With unbelievable landscapes and a beautiful winding
river, Guilin city in Guangxi Province of China is a
perfect venue for quiet contemplative Chinese study.
Students will appreciate not only the spectacular limestone
peaks but also the diversity of Guangxi province's many
different ethnic minority groups. By cycling through
remote villages or rafting along river, visitors to Guilin
will find plenty of relaxing ways to balance their academic
studies. The place lives out the Chinese saying: the
mountains and rivers in Guilin are number one under heaven.
Guangxi Autonomous Region borders on Vietnam in the
southwest and faces the Beibu Bay in the south. The
autonomously governed region is surrounded by mountains
on all sides, and is the province in China with the widest
spread of karst rock peaks. Guilin itself has a modest
urban population of 600,000. Guilin offers many activities
for its many domestic and international visitors: learning
ethnic customs and habits by touring towns and villages,
visiting the Sino-Vietnamese border area, and relaxing
at the Beibu Bay beach are just some of the local highlights.
Aside from the flourishing tourist industry, most of
Guilin's economy is agricultural. Local products include
Chinese medical herbs, fertilizer, silk, perfume, wine,
Guangxi's fruit are subtropical, with seasonal pomelo
(a type of grapefruit), orange, and moon persimmon among
the most prized. Other local specialties include water
chestnuts, fermented bean curd, and Guilin rice noodles,
a local breakfast dish.
Throughout Chinese history, Guilin has been a destination
of poets and artists, entranced by the amazing
landscapes. Rarely has Guilin been the center of political
life, although in 1921, the Northern Expeditionary Force
led by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen briefly had its headquarters in
the city. In 1940,
the city acquired its present name, which means Forest
of the Osymantus trees. In 1981,
this ancient city was listed by the State
Council as one of the four cities (the other three
being Beijing, Hangzhou and Suzhou)
where the protection of historical and cultural heritage,
as well as natural scenery, were given priority treatment.