The irresistible charms of Guilin in the four seasons prove its fame as "the most scenic place under heaven". Lively in blooming Spring flowers, gorgeous in Summer with flourishing vegetation, elegant in the rich Fall colors, and mysterious in Winter Mist. Guilin is a fascinating tourist destination all year round.
Unlike any other cities in the world, the picturesque Karst limestone peaks in Guilin shape the city's skyline, which makes Guilin city more like a huge public park instead of the normal impression of cities - concrete gurgles. Even more enchanting is Guilin's countryside. The great Tang Dynasty poet Han Yu (768-824) vividly described the landscape of Guilin as "the river winds like a green silk ribbon, while the hills are like jade hairpins".
Spring (Match - May)
Guilin in Spring is a sea of flowers. You will instantly be inspired by the lovely flowers of different kinds and the beautiful vivid nature. Typical Spring flowers in Guilin are Cole Flowers, Rhododendrons, Peach Blossoms, Yulan Magnolias, Cherry Blossoms, Daisies, Camellias etc. They can be seen both in the city (typically along the Two Rivers Four Lakes Area and in the public parks) and the countryside.
The most awe-inspiring view of Spring flowers in the region must be the Cole Flowers in the villages nearby Guilin and Yangshuo. The yellow and white Cole Flowers cover the lush green land from the riverside to the feet of variously shaped limestone hills.
Another wonderful place in Spring is the Yao Mountain at the skirt of the Guilin city. Rhododendron flowers spread over the whole mountain area. Climbing up or taking a cable car to the summit of the Mt. Yao, you will be amazed by the spectacular bird-eye view of the Guilin city and the surrounding landscape.
Besides flowers, discovering the amazing farming scenes is a must-do in Spring during the irrigation time of the rice terraces in Longsheng. Every year between the end of April and the beginning of May, the terraced rice fields are filled with water, transforming the whole mountain area into a dream-like world.
Summer (June - August)
Guilin in Summer is gorgeous for flourishing vegetation and luxuriantly green hills. Travel to Guilin during the summer season, you will see the bluest sky and the most beautiful green color of Guilin in a year. As an area surrounded by limpid rivers and lakes, there are a lot of exciting things to do in Guilin during Summer and many of them are associated with water.
Guilin is abundant with water during summer. It is the best time for boating, bamboo rafting, kayaking, Drifting in the picturesque Li River and its tributaries. The best scenery of Guilin comes after summer showers when the verdant hills are shiny like jade hairpins with clear reflections in the mirror-like Li River. If you are lucky to see the rainbow, you will wonder you are in a paradise.
Visiting the unique stalagmite water caves in Guilin is another must-do in summer. The Crown Cave is a 12 km deep cave system, which tops other water caves as it named. A Crown Cave tour consists of taking a sightseeing elevator down the 36 meters cave hall, followed with walking tour, railway tour, and an underground river boating tour. The mud bath is a popular activity in the water caves nearby Yangshuo.
Trekking into the mountains in summer is a refreshing tour. You will see the limpid Li River and waterfalls and lovely vegetation in close distance. It is an excellent way to return to nature. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area is the Gudong Waterfall 26 km east to Guilin city.
Fall (September - November)
Visiting Guilin during Autumn, the first thing you notice upon arrival in the area may be the fragrance of Sweet Osmanthus Flowers in the air. Sweet Osmanthus trees are planted almost everywhere in and outside the city. Guilin in Chinese means "the Sweet Osmanthus forest".
Guilin's Autumn season is most spectacular in colors particularly in the mountain villages outside the city. The view is absolutely breathtaking if you stand on one of the summits of Longsheng looking at the magnificent terraced rice fields in golden fall color extending to the end of the horizon. It is where people call it "Longji", which means "the dragon's backbone".
Fall is another good time to travel to the villages of Guilin, Yangshuo, and Longsheng. Visiting traditional wooden farmhouses in the Yao and Zhuang minority villages, watching Yao women showing off their super long hairs. Biking or hiking to some of the ancient farming and fishing villages to discover their unique culture and traditions.
Generally speaking, the weather and temperature of Guilin in Autumn is most comfortable for traveling. There are many things to do, and the night activities are most abundant. Impression Sanjie Liu night show in Yangshuo, directed by Yimou Zhuang who is the director of the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony, is among the most recommendable ones. With 600 plus actors performed on a natural stage formed by the Li River and mountain backdrops, it is a sensational outdoor night show rarely to be found elsewhere in the world.
Winter (December - February)
Winter is relatively a low season for tourism in Guilin. However, the beauty of Guilin in Winter is no less attractive than the other three seasons. Savvy travelers know it is the time to get the best deals.
Located in the subtropical climate zoon, vegetation in Guilin is green in all four seasons, and the Li River is unfrozen. The lowest temperature in Guilin winter is rarely lower than - 4 degree Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit). Humid weather in Winter Guilin often creates mist giving the beautiful Karst landscape of Guilin dramatic effects. Even when it rains in Yangshuo you could see an ink-painting-like scenery. Snows appear in some mountain regions sometimes in the lower area giving Guilin a special charm.
Longsheng county of Guilin is rich in hot springs. It is a must-go in Guilin winter tours. Relax in the natural hot springs while enjoying the beautiful scenery, and the hospitable services of the hot-spring hotel. It is a great time for Winter.