Guilin: Karst Mountains, Elephant Trunk Hill, Li River, Reed Flute Cave


Coach car on railway
Sleeper car on railway

We leave Hong Kong by rail, traveling first to Guangzhou by coach car; then overnight to Guilin by "soft sleeper" car.

Guilin with karst peak

Guilin is surrounded by its famous karst peaks, some of which come right into town.

Path along lake

Two lakes (Shan Hu and Rong Hu) are at town center, surrounded by parks and paths. The twin pagodas of Riming Shuang Ta overlook Shan Hu.

Path along lake
Two pagodas

Panorama of lake

Panoramic view of Shan Hu, the larger of the two lakes. Use the slider to pan around the lake.

Truckload of soldiers
Man with caged bunnies

In town we pass by a truckload of exuberant soldiers, and a man with caged bunnies for sale.

Wall of elephant carvings
Elephant statues

Everything is about elephants as we enter Elephant Trunk Park.

Elephant Trunk Hill

The rock formations of Elephant Trunk Hill at the edge of the Li River resemble an elephant taking a drink.

We pass by an old pagoda by the trail as we climb Elephant Trunk Hill.

Bamboo rafts by Li River
Fisherman on bamboo raft

From above we can see the traditional bamboo rafts being assembled and launched on the river, and a fisherman using one as he nets his catch.

Buddhist shrine

A trailside Buddhist shrine ...

Wine cave entrance

... and the entrance to a cave used for aging wine.

Monkey with Dr. Ray

Back down at the Li River we admire peacocks and pose with animals.

Dr. Ray poses with a disrespectful monkey, but Bob K. gets the monkey to perform a better trick. Meanwhile Eric poses with cormorants on a bamboo raft.

Monkey with Bob K.
Eric with cormorants

Karst Research Institute

We visit the Karst Research Institute for a lesson in the geologic formation of karst peaks, and then admire some of them at a spot on the Li River.

Karst mountains

The same process of dissolving limestone that forms karst peaks occurs underground too, forming caves with fantastic stalagmites and stalactites. We visit Reed Flute Cave near Guilin, where these formations are illuminated by colored lights. Below, an underground lake within the cave.

Underground lake