Guilin (Chinese: 桂林) is a prefecture-level city in the northeast of theGuangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,China, situated on the west bank of theLi River, and bordering Hunan to the north. Its name means, "Forest ofSweet Osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. The city has long been renowned for its scenery of karst topography and is one of China's most popular tourist destinations.
|TIME ZONE :||China Standard (UTC+8)|
|LANGUAGE :||Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)|
|RELIGION :||Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%; note: officially atheist|
|AREA :||27,809 km2 (10,737 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||153 m (502 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||25°16′N 110°17′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51.83|
• Female: 48.17
|ETHNIC :||Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%|
|AREA CODE :||0773|
|POSTAL CODE :||541XXX|
|DIALING CODE :||+86 773|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
Guilin and the surrounding region are among the most scenic areas in China and the most popular tourist destinations both for Chinese travellers and the international backpacker set. The main attraction is the karst terrain, limestone mountains eroded into fantastic shapes. Apart from its sheer visual beauty, karst terrain also provides many cliffs suitable for rock climbing and many caves.
There are many scenic places within short traveling distance of Guilin. These includeLongsheng with its famous Longji rice terraces; the Lijiang River, a scene of which is printed on the back of ¥20 bank notes; Yangshuo, a small county downstream from Guilin; and much more. This makes Guilin an excellent base for exploring the northern end of Guangxi Province.
Guilin is a beautiful city. The town center is surrounded by two rivers and four lakes and studded with sheer sided karst mountains. Outside the city center, the buildings are less well kept. The main industry in the city is tourism so the city is much cleaner than other Chinese cities.
Guilin itself is like most other medium size Chinese cities, other than that it has a large number of western-style hotels, tourists and is relatively free of air pollution. Many Chinese domestic tourists also flock to this area. What makes it special is its proximity to many picturesque limestone mountains and formations.
In 314 BC, a small settlement was established along the banks of the Li River.
During the Qin Dynasty's (221–207 BC) campaigns against the state of Nanyue, the first administration was set up in the area around Guilin.
In 111 BC, during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, Shi An County was established, which could be regarded as the beginning of the city.
In 507 AD, the town was renamed Guizhou.
Guilin prospered in the Tang and Song dynasties but remained a county. The city was also a nexus between the central government and the southwest border, and it was where regular armies were placed to guard that border. Canals were built through the city so that food supplies could be directly transported from the food-productive Yangtze plain to the farthest southwestern point of the empire.
In 1921, Guilin became one of the headquarters of the Northern Expeditionary Army led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
In 1940, the city acquired its present name.
In 1981, Guilin was listed by the State Council as one of the four cities (the other three being Beijing, Hangzhou andSuzhou) where the protection of historical and cultural heritage, as well as natural scenery, should be treated as a priority project.
Guilin has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate , with short, mild winters, and long, hot, humid summers. Winter begins dry but becomes progressively wetter and cloudier. Spring is generally overcast and often rainy, while summer continues to be rainy though is the sunniest time of year. Autumn is sunny and dry. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 7.9 °C (46.2 °F) in January to 28.0 °C (82.4 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 18.84 °C (65.9 °F). The annual rainfall is just above 1,900 mm (75 in), and is delivered in bulk (~50%) from April to June, when the plum rains occur and often create the risk of flooding. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 14% in March to 53% in September, the city receives 1,487 hours of bright sunshine annually.
Climate data for Guilin
|Average high °C (°F)||11.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||5.4|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration|
Guilin is located in northern Guangxi, bordering Liuzhou to the west, Laibin to the southwest, Wuzhou to the south, Hezhou to the southeast, and within neighbouringHunan, Huaihua to the northwest, Shaoyang to the north, and Yongzhou to the east. It has a total area of 27,809 square kilometres (10,737 sq mi). The topography of the area is marked by karst formations. The Li River flows through the city.
- Hills and Mountains: Diecai Hill (叠彩山), Elephant Trunk Hill, Wave-Subduing Hill(伏波山), Lipu Mountains, Kitten Mountain, the highest peak of Guangxi, and Yao Hill (尧山)
- Cave: Reed Flute Cave, Seven-Star Cave
- The GDP per capita was ¥19435 (ca. US$2858) in 2009, ranked no. 125 among 659 Chinese cities.
- Local industry: pharmaceutical goods, tires,machinery, fertilizer, silk, perfume, wine, tea, cinnamon, herbal medicine
- Local agricultural products: Shatian Pomelo, summer orange, Fructus Momordicae, ginkgo, moon persimmon,Lipu Taro, Sanhua Alcohol, pepper sauce, fermented bean curd, Guilin Rice Noodle, water chestnut, grain, fish and dried bean milk cream in tight rolls
Until 1949 only a thermal power plant, a cement works, and some small textile mills existed as signs of industrialization in Guilin. However, since the 1950s Guilin has electronics, engineering and agricultural equipment, medicine, rubber, and buses, and it also has textile and cotton yarn factories. Food processing, including the processing of local agricultural produce, remains the most important industry. More recent and modern industry feature high technology and the tertiary industry characterized by tourism trading and service.
Guilin administers 17 county-level divisions:
Six districts: Xiufeng District (秀峰区), Xiangshan District (象山区), Diecai District (叠彩区), Qixing District (七星区), Yanshan District (雁山区) and Lingui District (临桂区).
- Nine counties: Yangshuo County (阳朔县), Lingchuan County (灵川县), Xing'an County (兴安县), Quanzhou County (全州县), Yongfu County (永福县), Ziyuan County (资源县), Guanyang County (灌阳县), Pingle County (平乐县) and Lipu County (荔浦县。
- Two autonomous counties: Gongcheng Yao Autonomous County (恭城瑶族自治县) and Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County (龙胜各族自治县).
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