7 Interesting Facts about Guilin

Located in the northeast of China in Guangxi, Guilin is one of China’s National Famous Historical and Cultural Cities. Guilin is also an important trade centre and a tourist hotspot due to its stunning scenery and wonderful rock climbing opportunities. So, whether you are planning a trip to this sweet-smelling city, or are just curious to know more, here are some of the most interesting facts about Guilin.

7 Interesting Facts about Guilin

1. Guilin is a city in northeast China

Guilin is a city in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. It is located on the west bank of the Li River, and the province of Hunan borders it to the north. Guilin is a prefecture-level city which means it ranks below a province but above a county in China’s administrative structure.

facts about Guilin

2. Guilin is an important centre of trade

The population of Guilin, as of July 2022, is 1,175,605. Out of 180 cities and towns in China, it ranks at number 80 in terms of population. In comparison, Shanghai is the most populous, with 24,870,895 inhabitants. Guilin covers an area of 27,800 square kilometres (10,700 sq mi). The city is an important centre of trade and administration due to its strategic location on an agriculturally rich valley floor, which is also the easiest route south from Hunan.

3. Guilin takes its name from a fragrant tree

Guilin means “forest of sweet osmanthus”. This is because there are many fragrant sweet osmanthus trees in the region. It is the city flower of not just Guilin but of Hangzhou and Suzhou also. Sweet osmanthus is a small evergreen shrub with small white, pale yellow, yellow, or orange-yellow flowers. The flowers bloom in small clusters in the late summer and autumn and have a strong fragrance.

4. Guilin is famous for its scenery

Guilin is prized for its wonderful scenery and natural formations, and monuments. Tourists flock here to admire the striking scenery of karst rock formations and its crystal clear waters and to explore its many caves. The largest and most spectacular of these caves is Ludiyan (“Reed Flute Cave”). In fact, Guilin is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations, and it was the first city open to tourism after 1949. The number of tourists in Guilin in 2018 reached 79.714 million, which was a year-on-year increase of 22.41 per cent.

5. Guilin is a cultural centre

Guilin is a cultural centre and was a major centre of Buddhism in the 7th century. It was famous for its many prestigious monasteries. Today the city of Guilin has more than 10 colleges and universities. The six public colleges and universities with full-time bachelor’s programs are Guangxi Normal University, Guilin University of Technology, Guilin Medical University, Guilin University of Electronic Technology, Guangxi Normal University, and the Guilin University of Aerospace Technology. In these universities and colleges, the total number of students is 165,117, and the total number of international students is 1,796.

6. Guilin is a National Famous Historical and Cultural City

The State Council of China designated Guilin as a National Famous Historical and Cultural City. In total, there are 131 of these cities all across China. According to the Protection Law on Cultural Relics of China, a National Famous Historical and Cultural City is “a city with an unusual wealth of cultural relics of high historical value and major revolutionary significance”.


7. Guilin mifen is a popular food

Guilin’s most famous food is Guilin mifen (米粉 mǐfěn /mee-fnn/). These rice noodles are sold on nearly every street corner and are a favourite quick meal for locals and visitors alike. Locals add special condiments, fixings and toppings to their noodles, for example, chopped green onion, pepper, sour bamboo shoots and pickled cowpeas, which aren’t peas at all but legumes.

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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