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Guilin And Around

The landscapes close to Guilin have inspired artists and poets for many centuries. The stunning scenery of this area continues to attract foreign and domestic tourists alike; it is, without doubt, the most popular destination in China! 
Strange limestone mountains surround the town, eroded over time to form fantastic shapes and caves. Guilin itself is a wonderful city to explore for a few nights, it is clean, quiet and has an excellent range of quality hotels in every price range. But it's the scenery that draws the crowds to this area of China, especially as the small towns of Yangshuo and the rice terraces of Longsheng are also in close proximity.Other places to see:

Like Guilin, Yangshuo is famed for its incredible beautiful scenery, the limestone karsts can be seen from most parts of this small tranquil town. The surrounding countryside is easily explored by bike and there are many caves to discover on your journey as well. Back in town, West Street is the main thoroughfare and has a large array of western style restaurants, bars and shops selling all sorts of tourist paraphernalia and kitsch souvenirs. The most impressive way to arrive into Yangshuo is the calming and gentle boat ride down the Li River from Guilin, a great way of seeing the mountains and rural life as you roll slowly on by.
The Longji Rice Terraces are an incredible feat of man-made engineering; the name 'Longji' means Dragons Backbone, and, on a spring afternoon when the the paddy is full of water, you can see the dragon's scales shimmer in the glowing sun. There are a number of excellent walks you can do around the terraces, and only a small level of fitness is required for these. It is a great way of seeing the area, and if you are lucky you will find local vendors selling fresh honeycomb as well. The small but growing village of Ping'An holds the majority of accommodation and restaurants in the rice terrace area, and hogs the best views, on the flipside it also receives the most visitors. Do not let that deter you, as by late afternoon the village empties out and the sunsets are yours.

Also worth seeing is the wooden Wind and Rain Bridge spanning a small river in the hamlet of Chengyang, built over a 100 years ago. This masterpiece of engineering is supposed to have been constructed without the use of nails. As you wander around this small and peaceful Dong minority village, it's very much like stepping back in time, the small wooden houses with their fishponds, the Drum Tower in the centre of the village, the rice paddy fields surrounding the hamlet. Chengyang is a wonderful corner of rural China, a lifestyle that is fast disappearing in the modern world

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