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Situated in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and on the west bank of the Lijiang River,Guilin is a beautiful city with a history of around 2 000 years.Famed for scenery unparalleled in China’s vast land,Guilin’s landscape features green hills,clear waters,pretty rocks and grotesque caves.The main scenicspots in the city include the Elephant Trunk Hill, Folded Brocade Hill, Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Cave, etc. The huge karst caves resemble palaces of the art of nature with strange shapes of stalactites and stalagmites. In China Guilin’s sceneryhas acclaimed as”the best landscape under heaven”. It is a must for all the tourists to have a boat trip along the Lijiang River scenic area, which extends about 83kilometers from Guilin city to Yangshuo town.

Elephant Trunk Hill,a rock hill by the river, has a big hole in it which gives the rock the appearance of an elephant drinking water at the confluence of the Taohua River and the Lijiang River. It is said that this hill was formerly an elephant belonging to the Emperor of Heaven, and that when the emperor set out to conquer Earth, the elephant was made to work so hard providing transport that he fell sick and would die, but some farmers saved him. For this the elephant was grateful and decided to stay on earth and help the farmers. The Emperor of Heaven was so angry that he stabbed the elephant in the back as he was drinking from the river. The emperor’s sword turned the elephant into the rocky hill people see today.

Reed Flute Cave is a cave found in the middle of Guangming Mountain seven kilometers northwest of the city centre. It is the most magnificent cave in Guilin. It got its name from the kind of reed growing near the cave which makes fine flutes. It was in the Tang Dynasty that local people discovered this cave. Since 1959 it has been a tourist attraction. The horse hoof-shaped cave has many stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone curtains and stone flowers in numerous forms. The cave is called an”Art Palace of Great Nature”.

Folded Brocade Hill by the Lijiang River offers a number of scenic attractions. The 233 meter-high Bright Moon Peak, the main peak, is not high but certainly one of the most perilous peaks of Guilin. The peak is crowned with Snatching Cloud Pavilion or Nayun Pavilion where visitors can view the Lijiang River winding its way into the distance. The lush woods covering the slopes are dotted with Folded Brocade Pavilion, Folded Brocade Gate, Stop-Here Hall, Wind Greeting Tower, and Viewing River Pavilion.

Seven Star Cave is located at the foot of Seven-star Rocks in the east of Guilin City.It is also called Qixia Cave or Bixu Cave.It used to be a subterranean river and was pushed to the surface and became a cave due to the upward movement of the earth crust one million years age.Seven Star Cave is about 43 meters at its widestsection,27 meters at its highest Point,and 1 kilometer long.The temperature in the remains at about 20 ℃ all year round.Seven Star Cave is divided into eight sections,that is six”underground world”,and two”heavenly residences”.They are all linked together creating a mysterious atmosphere.

A visit to Guilin would not be complete without a boat excursion down the Lijiang River with which to Yangshuo,83 kilometers down steam-a section of the Lijiang River with which visitors will surely be attracted by the unique scenery along both banks of the river.Paint Brush Peak just straight up from the ground has a pointed tip like a giant Chinese writing brush.The images of horses in different positions can be seen on its variegated cliff face.Further down the river,at Yellow Clothes Beach,the river becomes wider and calmer as it flows through seven quiet hills.Finally,the trip ends in the hills around Yangshuo which have inspired the phrase:”Guilin has the most beautiful scenery in China,and Yangshuo is the most beautiful part of Guilin.”

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