Around 500 miles from either Hanoi or Hong Kong, tucked away in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China sits the magical region of Guilin: home to the Li River, rice terraces, and the utterly phenomenal sugarloaf karst peaks, ranked by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This is a break for those who like to combine a touch of tranquil relaxation with a spot of adventure – plus you can get some unbeatable travel bragging rights by staying in a region comfortably set back from that old beaten track! Just take a look at this view…
Who wouldn’t want to take a leisurely stroll around this parkland, which stirs in some incredible striking contemporary sculptures in the Guilin YUZI Paradise with a beautifully preserved natural habitat under the shadow of imposing Mount Yao?
What to see in Guilin?
While still relatively obscure, Guilin has attracted a fair bit of attention in recent years and rightly so. Bill Clinton visited in 1998, remarking that the Lijiang (or Li) River ‘makes me think of traditional Chinese paintings.’ National Geographic rated it as one of the world’s top ten landscapes to explore, placing it up there in the grand pantheon of Chinese sights, along with the Terracotta Army and even the Great Wall of China. As the old Chinese saying has it, “East or west, Guilin scenery is the best.” For those of you who like to get out and strap on your travelling shoes, there are a number of must-do excursions. Top of your list should be a cruise on the Li River. Sail from Guilin to Yangshuo amid hundreds of hills flanking the emerald waters, taking in vivid reflections of some of China’s most jaw dropping scenery, passing fertile farm lands swathed in brocade and veiled in mist. Yangshuo City is known for its nightlife and busy shopping thoroughfare West Street, where you’ll have fun haggling for jade, antiques and other unexpected local curios. A visit to the nearby Reed Flute Cave is also well worth the time. The cave owes its name to the lush reeds growing outside, which are used by local craftsmen to fashion into flutes. It’s packed with stalagmites and stalactites in an arresting array of shapes and colours.
Want more adventure?
You could combine a stay here with a trip to discover the giddying sights of high rise Hong Kong and the multicultural melting pot that is Macau on a 10-day tour, leaving 4 days to properly unwind at our Club Med HOMA resort, and fully bask in the pleasures of the Club Med Spa by Comfort Zone.
If you’re planning a family break to Guilin, have no fear – you will not be stuck for things to do. As you might expect from a Club Med resort, there’s plenty of activities on offer, from art workshops to natural rock climbing and the ancient Chinese board game of mah-jong. If all that’s not enough, our Petit, Mini and Teens Clubs will keep boredom firmly at bay, with a rolling programme of fun creative activities, sport and games galore. Your little ones and not-so-little ones won’t miss their Nintendos and Iphones for long, leaving you free to roam unfettered. There can’t be too many luxury resorts that offer a flying trapeze after all!
In the evenings you’ll get to sample the exotic delicacies of some truly authentic Chinese gastronomy. Guilin’s local cuisine is pretty special. Fish from the Li River is a firm favourite, along with its most famous speciality – Guilin Rice Noodles. These are made from oil and rice flour, cooked in a broth of pork, beef, garlic, peanuts, peppers and radishes. Gnomm those! Our resort offers a choice of two bars, each with their own distinct vibe. The Lake Bar is the ideal spot for relaxing after a long day’s exploration, looking out on to the mirror-like lake and its magnificent centrepiece sculptures. Inside the main HOMA building you’ll find the Moon Bar, with a quiet lounge and large outdoor terrace, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon tea or a glass of champagne.
The customers speak
Our resort is currently ranked the No.2 hotel in Guilin on TripAdvisor, out of over 330-odd places. Don’t just take our word for it though, here’s what a few of our recent guests had to say about Club Med Guilin: ‘The property is so huge you need a bicycle to get around! The art pieces are not to be missed. The hotel itself is a masterpiece as well; all rooms are decorated differently. We saw their suites too and couldn’t believe our eyes. They’re so big, with the most astonishing decoration!’ ‘We liked the cosy swimming pool, the artistic bar and the beautiful view of the lake. I have never seen a spa like this one. We came out totally relaxed, pure luxury. This place is so astonishing that it’s hard to describe – you have to see it with your own eyes!’ ‘HOMA is out of way but that’s one reason why we loved it. Morning Tai Chi was a great way to start the day and the food served in the restaurant was quite amazing. A great get-away place, especially if you live in China and need some time with nature.’
Want to gen up some more on the region of Guilin and the riches it has to offer? Pop over to the official tourist board’s site. Book this holiday from £1030 per adult, all inclusive for 7 nights, excluding flights, staying in a Club Room with its own private courtyard.
We’re to help. Call our travel advisors on 08453 670 670.
What do you think?
Ever been to Guilin? Why not tell us how you liked it and leave a comment below?