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|Two Rivers and Four Lakes|
It is said that a city without water is a city without vitality. Guilin is richly endowed with water. Two Rivers and Four Lakes Scenic Area is a water system located in Guilin's downtown area that should not be missed. It is a peaceful oasis in the middle of bustling Guilin.
Guilin's Two Rivers Four lakes is a park-like scenic area. As the name suggests it consists of two rivers and four lakes. The two rivers are the Li and Taohua (Peach Blossom) Rivers. The three of the four lakes are named after trees that grow along their banks and the fourth is named after a cave located nearby. The four lakes are the Rong (banyan tree) Lake, Shan (Chinese fir) Lake, Gui (Osmanthus tree) Lake, and the Mulong (Wooden dragon) Lake. The Mulonghu Lake is named after the Mulong Cave which overlooks the lake. The cave is located in Guilin's Diecai Hill Park.
The four lakes are surrounded by beautiful ancient trees and flowering plants. There are pavilions, statues, and stone carvings scattered around the area. Guilin's ancient South Gate, part of the ancient city walls is located between Rong and Gui Lakes. The area is very beautiful and quite peaceful. In the middle of Ronghu lake is an island with a teahouse. The island is built in the style of a Chinese garden with rock formations, bridges, and beautiful plants. There is also a marble boat docked next to the island. The centerpiece of the island is a teahouse built in traditional Chinese style architecture. There visitors can sit overlooking the lake while enjoying a cup of China's wonderful tea. To get to the island, visitors must cross a marble zigzag bridge. There are two identical arched marble bridges located next to each other between Rong and Gui Lakes. There are several pavilions located on the banks of Gui Lake.
They are wonderful places to sit and enjoy the beauty and peace of the area. Shan Lake is famous for its Twin Pagodas, the Sun and Moon Pagodas. The 9-storied Sun Tower is 41 meters high, made of solid bronze, while the 7-storied Moon Tower is 35 meters high, made of wood and glazed tiles. They have become another symbol of the city of Guilin. Both pagodas are located in the middle of the lake. The Moon Pagoda can be reached by a bridge, but the Sun pagoda must be reached by an underwater passage located between the two pagodas. Altogether there are 19 bridges connecting the two rivers and four lakes. These 19 bridges are styled after famous bridges at home and abroad.
There is a cruise that travels through the Two Rivers Four Lakes area each evening. The trip is a wonderful experience. As the slow moving boat travels through the area the extraordinary scenery passes by like a moving postcard. There are performances located along the route including local Guilin Opera, dancing fountains, and traditional music. The performances are located in buildings located on the riverbank. These cannot be viewed by people who just walk around the scenic area, but are reserved for people on the cruise.
Even though it is located in the center of downtown Guilin, the Two Rivers Four Lakes Scenic Area is very peaceful. Every evening after dinner local Guilin residents can be seen walking along the meandering paths of the area. It is a wonderful oasis from the hustle and bustle of downtown.