Jing Jiang Princes City Park
This area was an ancient walled city, it is now a park and home to Guanxi University. We climbed up many stairs to Solitary Beauty Peak in the Park. We got a great view of Guilin in all directions from the top. The park had many areas to walk around and enjoy the gardens. There were groups of people practicing Tai Chi. It’s fascinating to sit and watch everyone do the moves in unison.
This is a very large park with beautiful landscaping. The entry includes admission into a set of caves within the park. A long time ago the caves were full of water. They were used as a transportation system with small boats. They have set up coloured lights inside that create some interesting effects with the stalactites and stalagmites. The park has a few different aspects to explore.
We climbed a peak here too. Apparently this gets very repetitive with the parks in China. They all have a peak to climb and a cave to see. Once you have seen one, you have seen them all. They made it very tacky inside the cave by putting up several photography set ups. They try and get you to shell out money by taking your picture near some of the areas of stalactites with the coloured lights.
There were many people enjoying the afternoon in the park playing different games, of course Chinese Checkers being one of them.There is a large temple with several religious figures inside. Be sure to check out the huge teapot that pours into a pond.
Four Lakes, Two Rivers Tour
We took a boat tour of the water system. It is called the Four Lakes, Two Rivers Project. They have connected the lakes and rivers for ease of travel around the city. The rivers flow into the lakes keeping the water in the lakes fresh. It was a nighttime tour, so many things along the lakes and rivers were lit up. It was really enjoyable, we definitely recommend it. There are two locks that the boat has to go through because of the different heights of the lakes and rivers. One is a lift type lock where the boat is raised or lowered in the water on a platform. The other one fills up the lock with water and raises the boat up. We got to cruise along seeing all the lit up pagodas and buildings, as well as many bridges and water fountains in the lakes.
There is one village near the end of the trip that is quite impressive. There are lit up pagodas and buildings everywhere. Two glass enclosed buildings have special performances on the water just for the boats when they come by. One has Chinese violin players and the other has some traditional dancers.
We passed by two pagodas that are quite well known in China. The sun pagoda which stands at 42 meters high and is made of copper. The moon pagoda a bit shorter is made of marble. They are quite impressive whether you see them in the day time or lit up at night.
Mulong Lake Park
We took a taxi back to one of the areas we really liked on the night boat tour. It is called Mulong Lake Park. It was quite different looking in the day. It was a very tranquil place to wander around, at least when we were there. We basically had the whole place to ourselves.
We have been very pleased with getting taxis in China so far. All of them have used the meter and taken us to exactly where we asked them to. It was a welcomed change from what we had experienced in Thailand.
Banyan Lake and Fir Lake
This was another area we passed through on the night river tour. It looked very pretty so we decided to come back to it in the daytime as well. The two lakes are located right downtown Guilin. They date back to the Tang Dynasty. They used to make up the southern section of the moat that protected the ancient city. Banyan Lake is named after the surrounding Banyan trees, including one that is over 800 years old on the northern shore. Sometimes the water is so still it looks like a mirror reflecting the beautiful bridges and pagodas around the lake. Despite the rain, we enjoyed the scenery in the park.
There’s a long promenade area that is surrounded with shops and cafes. The Sun and Moon Pagoda are also located in this area.
Zhengyang Buxing (Pedestrian) Street
This area is very popular for both locals and travelers. It has shopping, entertainment and dining. The shops are full of a variety of items like clothing, jewelery, artwork and souvenirs.
The Waterfall Hotel is worth checking out if you are in the area. Every night at 8:30pm the entire back side of the hotel is turned into a gigantic flowing waterfall. Music is played while the water flows for about 10 minutes.