Guilin is regarded as the most picturesque city in China. Situated in the northeastern part of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin has enjoyed the reputation of having the most fantastic natural landscapes not only in China but also abroad. Its dreamy natural scenery and unique ancient architecture from the Qin and Ming Dynasties astound visitors from home and abroad. Visiting Guilin and discovering its natural wonders, such as its magical green pinnacles, crystal-clear water, picturesque rocks and intriguing caves, can provide a never-ending journey for every visitor. Now is the prime time to travel to Guilin and experience this charming and historic city in its entire splendor.Guilin is not only a perfect place for living, but also an extraordinary, eco- friendly tour destination.
Guilin is located at 109°E longitude and 24° N latitude in northeastern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The Guilin Municipal region covers an area of 4,195 square kilometers. It lies in a basin surrounded by the YuechengRange, Ocean Hill, Jiaqiao Range and Tianping Hill. The altitude is 140 to160 meters.Guilin sits in a subtropical monsoon zone with a warm and moist climate, which is moderate all year round. The average temperature all year round is 19°C(66F).The coldest temperatures occur in January at 8°C(46F) and the hottest occur in July at28°C(82F). The best time to travel here is between April and October. With a total population of 4,951,100 inthe city and surrounding areas, Guilin is currently home to 12 ethnic nationalities. 8.5% of the population is made up of 11 minority nationalities including Zhuang, Hui, Yao and Dong etc.
Two crusted movements of earth took place about 200 and 180 million years age thrusting the limestone sediments out of the sea bottom. They were forced upwards more than 200 meters to the surface. This Karst formation was molded through many years of erosion by the wind and rain to become the hills and rocks with bizarre shapes. There are numerous complete Karst(limestone sites), which are of high scientific value and tour value.
Guilin is named after the fragrance of osmanthus tree and saw its first inhabitants in Qin Dynasty over 2000 years ago. Guilin experienced a prosperous period during Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty under the patronage from succeeding Emperors. The earliest traces of human habitation in Guilin date back to the Qin Dynasty (B.C.221- B.C.214). Since then, Guilin has become the political, economic and cultural centre of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. During the Tang and Song Dynasties, local civilization lived prosperously leaving many historic relics still intact today. Among the innumerable historic relics, there are some distinguished representatives including Jingjiang Prince Villa Epigraph (of the Ming Dynasty), which was carved in YinwuMountain, and is the largest of all the epigraphs in Guilin. Besides, located in Xin’an County, Guilin’s Ling Canalranks as one of the three greatest Water Conservancies in Ancient China. It was built in the Qin Dynasty and is still fully functional today. Owning such an abundance of historic relics and epigraphs, in 1982 Guilin became part of China’s first batch of National Historic and Cultural Cities.
Mainly known for agriculture, specializing in planting crops, the Zhuang minority is one of the most populous nationalities among the Chinese minorities. With a population of about 15,489,630, the Zhuang are mostly distributed thoughout Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Wenshan of Yunnan Province. Divided into south and north dialects, the Zhuang language belongs to the Zhuang and Dai branch of the Zhuang-Dong Ethnic Language, as part of the Han-Zhang language phylum. The Zhuang characters were made in accordance with Latin characters. The gathering of the folklore, music, dance, craft and skills of the Zhuang minority, resulted in the work of these people’s own Zhuang Opera. The Atabal is a good example of the Zhuang Minority’s folk musical instruments.The Zhuang minority celebrate many famous festivals including the annual “Third Day of March” Singing Festival and Tomb-Sweeping Day. The most ceremonious of their festivals is the Spring Festival, with the second most being the Ghost Festival in mid July. Other festivals include the Mid-Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Double Ninth Festival, Day of New Taste, Winter Solstice Day, Day of Bull’s Soul, and the Sacrifice to the Kitchen God Ceremony. There are so many festivals that people hold celebrations almost every month.
In China, there are 2 million Yao people in total, who are mainly distributed in Guangxi, Hunan, Yunnan,Guangdong, Guizhou and Jiangxi. Their inhabiting areas are mostly in the subtropical zone, with altitudes of1000m to 2000m. The Yao language belongs to the Yao branch of Miaoyao Austronesian of Sino-Tibetan. As a result of a long period of close contact with the Han, Zhuang and Miao nationalities, the Yao people of various areas generally know Chinese. Some also understand Zhuang and Miao languages. For restrictions of their inhabiting areas, most Yao people still maintain hunting, fishing and farm cultivation culture.Wind Forbidden Day is a traditional festival of Yao nationality living in Miaoping of Lingui County of Guilin, which happens on lunar January 20. Legend has it that in ancient times, the God of Wind got angry and made the Yao villages suffer disasters. A god gave advice that people forbid sounds and winds on January 20 and offer sacrifices to the God of Wind on this day. The festival activities are colorful. People beat gong and drum, sing operas and dance lion dances. When night falls, they sing songs in antiphonal style. The day which was originally for forbidding sounds and winds now become a joyful event in Miaoping Fair. It reflects the natural worship relique carried on to this day of the Yao nationality.
Dong nationality of our country is mainly distributed in Sanjiang and Longsheng of Guangxi. Their ancestors are “Luoyue” nationality of the Qin and Han dynasties. Dong people generally believe in god and worship natural things. They mainly engaged in agriculture and wood, and mainly produce Yugeng rice, and are good at rice growing and fish cultivation. The wood they produce is mainly fir. Dong people have their own language, and most of them know Chinese. They have their own opera—Dong Opera. The vertical bamboo flute and flute are among the traditional musical instruments of China. Dong people also excel at architectural arts. Each village has wood buildings unique in shape. This kind of wood structure without even a snail and rivet has absorbed some architectural essences of pavilions, platforms and mansions of ancient China.