Rong Lake

Top choice in Guilin

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.

On the northern shore of Rong Lake, and strikingly illuminated at night, the South Gate is the only surviving section of the original Song-dynasty city wall (城墙; chéng qiáng). In the early evening the area is abuzz with activity and is a good place to watch locals practising taichi, calligraphy and dancing.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Guilin attractions

1. South Gate


At the northern shore of Rong Lake is this original Song-dynasty city wall (城墙, chéng qiáng). Come by in the evening when it's illuminated, and locals…

2. Shan Lake


Literally 'Fir Lake', Shan Lake, together with its neighbour Rong Lake, was once part of a city moat. Its most distinguishable feature is its twin pagodas…

3. Sun & Moon Twin Pagodas

0.47 MILES

Elegantly embellishing the scenery of Shan Lake, the Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas, beautifully illuminated at night, are the highlight of a stroll around…

4. Elephant Trunk Hill

0.69 MILES

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…

5. Solitary Beauty Peak

0.82 MILES

This park is a peaceful, leafy retreat from the city centre. The entrance fee for the famous lone pinnacle includes admission to an underwhelming 14th…

6. Wave-Subduing Hill

1.08 MILES

Close to Solitary Beauty Peak and beside the western bank of the Li River, Wave-Subduing Hill offers fine views of the town. Upon entering the gate, look…

7. Folded Brocade Hill


Folded Brocade Hill affords some of Guilin's best views, complemented by restored pavilions, some originally dating from the Ming dynasty. Climb the stone…

8. East Gate

1.47 MILES

About 1km north of Folded Brocade Hill is the partly reconstructed East Gate, flanked by sections of the original wall. To reach the gate, it’s a short…