Guilin Tourist Attractions
Guilin lies in the middle of some fabulously beautiful countryside in the northeast of the autonomous region of Guangxi.
Several crystal-clear rivers meander through the town, which is encircled by a ring of mountains with bizarre rock-formations and caves. The landscape was formed over a period of some 200 million years, when the sea still reached this far inland. Layers of muschelkalk (chalk formed from fossilized shells) were deposited; then the earth's crust was formed, the chalk stratified and was shaped by wind and water to produce vast numbers of caves.
All that makes Guilin a unique natural experience. For hundreds of years poets and artists have been fascinated by the sheer splendor of the unique scenery, around which many fairy tales and legends have been woven. In autumn the scent of cinnamon trees fills the air.
The Qin Emperor Shi Huangdi (reigned 221-210 BC) laid the Lingqu Canal which links the Lijiang and Xiangjiang rivers. Although today it is used mainly for irrigation purposes, for many centuries the canal was the main traffic route between south and central China. Guilin has now become the capital of the administrative region of the same name. It obtains its name (''Forest of Cinnamon Trees'') from the subtropical cinnamons which have been a feature of the town since ancient times. In the mid-17th C the Ming government took up residence here when fleeing from the Manchurians. When the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) succeeded the Mings Guilin was made the capital of Guangxi and attained this status again between 1936 and 1949, after which it was finally replaced by Nanning. During the Sino-Japanese War many people from the north fled to Guilin. Its economic situation has improved considerably during recent years.