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    The scenery of Guilin has been called the finest under heaven. Situated in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin City is South China's shining pearl, with verdant mountains, elegant waters, magnificent crags and fantastic caverns. It has a total area of 27,809 sq.km and a population of 4.8 million, thereinto the urban area being 565 sq.km and the population 603,500.

    Guilin has a history of more than 2,000 years. In the 6th year of Yuanding During the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty (111 BC), Guilin was a county, called Shi An County, and from the Song Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, it was the political, economic and cultural centre of Guangxi. In 1921, the North Expeditionary Army led by Sun Zhongshan (Dr. Sun Yat-sen) joined forces In Guilin, and the headquarters was sited in the Royal Palace at the foot of the Solitary Beauty Peak. The city acquired its present name in the year of 1940.

    Belonging to the subtropical region,Guilin enjoys a mild climate with sufficient rainfall. Its yearly average temperature is 18.8'C, and the hottest month, August, has an average temperature of 28'C, while the coldest months, which are January and February are 8'C on the average. Du Fu,a very famous poet of Tang Dynasty so said of its climate: 'When it is scorchingly hot everywhere in the Five Ridges, only Guilin has temperate weather.'

    Guilin was originally a vast expanse of sea until about one hundred and ninety million years ago, when, owing to the movement of the earth crust, the whole area rose and became land. The Limestone, weathered and eroded by water, became today's fantastic stone forests, peaks, underground streams and caves, thus giving unique features to Guilin's scenery.

    The mountains In Guilin, rising abruptly from the ground, stand in various stately shapes. Moreover, they have in them a great number of colourful caves. These mountains with strangely-shaped peaks and caves of unique formation, together with the crystal-clear rivers that surround the city, characterize Guilin's scenery and have brought it world fame.

    Li River, a picturesque river well known both at home and abroad, is at its most beautiful starting from Guilin to Yangshuo, distancing 83 km. Winding her way amidst the mountains and through villages, the Li River adds a great charm to the picture-like landscape of Guilin, where people can see mountains with fantastic peaks, green and clear waters, and festoon-like fields.

    Guilin also abounds in historical relics. Stone carving alone amounts to approximately 2,000 pieces. Of all the scenic spots in the city, Pu Tuo Hill, Crescent Moon Hill and Folded Brocade Hill possess the greatest number of these carvings, but crowning all is the Dragon Refuge Cave, which, as it Is lined with stelae, is properly called 'Guilin Stelae Forest'.

    As a tourist destination second to none in China, Guilin will surely continue to attract ever more visitors from home and abroad.

    Want to see more details about Guilin attractions? Just take a Guilin tour with China Travel Compass