Best place to find jaw dropping Karst Hills.
I started my trip in Hong Kong and my next stop was Guilin and the Li River! The three hour bullet train from Shenzhen (the nearest city to Hong Kong past the Chinese border) to Guilin was amazing. Little houses with their farms were spread on the landscape for majority of the trip and the karst hills started appearing 2 hours into the train ride.
Train to Guilin
After a scenic train ride I arrived in Guilin North Train Station at 10am with no map and an English address for my hostel. It is ALWAYS a good idea to ask your receptionist at your previous hostel to write out the address in Chinese so a taxi driver or person on the street will know where to point you in the right direction. In any case I decided to take the bus 100 south to the city center. After being persuaded multiple times by Chinese taxi drivers that I was going on the “wrong” bus I took my chances and hopped on, it was a great decision! (cheap and local)
Here is a simple map of Guilin downtown area with the Li River next to it showing the scenic spots between Guiling and Yangshou!
In the afternoon I climbed up the Elephant Hill to get a great view of the city of Guilin. When it got darker I took a trip to the two pagodas in the city center and walked down their busy street markets with some great souvenirs!
The next day I took a trip down the Li River! I booked a tour with my hostel to take small little bamboo boats down the river instead of the bigger cruise ships and it was a very good decision. It was an hour bus ride to the start of the boating tour and we putted down the river for an hour or so. There are so many hills that magically stand next to the river. It is a truly incredible sight.
We then took little golf carts to Yangshou which is a small touristy town 2 hours south of Guilin by public bus. It is a perfect town to be right in the middle of the karst hills as they will be appearing right outside your hostel windows!
The bus ride back from Yangshou to Guilin was beautiful as well, I just couldn’t get enough!