
That’s us cycling in Xing Ping

We were all flexible with each other and Sarah guided us most of the time as she has arrived 2 days before we did so she knew the place pretty well. We explored Yangshuo River together, did an epic cycling in Xing Ping and we hiked the Longsheng’s Rice Terraces.

Two girls dressed like Chinese
We are just like Chinese!

We had a blast on the first night when we dressed up in Chinese traditional outfits. The uniforms costed us only RMB10 ($1.60) and we were posing in front of Cez’s camera with a beautiful night view of Guilin’s pagodas behind us.

Two white girls dressed like Chinese locals
Local girls!

#2 Capricious weather

In terms of the weather, we must admit that Guilin has disappointed us a bit. Sarah was just about to miss her flight back home due to a heavy traffic caused by the flood in the town and we had to get back to Dongguan one day earlier.

Just about to start our boat ride across Yangshuo River. Everyone was equipped with umbrellas
Just about to start our boat ride across Yangshuo River. Everyone was equipped with umbrellas

There was a heavy rain every morning with some sunshine in the middle of the day and then suddenly it went warmer and sunnier in the afternoon. The wind was blowing like crazy every night and it was pretty humid.

Longsheng's Rice Terraces
Sunny weather during our hike in Longsheng’s Rice Terraces

The worst weather was during our ride across the Yangshuo River (strong wind and heavy rain). We were all wet and cold, but still enjoyed the ride.

Heavy rain during a Yangshuo river ride
My face says it all

What we were most happy about is the fact that Guilin’s weather did not ruin our stay there. Although we felt a bit annoyed with the flood on the streets and a massive traffic caused by the high level of water in the town, we tried to enjoy our trip as much as we could.

See also  Photo of the Day: Vietnamese Spring Rolls

#3 Delicious Food

Guilin treated us well with some nice food and drinks. It is actually a great  place to satisfy your stomach! Although we could not find any new food that we hadn’t tried in China before (kind of traditional and authentic Guangxi Province food apart from horse meat we were recommended), Sarah and Cez had their best noodles ever and I tried an egg and tomato soup for the first time which rocked!

We had our breakfast at local restaurant nearby our hostel. I sticked with my favourite eggs and soy milk, Sarah went for sesame buns and Cez had a sticky rice wrapped in a leaf and a piece of You tiao.

3 people are eating Chinese food breakfast
Breakfast time!

For lunch, we stopped out one of the local food vendors to have some noodles and eggs and tomato soup.

Lunch time! Chinese delicious beef noodles and simple egg and tomato soup
Lunch time! Delicious beef noodles and simple egg and tomato soup

Guilin is very famous for its thick noodles served with various spicy sauces and herbs topped with peanuts. It was Cez’s and Sarah’s treat of the day.

A bowl of thick Chinese noodles and peanuts
Chinese noodles
Perfect combination of herbs and spices

#4 “East or west, Guilin scenery is the best”

Not without a reason Guilin is perceived as one of the most beautiful places in China. Right after Beijing, it is the second most visited travel destination and we can assure you that this picturesque region will take your breath away. At some point, the Yangshuo cruise reminded us of Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay and Tam Coc’s experience in Ninh Binh.

The magnificent scenery of Xing Ping
The magnificent scenery of Xing Ping
The view worth our sweat when hiking - Longji Terraced Fields.
The view worth our sweat when hiking – Longji Terraced Fields.
Vivid Xing Ping
Vivid Xing Ping

To be honest, every corner you look is picture postcard perfect and it is simply impossible to take a bad photo.

#5 Friendly Locals

We didn’t hang out with Chinese a lot this time. It was just 3 of us taking Guilin, but we did meet some nice and friendly people who we had short conversations with, such as young Chinese girls we met on a car when heading to Longji Terraced Fields, an awesome and honest car drivers who took us from Guilin to Longji or some random Chinese we met on a bus from Xing Ping to Guilin. 

A bunch of Chinese girls we travelled from Guilin to Longji
A bunch of Chinese girls we travelled with from Guilin to Longji

Locals in Longji were also very friendly. They kept asking if we were hungry, tried to sell us some souvenirs without being pushy and the ladies smiled a lot to us. We loved their traditional Chinese uniforms and huge wicker baskets they carried on their backs.

A local lady from Longji
A local lady from Longji

All in all, Guilin has been simply awesome so far. All we complained about is the weather, but we could simply handle it.

See also  The Hallelujah Floating Mountains, Zhangjiajie

Guys, how did/would you like Guilin?


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Picture of Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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