The city of Guìlín, and the nearby resort town of Yángshuò, promise some of the most spectacular scenery in China. In children's textbooks, Guìlín's landscape is described as the 'best under heaven', while Yángshuò's other-wordly terrain opens up an abundance of adventure travel experiences, such as biking, hiking, rock climbing, and caving. Guìlín is best known for its limestone karst hills and mountains, which were formed 200 million years ago when the area was completely under water. The town centre, which is surrounded by two lakes - Shanhu (Cedar) and Ronghu (Banyan) - features a number of historic sites alongside some beautiful parks and bridges. Yángshuò picks up where Guìlín left off with equally awe-inspiring natural beauty, with its rising peaks reflected in the waters of the Li River. See traditional fisherman work along its banks, and explore the nearby historic rice terraces. The region's finest resorts, hotels, and guesthouses are often found in the middle of it all, delivering breathtaking riverside views and the kind of amenities only luxury holidays can afford.
Even though Guìlín and Yángshuò have subtropical climates, both destinations are suitable for travel all-year round. Perhaps the best times to visit are from late March to May and late September through November, when temperatures vary between 20-30°C, and the days are dry and sunny. During the winter months of November and December, you can expect blue skies and little rain, providing the idea opportunity to take advantage of the region's abundant activities. Both destinations come alive during the Chinese national holidays (1-3 May, 1-7 Oct) and Spring Festival (Jan-Feb).
British nationals normally need a visa to enter mainland China. Contact the Chinese Embassy, the China Visa Application Service Centre, or visit GOV.UK for further information.
Foodies will be pleased to hear that almost all cuisines are available here, with traditional Chinese dishes such as the famed Guìlín rice noodles and popular Yángshuò beer fish taking centre stage on many menus. In Guìlín town centre, the pedestrianised Zhengyang Lu and its surrounding lanes are the busiest dining areas. However, some of the most refined and high-end eating experiences can be found in the region's luxurious hotels and resorts, which typically fuse classic cuisine with contemporary touches.