One of the best ways to explore Guilin’s natural scenery is with your own feet. Most of counties around Guilin Area offer many hiking routes, including hiking routes around Longji Rice Terraces, Yangshuo countryside and Li River. Guilin offers trails ranging from short and easy walks through mild national parks to the tallest mountain in the south China – Cat Moutain (Mao’er Shan).
Longji Rice Terraces Hiking
If you like to discover the mystery of Longji Rice Terraces, it is recommended that you walk the following routes.
Longji Zhuang Village – Ping’an Village: You could discover lifestyle and culture of Zhuang Minority personally, and appreciate the appealing rice terraces at the viewpoints of “Seven Stars with the Moon” and “Nine Dragons and Fiver Tigers”.
Ping’an Village – Dazhai Village: You could hike up to the most popular viewpoints of “Seven Stars with the Moon” and “Nine Dragons and Fiver Tigers” in Ping’an Village and the most touristy viewpoint of Golden Buddha Peak (Jinfo Ding) in Dazhai Village to enjoy the rice terraces. This route offers you a good chance to get a little acquainted with Zhuang Minority and Yao Minority for Ping’an Village is a place where Zhuang has settled for ages and Dazhai Village is a place where Yao has settled for hundreds of years.
Xiaozhai Village – Dazhai Village: Through hiking this route, you could not only appreciate the rice terraces, but also experience the pristine life of Red Yao Minority because Xiaozhai Village has been a settlement of Red Yao Minority since Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).
Hiking around Dazhai Village: This route is ideal for discovering Yao Minority more deeply. As is mentioned above, Dazhai Village offers a great viewpoint of Golden Buddha Peak (Jinfo Ding) to appreciate the rice terraces. Hiking around Dazhai Village is easy than any other routes. It is suitable for those who enjoy short hiking.
Yangshuo Countryside Hiking
Want to take a closer look at a karst landform? You could enjoy hiking in Yangshuo countryside. Yangshuo countryside offers the typical karst landscape for you to discover. You could choose one of the most popular hiking routes.
Putao Town – Xianggong Mountain (Xianggong Hill) – Nine-Horse Fresco Hill: Along this route, you could discover the Stone Town with 18 small well-preserved stone town gates in Putao Town, Xianggong Mountain, a perfect place to enjoy the sunrise and the sunset and the natural works-Nine-Horse Fresco Hill showing nine horses in one face of the hill.
Yangdi – Xingping Pier: This route offers the best landscape along Li River. It is easy to walk although it is 16km. It is the most popular and touristy route along Li River. Along the route, its amazing landscape such as Nine-Horse Fresco Hill will catch your attention. If you are interested in this route, you have to stay one night in Xingping because the government close Yangdi Pier and Quanjiazhou Pier. That is to say, you take a bamboo raft to Liyu Guabi 1km from Yangdi Pier. Then, hike along the west bank of Li River back to Xingping. You’d better get up early if you like to enjoy the route.
Cat Mountain Hiking
If you like to appreciate the exciting sunrise and sunset on the top of a mountain and nature different from Li River, Cat Mountain (Mao’er Mountain) is best for you.
With an altitude of some 2142m, Cat Mountain 87km away from Guilin City stands in Xing’an County Area. It’s the source of Li River. You could discover the valley, 112 kinds of rare animals and 1436 kinds of wild plants around Cat Mountain Natural Reserve. In spring, autumn and winter, it snows on the top. If you are lucky, you could enjoy the sea of clouds on the top, which will shock you.
It takes approximately 10 x hours to hike up to the top from the base of the mountain. It’s a challenging but valuable hiking. There is a hotel 2 km from the top. You could book a room or just take a camp with you to put up in the hall of the hotel. It’s not allowed to camp outside for safety. Be sure to take a coat and sleeping bags to keep warm at night for the sunset and at dawn for the sunrise.
Admission fee: CNY 80 per person.
Alternatively, you could buy the car to go up or down the mountain. Admission fee with the car is CNY 175 per adult. Price of CNY 100 per person is for children between 1.2m (included) and 1.5m (not included).
Opening hours: 08:00 – 18:00 (April – October), 08:30 – 17:30 (November to March)
Transport to Cat Mountain
Take a bus to Guilin North Bus Station. Then go to Cat Mountain by bus at 07:50 and 13:30. Alternatively, take the bus from Guilin Bus Station to Cat Mountain at 09:50.
Bus back to Guilin City from Cat Mountian: 10:20 and 15:00.
Notes: Please don’t break the local customs during hiking.
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