Elephant Trunk Hill is situated at the junction of the Li River and Taohuajiang Rivers. Rising over 55 meters above the water, it is a spectacular limestone karst hill with a naturally-shaped cave at the bottom. The hill, standing majestically on the western bank of the Li River looks like a huge elephant dipping its trunk into the Li River to quench its thirst. At dusk, it looks extraordinarily beautiful. It is a masterpiece of the karst landscape.
This hill is representative of the karst mountains of Guilin. It has become the symbol of Guilin. You can find its image on Guilin travel brochures, books, and many local businesses have used it in their logo. It is definitely a must see when visiting Guilin.
On the top of Elephant Trunk Hill sits a pagoda named Puxian Pagoda. It is 14-meter-high and was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The pagoda looks like the hilt of a sword sticking out of the back of the elephant. There is an ancient legend surrounding it. In the ancient past, the Emperor of Heaven set out to conquer Earth commanding his troops from the back of the elephant. The elephant worked so hard to provide transportation for the Emperor of Heaven, that it became seriously ill. The local farmers nursed it back to health. The elephant being extremely grateful, decided to desert the emperor and stay on earth to help the farmers plow their fields during a time of famine. The Emperor of Heaven was so angry, that he thrust his sword into the elephant's back and turned the elephant into the rocky hill. The pagoda erected on top of the hill stands for the hilt of the sword. Now, this kindly elephant can forever stay with the friendly people of Guilin, guarding the city and welcoming guests from all over the world to this beautiful city.
Shuiyue Cave (Moon over the Water Cave):
The most impressive feature of Elephant Trunk Hill is said to be the reflection of a round, moonlike cave. The cave between the elephant's "trunk" and the "body" is known as Shuiyue Cave (Moon over the Water Cave). On a moonlit night, the cave's reflection looks like a full moon floating on the surface of the water. At that time, visitors can enjoy the moon in the sky, the moon in the hill and the moon on the water. It is an amazing site.
Inside Shuiyue Cave are more than 50 stone inscriptions dating back as far as the Tang Dynasty(618-907). They are precious relics with great historical and cultural value.
Elephant Trunk Hill Park is a great place to take the whole family. With its location along the waterfront, and the many statues located throughout the park, it is a lovely location for photographs. An elephant theme can be found all through the park. A family of cute stone elephant statues has been placed in the river, on the river bank, and around this lovely park. The manicured trails that wander throughout the park, have been designed with the Chinese character for an elephant in it.
From the top of Elephant Trunk Hill, visitors will get a beautiful panoramic view of the beautiful city of Guilin, and it's gorgeous Li River.
Visitors can cross a stone bridge carved with elephants to visit Love Island. It is a beautiful little island covered with bamboo groves and dedicated to lovers. While wandering down its meandering paths, visitors can see many stone statues dedicated to love. It is a wonderful place to relax and spend some time with that special someone.
You can enjoy leisure sightseeing trips around Elephant hill on traditional bamboo rafts. It is a quiet and peaceful way to get unbelievably beautiful photographs of Elephant Trunk Hill, and the Li River.
Guilin Featured Tour Packages
Guilin China is well-known for its dramatic Karst topography, the picturesque natural skyline of Guilin City, the limpid Li River, and the "global village" Yangshuo. At Longsheng County, Longji Terraced Rice Fields extends to as far as eyes can reach.
Recommended China tour with Guilin: 10-Day Classic China Tour
Or tailor-make your China tour with us.