Guilin is a scenic town and one of the best-known tourist destinations in China. It is not only famous for green hills and clear rivers in the city, but the ancient villages or towns are great places to explore the beauty of it. Ancient villages or towns are usually hidden in and around Guilin city. If you are planning to have a 3 to 4 day trip to Guilin, do not miss any of these beautiful local old village, for exploring some of the ancient villages or towns around the area is a great way to get away from the bustling city life and to see some stunning scenery. Also, you will get more chances to have authentic experience of the rural life and soak up the local culture. Here TCT would like to recommend some top ancient villages and towns to visit around Guilin for you to visit.
• Huangyao Ancient Town
Huangyao Ancient Town is located in northeast of Shaoping County in Hezhou City and it is more than 100 km from Guilin city. It is called Huangyao Town, for all residents' surnames are Yao and Huang. It is an ancient town with over 1,000 years history, featuring exquisite pavilions and temples, tremendous ancient trees, stone roads and unique folk houses. Most of the unique folk houses in Ming-Qing style are preserved well. This town is firstly built in Song Dynasty, and then flourished during Ming and Qing Dynasties. There are eight ancient stone streets with a total length of more than 10 km, more than 300 Ming-Qing folk houses in Ming-Qing style, about 10 exquisite pavilions, more than 20 temples and 11 featured bridges in Huangyao. Due to the town being surrounded by mountains, transportation has been inconvenient, which helps to preserve traditions and relics of the town, keeping it away from outside conflicts.
► The best time to travel to Huangyao is from late September to early October. During this period, the local weather is comfortable, and many fruit, such as persimmon and hawthorn, are ripe. You can try these fresh fruit when you travel there.
► Opening Hours: all day long (selling ticket: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)
► How to get there from Guilin: take coach from Guilin Bus Terminal to Hezhou City and then transfer bus from Hezhou to Huangyao Town.
• Daxu Ancient Town
Daxu Town is located 23 km southeast of Guilin. It only takes about 1.5 hours by bus (close to Crown Cave) from Guiin downtown. This ancient town is at the east bank of the Li River too and beautifully close to the Millstone Hill and the Snail Hill. The history of it can date back more than 1,000 years. In the heart of town features the 2 km long bluestone Street with many well preserved old fold houses in the style of the Ming and Qing on the both sides. The town has lots of attractions dating back hundreds of years including the Gauzu Temple, the assembly halls, Hanhuang Temple, the Seven Stars Tombs and the Longevity Bridge. While visiting the town, tourists definitely come to visit the Longevity Bridge (Wanshou Bridge). It is a unique scenic spot with beautiful landscapes. The bridge was built in the Ming Dynasty (1638-1644) and is a single-arched bridge, looking elegant and simple. With the Li River at its west side, it is an excellent place to appreciate the charming scenery of the river. Also this old town retaines a lot of bamboo weaving workshops, traditional funeral supplies stores, shoes workshops, Herbalists consulting room, the old barber shop or other kinds of old hands of the workshops. By visiting this shops, you will get a chance to see how these local people make a living and the stature of their normal life.
How to get there: tourists can take the public bus to San Li Dian Stop (三里店站) first, then you will find a lot of shuttle buses there to Daxu. It only takes about 40 minutes.
• Xingping Ancient Town
Xingping Ancient Town is located on the east bank of the Li River, 27 kilometers from Yangshuo and 63 kilometers from Guilin. Xingping is well known for its still waters, steep cliffs, grotesque peaks and other fantastic landscape. It is the perfect places to get the view on the back of 20 yuan note, which is why it's pier area is full of Chinese tourists. The landscape around the village is indeed very pleasant for photographers to explore.
The highlights of traveling to this ancient town includes Fishing Village, Yellow Cloth Shoal View, The Bird's View Pavilion, Ancient Banyan trees, Nine-horse Fresco Hill, Xingping Ancient Street, etc. The Bird's View Pavilion on the top offers a nice place to rest and take pictures. For the convenience and free of cost (no fees, cars or rafts required), it is one of the best options for mountain landscape photography. The village itself also has a nice mixture of newly restored buildings and shopping as well as the old village folk houses, open market, and other attractions.
This old town is well worth a visit, for it is quiet and charming and allows you to feel how life has always been in small Chinese villages. Tourists can take motorized raft from Yangdi Pier to Xingping town along on the Li River, which does have many beautiful classic scenes and landscape, including the one on the back of the 20 yuan note and Nine-horse Fresco Hill. The raft tour takes about 2.5 hours. If you have a whole day, you can take motorized raft tour in the morning to get to Xingping and then have a leisure stroll in the ancient village in the afternoon. If you go on the right day you can take part in the open marketthere, selling fresh food, housewares, or anything else you may need. It would be definitely an interesting experience if you have never been to one in China before.
• Jiuwu Ancient Village
Jiuwu Ancient Village, also know as Jiangtou Village by local people, is located in Lingchuan Townin Guilin. The village is in the 32 km north of Guilin. It has hundreds of ancient buildings in Ming and Qing style, which could date back to 800 years. Most the buildings in the village were built in wood with carving on it, looking simple and elegant.
• Ancient Villages in Longji Rice Terrace
Longji Rice Terrace area is quite large and it is home to many ancient villages of Zhuang, Yao, or other local minorities. The most famous ancient villages around Longji Rice Terrace, Longji Ancient ZhuangVillage, Ping’an Ancient Village, Dazai Ancient Village, Huangluo Hongyao Long Hair Village, etc.
Ancient Zhuang Village is the most traditional Zhuang minority village in Longsheng. Great for those who are interested in history and culture of Chinese local minorities. The village boasts the oldest and the largest minorities’ folk houses complex in Guangxi Province, most of which are more than 100 years old. Ping’an Ancient Village might be the most popular ancient village in Longji with it convenient transport and beautiful view of the village and the rice terrace around it. Viewpoint 1 (called Nine Dragons and Five Tigers) and Viewpoint 2 (Seven Stars with Moon) in Ping’an Ancient Village have both spectacular views of the town and surrounding terraces. By the way, there is a very scenic trail walking among the rice terraces from Ping'an to the Ancient Zhuang Village. It takes about 1.5 hours and easily done without a guide. If you have enough time for the Longji Tour, you must take it. The view will definitely impress you.
• Ancient Villages around Yangshuo
Theres is a saying goes like “Guilin landscape tops those elsewhere, and yangshuo landscape tops that of guilin.” Yangshuo is famous for scenic river and mountains view. But there are quite a few ancient villages with amazing view for you to explore too. The ancient villages around Yangshuo are usually located near to the Li River, which will not only give a nice view of the village, but also offer you a chance to know more about the local life in small village in China. Jiuxian Ancient Village and Fuli Town (Yangshuo) are two classic ancient villages in Yangshuo.
Jiuxian Ancient Village is located closed to the Yulong River and about 8km from Yangshuo County. The history of it can date back to Sui dynasty Sui dynasty (A.D.590 – A.D.618). But the ancient buildings in the village has been well preserved and it retains much of the old mud brick farm houses and grey brick mansions built for government officials and rich landlords in Qing Dynasty, unlike most other villages nearby. Fuli Ancient Town (Yangshuo) is about 5 km away from Yangshuo County. There are shuttle buses going there from the Yangshuo Bus Terminal, but you can also cycle from Yangshuo to get there. Except for the old buildings here as in other ancient village, Fuli is famous for is their painted fans. Tourists can see local crafters making these fans by hand with silk and bamboo. The fans are quite beautiful with classic and scenic landscaped painted on it.
The above are some top ancient villages to visit around Guilin. Hope it is helpful for your Guilin trip plan. If you have enough time for Guilin tour, do not forget to have a short trip to those ancient villages in Guilin, you will learn a lot.