To the East of Yunnan is Guangxi province. Guangxi is home to Guilin, one
of China’s most famous and heavily touristed destinations. Guilin's fame
and popularity are well deserved. Guilin’s scenery with the Li river
snaking between Karst Mountains is the kind of unique beauty that ought to
not be missed. It is no wonder that the area was chosen as the backdrop
of the novel The Painted Veil which was made into a movie starring Edward
Norton and Naomi Watts in 2006. But Guilin
is far from Guangxi’s only
attraction. The provinces tropical coastline in the South and lush
border with Vietnam in the Southeast are two more excellent destinations
for a trip through Guangxi.
Guilin is easily one of the most famous and
easily recognizable sites in all of China. The fact is that it would
be very difficult to find a city in a more beautiful setting than Guilin. While
there are many ways to see the area, the best way is undoubtedly to take a
boat on the Li river that runs through the city. The cruise
from nearby Yangshuo to Guilin takes around 8 hours and passes through
some of the most fantastic scenery in the country. While a trip down the
Yangtze has been the premier river cruise in China for many years, the
journey down the Li river is quickly becoming its rival. It is easy to
Another fantastic way to see Guilin is to rent
a bike or, if you are even more adventurous, to take a rock climbing
trip. Renting bikes is an easy and popular activity in both Guilin and
in nearby Yangshuo and taking a relaxing ride next to the riverbank and
through jagged rock formations is an unforgettable way to experience the
area’s beauty. In recent years some people have decided that they would
rather be ON the rock formations than pedaling or cruising past them. Guilin
has become the premier rock climbing center in all of China and there are
many outfitters that guide trips and rent equipment to people who are
looking for a more extreme way to see Guilin.
You can take low cost flights or trains to Guilin. The fastest trains from
Kunming are those which go via Nanning and the scenic Nankun railway,
taking around 20 hours. Those going via Guiyang take at least 28 hours.
From Chengdu one train plies each day to Guilin.
On the border of Guangxi and Vietnam is Detian Falls, a
massive multi-level waterfall set against a backdrop of karst hills and
palm trees. There may be bigger waterfalls in the world but there are
very few that can match
Detian’s beauty. If you want to get a look at Vietnam or are keen on
seeing fantastic karst scenery without running into Guilin’s throngs of
tourists, Detian Falls is a fantastic place to visit. Additionally, if
you want to take pictures that will make your friends at home jealous of
your adventures, a trip to Detian is sure to do the trick. Quite simply,
the beauty of Detian Falls is a match for any place in all of China.
Detian Falls aka the Chinese Niagra is in the border region of Daxin
county, about 200 kilometres south-west of Nanning, the capital city of
the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. You can take a train or
long-distance bus to Nanning from Kunming. From Nanning, scheduled buses
regularly leave for this natural wonder.
The small city of Beihai on
Guangxi’s southern cost is a growing seaport that is also known for its
tropical weather and sandy beaches. Beihai also has a bunch of old
colonial buildings that are remnants of when 8 Western countries set up
embassies there in the late 19th century. Today, Beihai is a fantastic
place to eat some of China’s tasties seafood and relax on the
beach. Additionally, Beihai is one of the places where you can take a
ferry to Hainan, China’s tropical island province. You can take a train
or long-distance bus to Nanning and take another bus to Beihai.
Alternatively, you can fly from Kunming to Beihai directly.