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Friday, 7 November 2014

8-Days Travel Itinerary in Guangxi, China. Guilin - Mountains in the City (Part 4)

To begin with, we really did not plan for this trip because initially we wanted to travel to Luang Prabang but due to unrecommended weather condition in Laos for the month of Aug & Sept, we decided to put on hold the trip. And then, we found a good deal of AirAsia promo fares for flights to Guilin, China for RM119, and so we chose Guilin.  

So many things happened prior to our trip and there is too much stuff to write here and this post gonna be real loonngg! (i) my beloved Goldie (English cocker spaniel) left us on the day of my departure to Guilin (15 August 2014, 2.30p.m.), (ii) 15 August 2014 was also the day I bid farewell to my bestie, Marmon leaving Penang for UNESCO Jakarta (iii) my iPhone 5 got stolen without my knowledge  on the 5th day of our trip (19 August 2014)  when I was on my way from 0773 hotel to Xicheng Pedestrian Street Night Market in Guilin

Ok, let’s forget about things that had happened!

We planned this trip 2 months ahead and did some research prior to our trip and saw countless beautiful photos of Guilin, which we have heard so much about the beauty of it, yet never been there. I have to admit that the place itself is overwhelming and, too touristy. 

The month of August is still summer in China, thus the weather was pretty humid when we were there. Everywhere was jam-packed and crowded with people particularly at tourist sites and entrance tickets easily sold out! (so, please avoid travelling to China during summer break). 

We arrived at the brand new KLIA 2 for the first time on 15 August 2014 (midnight) and was impressed with the structure and the comfortable waiting lounge. After a smooth 4 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, we arrived at Guilin Liangjiang International Airport and so began our journey in Guangxi.

For this trip, we (myself and Camel) took Air Asia X flight from Penang  Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) Guilin (approx. 4 hours in the sky) –and here’s our 8-days Travelogue: (15 August 2014 – 23 August 2014) in Guangxi, China: 
<Guilin Yangshuo Huangyao (Hezhou) Longsheng   Guilin>

Day 1: 15 August 2014
PENANG Kuala Lumpur (KLIA 2)
Depart from Penang – Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA 2)

Day 2: 16August 2014 
GUILIN (Liangjiang International Airport KWL) → YANGSHUO
Depart from Guilin Liangjiang International Airport to Yangshuo country town - Silver Cave – Yangshuo Lotus Farm - West Street Night Market

Day 3: 17 August 2014
Depart from Yangshuo at 8.30a.m. (approx. 1.5hr from Yangshuo) – Explore HuangYao Ancient Town (big banyan tree, ancient brick houses, jumping stone bridge, SIMA mansion, Guo’s family mansion, ancient well, dragon bridge) – Return from HuangYao to Yangshuo at 4.00p.m. – Cormorant Fishing at Li River Bank 

Day 4: 18 August 2014
Li Jiang River Cruise (approx. 2.5 hr) – West Street Night Market

Day 5: 19 August 2014
Depart from Yangshuo to Guilin (approx. 1.5 hr) - Elephant Trunk Hill – Sun and Moon Pagoda – Statue of Wangzhenggong – Lijiang Waterfall Hotel – Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (Sangsui food street)

Day 6: 20 August 2014
Depart from Guilin South Train Station to Longsheng County Town (1.5hour) -  Arrived ticket office of Longji Terraced Fields – Hike through Jinzhu Zhuang Village (due to landslide, roads were closed for reconstruction) – took another bus up to cable car main station (final stop/station for bus) (approx. 45 minutes) – took cable car to Golden Buddha Peak (18 minutes) – final hike to the peak and Longji Panorama House Hotel passing through West Hill Music, Large-Scale Thousand Layer Terraces, Dazhai Village, Xinzhai Village (approx. 3hr) – Arrived Longji Panorama House Hotel at 4.45p.m.

Day 7: 21August 2014
Depart from Longsheng to Guilin - Bao Shu Tang - Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (Sangsui food street) - Guilin night cruise (Two-Rivers-Four-Lakes)

Day 8: 22 August 2014
Depart from Guilin to Yangshuo - Yulong River Bamboo Rafting -  600 year old Yulong Bridge  - Yangshuo (West Street Market) – Return to Guilin (by express bus) - Liusanjie Landscape Garden – Guilin Xicheng Pedestrian Street Night Market - Guilin Department Store 

Day 9: 23 August 2014
Depart from Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) →Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) Penang

On the 5th day we returned to Guilin. It was a 1.5 hour drive (by road) and we arrived at Guilin bus station at 12.00 noon and continued on to Starway Grand 0773 to check in into our hotel (only for 1 night). Upon the recommendation of the hotel receptionist, we went to Chun Ji Restaurant (approx.10 minutes walk) across the road and had the best roasted goose in town. 

On the 6th day, we proceeded to Longsheng (or so called Long Ji Rice Terraces) from Guilin South Train Station (Stories later. Stay tuned for the next travel episode!) 

On the 7th day, we returned to Guilin in the afternoon for some laidback sightseeing. Guilin is a city in North Guangxi and one of the best known tourist destinations in China. We spent 3 days in Guilin, which I think it’s sufficient as there is nothing much to see in Guilin itself. The real place to visit is actually Yangshuo. The modern looking buildings told me that Guilin was already a touristy place. 
The Twin Pagodas of the Sun and the Moon in Guilin
One for the album
Sun and Moon Towers
A beautiful lit up pagoda found during the Two-Rivers & Four-Lakes cruise tour
The Elephant Trunk Hill, famous landmark in Guilin
The Elephant Trunk Hill and the Sun and Moon Pagoda are the sights you should never miss because it is Guilin's main landmark, which was just 5-10 minute walk from our hotel. 
On that night itself, we took the Two-Rivers-Four-Lakes Cruise which lasted for 2.0 hour over 7 kilometers. Along the way we passed through: Sun and Moon Pagodas (light up view), stage on the Gui Lake, Wooden Dragon Pagoda, glass bridge on the Rong Lake, white marble arch bridge on Rong Lake, along with other traditional Chinese architecture, ancient inscriptions on the bridge arches and well-maintained park-style lake frontage.
Famous stuff in Guilin
Famous stuff in Guilin
Famous stuff in Guilin
Guilin's signature dish - Guilin rice noodles
On the 8th day of our trip, (last night in Guilin), we walked around the busy Guilin Xicheng Pedestrian Street Night Market for some sightseeing. 
Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
Breathtaking view along the way from the airport
Air Itinerary Details: 
Air Asia X: Penang - Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) – Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) /Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL)  - Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) - Penang

(i)Guilin - Starway Grand 0773 Hotel Guilin
(** 3minutes walk/ 0.2km to Elephant Trunk Hill)
Address: No. 31, Wenming Road, City Center - River Area, Guilin, China 541002

(ii)Yangshuo - YangShuo River View Hotel  
(**2-3 minutes walk to West Street night market, facing river)
Address: 19# BingJiang Road  YangShuo Town. Guilin.GuangXi, China
Tel:  086-0773-8822688
e-mail: service@riverview.com.cn

(iii) Longsheng – Longji Panorama House Hotel
(**located at the highest peak in Longsheng, need stamina to hike up the cobblestone path
Tiantou Zhai, Da Zhai Cun, Heping Township
Guilin, 541701 China

Places of Interest / Entrance Tickets: 
  • Silver Limestone Cave (Yangshuo) – 65RMB/pax
  • Elephant trunk hill (symbol of Guilin) – 75RMB/pax
  • Lijiang River Cruise for 2.5hr – 250RMB/pax
  • Bao Shu Tang (Guilin)
  • Night cruise in Guilin - Two-Rivers-Four-Lakes (Guilin) 190RMB/pax
  • Cruise along LiangJiang Si Hu  (Yangshuo)
  • Cormorant Fishing  (Yangshuo) 3RMB/pax
  • Liusanjie Landscape Garden (Guilin)- FOC
  • Longji Rice Terraced Fields a.k.a Dragon Back Terrace (Longsheng)- 100RMB/pax
  • HuangYao Ancient Town (Hezhou) 100RMB/pax  for entry pass
  • Black hair (hong yao) woman luggage carrying service – 60RMB/way/basket
Must Try / Eat:  
  • Authentic Guilin Rice Noodles  (Guilin/Yangshuo)
  • Guilin Beer Fish  (Guilin/Yangshuo)
  • Bamboo rice + bamboo chicken (Longsheng)
  • Roasted goose at Chun Ji Restaurant (Guilin)
  • BBQ squid stick (Guilin)
  • Mango juice at Mango Mango (Yangshuo)

“The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time…” Bill Bryson
Welcome to Small World! This blog is not a travel agency, but rather a personal site which allows me to share my past travel experiences in a straightforward and far-reaching way. I often made great use of other peoples travel blogs and sites every time I plan for my travel itinerary as they often contained most updated information and invaluable resources from their past travel experiences.  I hope that you will find every piece of information & images contained within my blog handy and useful. Thank you very much for reading my post(s) and feel free to leave a comment/testimonial or click "Like/Share" if you love reading them all. xoxo
The writer is a passionate traveler who enjoys speaking to young keen travelers about the freedom to get cultured and to taste the fullness of life. Feel free to contact the writer if you need any travel advice, guidance or tips or if you have any burning questions with regards to your upcoming trip(s)/ journey 
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  1. So perfect city, culture and food....
    China travel

  2. Hi may I know how you travelled from Liangjiang airport to the city area?