04-24-2006 11:31

As the saying goes, 桂林山水甲天下 "Guilin’s scenery bests all others in the world." Chinese frequently refer to it as the world's most beautiful scenery. To many foreigners, the scenery of Guilin typifies what we imagine China looks like. Traditional Chinese painting often features exotic and imaginary scenes of mountains and rivers. But as many visitors to China exclaim, the scenery at Guilin looks just like a traditional Chinese painting. Perhaps many of those painting scenes were not imaginary after all.

The city of Guilin is rather compact when compared with other leading cities in the country. However, situated within this area one can find green mountains, crystal clear waters, unique caves and beautiful stones. Major attractions include Elephant Trunk Hill 象鼻山 that we hear about in the dialogue and Reed Flute Cave 芦笛岩, with remarkable stalactites and stalagmines. Seven-Star Park 七星公园, which dates from the Sui Dynasty over 1000 years ago is said to be one of the nicest city parks in China. The seven stars refer to the seven peaks in the park which are said to resemble the layout of Ursa Major, the Big Dipper.

A boat trip down the peaceful Li River is the absolute high point of any visit to Guilin. Gorgeous Karst peaks bring an amazing new scene at each bend of the peaceful river. Water buffalo patrol the fields, peasants toil in the rice paddies, school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, the scenery along the Li River become one of China's top tourist destinations. Yangshuo, at the end of the boat journey is today a developed village that thrives mainly on tourism. A round trip from Guilin to Yangshuo is often accomplished by boat down the river and bus back to Guilin.


Editor:Wang Ping