Guilin and Lijiang River National Park is located in the northeastern region of Guangxi Zhuang, China, and features the Li River, also known as Li Jiang, of the Pearl River Basin. The river flows a total of 102 miles (164 km).
The national park represents the outstanding scenery along the Li River between the cities of Yangshuo and Guilin City. The scenery found between these two cities even serves as the artwork on the Chinese 20 yuan note.
The mountains decorate the shoreline as they individually pierce toward the sky. There are two different types of limestone karsts along the river differing depending on the region. The most common is Fengcong karst.
These Fengcong karst limestone hills feature deep depressions between the peaks and can be seen most of the way as you travel the river. There are numerous caves in these mountains as well with the Guanyin Cave System being the longest.
As you approach the Yangshuo area, you will experience the Fenglin limestone hills which are more isolated and separated peaks. They can reach a height of 984 feet (300 m) and in many cases will feature near-perfect vertical sides.
The Fengcong and Fenglin karsts and limestone mountains create the pinnacle serenity scene. These mountains have inspired numerous artists, photographers, and poets because of their sheer beauty.
The highlight of Guilin and Lijiang River National Park is a slow-paced journey through these magnificent hills. A river cruise is a must, but travelers may also explore the scenic region by automobile and on foot.
Trails in Guilin-Lijiang National Park
There are a good number of trails that allow visitors to explore the picturesque landscape that Guilin-Lijiang is renowned for. Who knows, maybe you will find your own artistic inspiration as you explore the region.
Reed Flute Caves Trail: This is a short 1.3-mile (2.09 km) trail that is an easy rated. It meanders through the fields and forests making way to the caves. There are chances to see wildflowers and wildlife but it is the views of the landscape and discovering the caves that are the highlights of this trail.
Ping'An Rice Terrace Trail: This is another easy rated trail that meanders through the forest and up the hills to views out of the renowned rice terrace landscapes. The trail ascends 551 feet (167.95 m) with easy footing.
Yangdi Xingping Trail: This moderate rated trail ascends 1,633 feet (497.74 m) over a distance of 9.5 miles (15.29 km). The trail offers astounding views of the forest, river, and striking karsts mountains. There is a chance to see wildlife and wildflowers while making the ascent. The scenic landscapes along the way and from higher points are truly magnificent.
Thousand Layer Trail: This is another chance to see the picturesque rice field landscapes. This trail is rated moderate and ascends 1,040 feet (316.99 m) while traveling over a distance of 3.5 miles (5.6 km) out and back. Most people are mesmerized by how the rice fields are created and the striking landscapes they create.
Guilin Lijiang Highlights
- Taking a river cruise on the Li River
- Reed Flute Cave and Seven-Star Rocks
- All Trails, Best Trails in Guilin, https://www.alltrails.com/china/guangxi/guilin-shi, retrieved July 2020.
- China, Lijiang River National Park in Guilin, http://www.china.org.cn/travel/2012-06/01/content_25537902.htm, retrieved August 2019.
- National Parks of China, Guilin and Lijiang River National Park, http://www.nationalparkofchina.com/guilin.html
- retrieved August 2019.
- UNESCO, The Lijiang River Scenic Zone at Guilin, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/108/, retrieved August 2019.
- World Atlas, Guilin and Lijiang River National Park, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/gullin-and-lijiang-river-national-park-china-unique-places-around-the-world.html, retrieved August 2019.