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Guilin VS Lijiang, Which Is Better to Visit

Guilin and Lijiang are two popular tour destinations in China, and also two beautiful places to visit in China, but they are much different from each other. Here we make a complete contrast of Guilin and Lijiang for several aspects, location & transportation, highlights & best places to visit, best time to visit & weather, things to do, and tour days & itineraries, to provide you help in making your China trip plan.

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Table for Guilin VS Lijiang

  Guilin Lijiang
Location Guangxi province, close to Guangzhou, Nanning Yunnan province, close to Kunming, Dali
Best time to visit from April to November all year round
Best places to visit

Li River, Yangshuo scenery

Longji Rice Terrace

Elephant Trunk Hill

Two Rivers and Four Lakes 

Reed Flute Cave

Lijiang Old Town

Jade Snow Mountai

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Lugu Lake

Ancient Tea Horse Road

Show Impression Liu Sanjie Impression Lijiang
Tour days 3-5 days 2-5 days

Choose Guilin over Lijiang

Li River
(Li River)

  • Guilin is a famous place to visit and onvenient to go, and it is always on the list of first time China travel.
  • Guilin has many attractions and interesting activities for tourists to enjoy themselves in Guilin.
  • If you like to see green mountains, clean river, amazing cave, beautiful rice terraces, and prefer countryside sightseeing, Guilin is exactly what you look for.
  • All attractions in Guilin have a long sightseeing time from April to November.

Choose Lijiang over Guilin

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain-Guilin VS Lijiang
(Jade Dragon Snow Mountain)

  • If you are a lover of hiking, Tiger Leaping Gorge in Lijiang, with long routes, rough paths and beautiful scenery, is perfect for you.
  • If you visit China in winter time, you would be attracted by Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
  • If you want to visit Shangrila, Lijiang is a good place for you to combine with Shangrila tour.


Guilin VS Lijiang: Location & Transportation

Guilin VS Lijaing location on China map

Guilin locaton. Guilin is a small tourist city in Guangxi Province, close to Guangzhou, Zhangjiajie and Nanning.

Guilin transportation:

How to get to Guilin? Guilin has 2 railway stations and 1 international airport, and tourists could get to Guilin by train or by flight from anywhere in China. Tourists usually fly to Guilin from places like Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xian, Chengdu, Hong Kong, and take train to Guilin from places like Guangzhou, Nanning, and Guiyang.

How to get to Yangshuo from Guilin?

  • First, take public bus No. K99, to Guilin South Bus Station, 2 yuan,  about 40 min from Guilin Railway Station, and 1 h 30 min from Guilinbei Railway Station.
  • Second, take bus from Guilin to Yangshuo at Guilin South Bus Station, 35 yuan and 1.5 hours.

Lijiang location. Lijiang is located in Yunnan province, close to Kunming, Dali, and Chengdu. Lijiang has 1 railway station and airport available to tourists who can get to Lijiang from any place in China.

Lijiang transportation: 

How to get to Lijiang? Generally speaking, tourists would like to fly to Lijiang from places like Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guilin, and  Kunming, and take train to Lijiang from places like Kunming and Dali.


Guilin VS Lijiang: Highlights & Best Places to Visit

Highlights of Guilin tour: river, mountain, cave, lake, rice terrace, countryside sightseeing.

Best places to visit in Guilin: Li River, Yangshuo scenery, Longji Rice Terrace, Elephant Trunk Hill, Two Rivers and Four Lakes, Reed Flute Cave.

Longji Rice Terraces-Guilin VS Lijiang
(Longji Rice Terrace)

Li River is the most essential part of Guilin tour and Guilin scenery, and the best part of Li River with attractive scenery is from Guilin to Yangshuo. Li River Cruise is also from Guilin to Yangshuo, and it takes about 4.5 hours for the whole cruise.

Yangshuo scenery consists of several parts, and the interesting ones are Yangshuo West Street, Yulong River bamboo raft, Ten-mile Gallery, and countryside sightseeing by bike. In Yangshuo, you could join activities like hiking, rock climbing, river cruise, camping, and study courses like Chinese calligraphy.

Longji Rice Terrace is famous for its grand man-made rice terraces, and ethnic culture. Longji Rice Terraces is gorgeous in four seasons, especially in Autumn.

Elephant Trunk Hill, Two Rivers and Four Lakes, & Reed Flute Cave. The former two are landmarksof Guilin, located in Guilin downtown and easily accessible. Elephant Trunk Hill is renowned for its shape and good places to climb mountain. Two Rivers and Four Lakes are well known for its night scenery and boat cruise. While Reed Flute Cave is the famous place to watch splendid nature-made stalactites.

Highlights of Lijiang tour: snow mountain, old town, river and lake.

Best places to visit in Lijiang: Lijiang Old Town, Jade Snow Mountai, Tiger Leaping Gorge & Lugu Lake, Ancient Tea Horse Road.

Tiger Leaping Gorge- Guilin VS Lijiang
(Tiger Leaping Gorge)

Lijiang Old Town is the essential of Lijiang tour, where you could visit old houses, and hang around those old streets, and enjoy a leisure tour. It also has many stores, and you could eat local food and snacks, and buy local goods.

Jade Snow Mountain is attractive to most travelers, where you could take cable car to the place at a height over 4,000 meters, and climb snow mountains, and see glaciers on the top, while see lakes and meadows on the foot, and also watch show.

Tiger Leaping Gorge is the best place for hiking in Yunnan, and the river roars through deep and  steep gorge, with beautiful scenery along the two sides. Tourists could have a 2 days hiking in here. Lugu Lake is a crystal blue lake, with captivating views, but it is a bit far away from Lijiang downtown, about 3.5 hours of driving.


Guilin VS Lijiang: Best Time to Visit & Weather

Yangshuo West Street - Guilin VS Lijiang
(Yangshuo West Street)

Best time to visit Guilin: from April to November.

Guilin is in the south of China, and it has great sceneries from April to November. April and May are the golden time for Li River cruise, and September and October for Longji Rice Terrace.

Guilin weather. Guilin has hot summer and a bit cold winter. From April to November, Guilin is in warm time, and its hot days are in June, July, and August, with the highest temperature  around 30 ℃-35 ℃. It enters a winter time with the temperature falling to 15 ℃ in December , and around 0 ℃ in January. Guilin has many rain days, with light rainy days in spring and winter, and heavy rainy days in summer.

Best time to visit Lijiang: all year round.

Tourists could visit Lijiang at anytime you like, and there are always something for you, like Lijiang Old Town. The best time to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is from November to March, and April-October are for Tiger Leaping Gorge, and March-October for Lugu Lake.

Lijiang weather. Lijiang has warm weather all year round, with the highest temperature between 25 ℃-30 ℃ in summer, and the lowest temperature around 0 ℃, but it has strong sunlight due to its location on a plateau.  Lijiang has a rainy season in July, August and September, at this time, tourists should protect your from troubles may caught by heavy rains.


Guilin VS Lijiang: Things to Do

Things to do in Guilin

  • Take Li River cruise, and take bamboo raft on Yulong River to enjoy river and mountain sceneries.
  • Hike to Longji Rice Terraces to see the most beautiful rice terraces, and visit ethnic villages.
  • Climb mountains, and explore surprising caves, to see the wonderful landscape of Guilin.
  • Go cycling in countryside paths, enjoy countryside sightseeing and experience simple lifestyle.
  • Join activities like camping, outdoor rock climbing, and hiking along rivers.
  • Enjoy local cuisine and have wonderful nights in Guilin.

Top things to do in Lijiang

Lijiang Old Town-Guilin VS Lijiang
(Lijiang Old Town)

  • Take cable car to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and see ancient glaciers.
  • Go to Lijiang Old Town and Shuhe Old Town, and visit its old residential buildings and streets.
  • Go to the remote Lugu Lake to see azure lake, and hike to Tiger Leaping Gorge to see the dangerous gorge and roaring river waters.
  • Take horse ride along the Ancient Tea Horse Road, and enjoy the beautiful  mountain sceneries.


Guilin VS Lijiang: Tour Days & Tour Itineraries

Guilin tour Days: 3-5 days.

Elephant Trunk Hill-Guilin VS Lijiang
(Elephant Trunk Hill)

Guilin tour is comprised of 4 essential parts, 1-2 days tour to Longji Rice Terrace, 1-2 days tour in Guilin downtown to places like Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave, 1 days Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, and 1-2 days tour in Yangshuo.

4 Days Best Guilin tour to Yangshuo and Longji Terraces

Don't Miss: Li River is the most essential part of Guilin tour, and Li River Cruise is always put on the must-do list.

Guilin tour itinerary:

  • Arrival at Guilin
  • Guilin tour(Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park)
  • Guilin-Longji-Guilin(Bus to Longji, Dazhai Village & Ping'an Village)
  • Guilin-Yangshuo-Guilin(Li River Cruise, West Steet, Ten-mile Gallery, Yulong River)
  • Departure from Guilin

Lijiang tour days: 2-5 days.

Lugu Lake-Guilin VS Lijiang

Lijiang tour consists of 4 parts, 1 day tour to Lijiang Old Town + Ancient Tea Horse Road/Yufeng Temple, 1 day tour to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, 1-2 days tour to Tiger Leaping Gorge, 1 day tour to Lugu Lake.

3 Days Best Lijiang Tour

Don't Miss: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, especially visiting Lijiang in winter.

Lijiang tour itinerary: 

  • Arrival at Lijiang
  • Lijiang tour(Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang Old Town)
  • Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang
  • Lijiang-Lugu Lake-Lijiang
  • Departure from Lijiang

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