Must see attractions in Guangxi

  • Top ChoiceSights in Longji Rice Terraces

    Rice Terraces

    Longji's famed rice terraces have been luring travellers to the region for decades to witness some of China's most spectacular scenery. Rising to 1000m, they are an amazing feat of farm engineering on hills dotted with minority villages. There are two main areas to see: the Ping'an terraces, the most established of the region's rice fields; and the Jinkeng terraces, with life-affirming viewpoints around Dazhai and Tiantouzhai.

  • Sights in Guilin

    Jiangtouzhou Ancient Town

    The 1000-year-old village of Jiangtouzhou is tucked away among farmland 32km north of Guilin. The mostly abandoned village has layers of old-world charm, with its labyrinth of cobblestone alleyways lined with stone houses dating from the Ming and Qing dynasties, and where blocks of tofu are laid out to set in the courtyards. Its residents are descendants of the philosopher Zhou Dunyi (周敦颐), who is famed for his essay on virtue, 'Love of the Water-Lily'.

  • Sights in Guangxi

    Detian Waterfall

    Detian Waterfall belongs to the Chungui River (春归河, Chūnguīhé), which flows between China and Vietnam. The river is only 30m across in this upstream section, which means that people on both sides can see each other going about their business. It's not grand like Niagara Falls, but it's the largest falls spanning two countries in Asia, with the added buzz of being surrounded by karst peaks. The best months to see the waters in their full glory are between July and November.

  • Sights in Guangxi

    Tongling Grand Canyon

    Located in Baise prefecture (百色市), Jingxi County (靖西县), the name of this gorge means 'Connected to the Spirit World'. You will certainly feel spiritual as you descend narrow flights of stairs down to a large cavern, with flickering bulbs and the roar of an underground river. Emerging past the cave, you venture through a thick tropical forest into a series of wild gorges, and past vaulted cliffs with hanging stalactites and dramatic waterfalls that end in crystal pools framed by boulders.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Leye

    Dashiwei Scenic Area

    Located 15km northwest from Leye is this geopark famous for its sinkholes set amid an environment of karst landforms, caves and underground rivers. From the ticket office, you're transferred to an electric cart for a 20-minute ride to visit two sinkholes. The first resembles a giant meteor crater, after which it's named, while the more spectacular Dashiwei Tiankeng (大石围天坑) is the largest of Leye's sinkholes.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Leye

    Chuandong Sinkhole

    A one-hour walking circuit loops you past limestone caves, primeval vegetation and an underground river in this sinkhole that reaches 312m in height. Trek to the sinkhole's bottom via an ethereal-looking cavern with a hole in its roof: around noon, a shaft of light shines through the hole to illuminate the cavern floor, reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  • Sights in Li River

    Moon Hill

    A 30-minute – extremely sweaty – climb up steps to the magnificent natural arch that adorns Moon Hill (380m) is rewarded with both lost calories and some exhilarating views of surrounding peaks and the tapestry of flat fields in the lowlands. Load up with liquids in hot weather, and be prepared to be pounced on by hawkers flogging water to anything that moves at the top.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Ziyuan

    Bajiaozhai National Geopark

    This park is named after eight Danxia stone peaks that lie near the border with Hunan. Round, isolated, featuring ringlike troughs and leaning 45 degrees in the same direction, these spectacular formations resemble snails sunning themselves after the rain. It's a 1½-hour loop walking trail, so you don't need to retrace your steps from the carpark. The trail winds along steep cliffs, collapsed boulders, plunging gorges, a Buddhist monastery, glass walkways and bamboo forests.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sanjiang

    Chengyang Bridge

    In the district of Chengyang, around 18km north of Sanjiang, Chéngyángqiáo is the grandest of over 100 nail-less Wind and Rain Bridges in the area. This photogenic black-and-white structure (78m) was built from cedar and stone over 12 years in the early 1900s, and features towers with upturned eaves, pavilions where people gather to socialise or take shelter from the elements, and a sweeping corridor with handrails and benches.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Leye

    Luomei Lotus Cave

    This 970m-long underground river cave shelters the world's largest collection of lotus-shaped limestone formations. While the artificial illumination spoils the natural beauty, giving the cave an unmistakable Disneyland atmosphere, it's also hard not to be dazzled by the psychedelic lighting effect in each of its many chambers. The cave is handily located 200m north of the bus station.

  • Sights in Guilin

    Elephant Trunk Hill

    At the southern end of Guilin where the Li River and the Taohua River converge is one of Guilin's best-promoted sights, Elephant Trunk Hill. Unlike other misshapen lumps of rock with tenuous names extracted from Chinese myth, this indeed does resemble a proboscidean mammal dipping its snout into the Li River. Visit Water Moon Cave (水月洞, Shuǐyuè Dòng) and head up the peak walk to Puxian Pagoda (普贤塔, Pǔxián Tǎ) for views of the park and the picturesque Li River.

  • Sights in Guilin

    Sun & Moon Twin Pagodas

    Elegantly embellishing the scenery of Shan Lake, the Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas, beautifully illuminated at night, are the highlight of a stroll around Guilin’s two central lakes. The octagonal, seven-storey Moon Pagoda (月塔, Yuè Tǎ) is connected by an underwater tunnel to the 41m-high Sun Pagoda (日塔, Rì Tǎ), one of the few pagodas with a lift.

  • Sights in Li River

    Yulong River

    The scenery along this small river about 6km southwest of Yangshuo is breathtaking, and best enjoyed by bamboo raft. Though the set-up for the rafting has become very touristy and overregulated (it's now all ticketed and you have to wear a lifejacket), once you're out on the water it's a relaxing way to take in the views. The rafts are constructed using bamboo planks and poled by a boatman, but fitted with chairs and a tacky umbrella.

  • Sights in Pingxiang

    Huashan Cliff Murals

    Close to the Vietnam border, the enigmatic Hua Mountain Cliff Murals, 2000-year-old rock paintings of people and animals on sheer cliff faces, are one of the undisputed highlights of Guangxi. The red-painted murals are believed to be the work of ancestors of the Zhuang, but remain shrouded in mystery.

  • Sights in Nanning

    Yangmei

    A former market town on the Yong River (邕江, Yōng Jiāng), Yangmei was founded a millennium ago and flourished in the 17th century, earning the nickname 'Little Nanning'. Spend a couple of hours wandering the cobbled streets, munching on fried fish (from ¥4), steamed rice rolls (¥4) and local starfruit (¥5 per catty) as you walk. The pace is slow and you’re free to peep into the designated Ming and Qing dynasty homes.

  • Sights in Li River

    Longtan Village

    This fascinating village about 1.5km beyond Moon Hill is a treasure trove of traditional Qing dynasty architecture. Beyond the initial, slightly cheesy scenic area at the beginning, you reach the village proper, where you can get lost in a maze of tight lanes. Look out for the old Opium Den (烟馆, Yānguǎn) at No 89 Longtan Cun, which didn't close till 1940, and note the village's carved upturned lintels, astonishingly regular brickwork and ample distribution of Cultural Revolution slogans.

  • Sights in Ziyuan

    Guilin Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area

    Tianmen (not to be confused with Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie, Hunan) is home to proud cliffs, sharp ravines and dramatic waterfalls of Danxia topography, but also lush subtropical foliage, clusters of ash-brown dwellings and crumbling roadside shrines. Tourist development here, however, has taken some of its natural wonder away. There are multiple viewing spots along hiking trails in the park, including a U-shaped deck with a transparent floor – a 1½- hour return walk or you can take the cable car.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Guilin

    Rong Lake

    Rong Lake (literally, Banyan Lake), named for an ancient Chinese banyan on its shore, and its adjoining Shan Lake are an oasis of calm in the urban hub of Guilin. It has no shortage of local charm, with a walking track leading through lush gardens with ornate bridges and Chinese pavilions that dot the shimmering water.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Weizhou Island

    Weizhou Catholic Church

    Quite an incredible sight, this church was built in 1880 with coral and volcanic rocks from the seabed in a neo-Gothic style. Rather formidable despite its modest size, the church was constructed by French missionaries for followers who had fled here to escape ethnic conflict in Guangdong. It was damaged during the Cultural Revolution and rebuilt with donations from the wife of former premier Zhou Enlai, and a Catholic priest in Hong Kong.