Enjoy the Charm of Scenery and Food: Welcome to Guilin

Friday, September 22, 2023

There is an saying goes, “桂林山水甲天下(Guìlín shān shuǐ jiǎ tiān xià)”, meaning that “East or West, Guilin Landscape is the Best.”, which vividly describes the enchanting scenery of Guilin. Located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China (the autonomous region is one of China's administrative divisions, holding the same rank as a province), Guilin is renowned for its abundant osmanthus flowers.The distinctive karst landforms create a unique Guilin landscape, featuring diverse mountains, picturesque rivers, and extraordinary caves, which are called the “three wonders of Guilin” and are adopted as the backside scenery of the 20 RMB banknote.

Beautiful Natural Landscapes:

千姿百态的山峰(qiān zī bǎi tài de shān fēng): the diverse mountains

The mountains in Guilin stand tall like a forest, each displaying its unique shape. For example, 独秀峰(dú xiù fēng), Solitary Beauty Peak, rising from the plains, is praised as the "column of the sky", signifying its extraordinary height and grandeur. 象鼻山(xiàng bí shān), Elephant Trunk Hill, resembles a giant elephant drinking water from the river. When fog envelops the hill, it appears as if the elephant is slowly approaching through the mist. Meanwhile, a round hole is formed between the trunk and the body, which is reflected on the water, like a bright moon, forming the famous scenic spot of “象山水月(xiàng shān shuǐ yuè). Besides, Camel Hill, Green Lotus Peak, Old Man Mountain, etc. are just a few examples of the vibrant and diverse formations.

秀丽的江景(xiù lì de jiāng jǐng): the picturesque rivers

The Li River travels through the city from north to south, resembling a thread of green silk winding among the peaks. As the saying goes, “阳朔山水甲桂林( yáng shuò shān shuǐ jiǎ guì lín)”, meaning that Yangshuo landscape tops the scenery of Guilin”. Yangshuo, a county situated within Guilin, collects the most breathtaking scenery of Guilin landscape. Cruising downstream, one can admire the stunning mountain peaks, lush bamboo forests, and scattered villages, creating a peaceful rural atmosphere that increases the river's picturesque charm. The reflections of the surroundings can be seen in the water, enveloping the visitors within the landscape itself. Such wonderful views have earned a place on the 20 RMB banknote and hang as a giant painting in the Chinese Embassy at the United Nations headquarters, alongside the Great Wall.

奇特的溶洞(qí tè de róng dòng): the extraordinary caves

“Where there are mountains, there are caves” is a distinct feature of Guilin's landscape. The ancient and solid rocks, eroded by water, have formed a karst landform, giving rise to peaks on the surface and caves underground.银子岩 (yín zǐ yán), the Sliver Rock, is the largest known cave in Guilin and showcases a remarkable collection of stalactites. With various shapes and forms, such as stone pillars, towers, and waterfalls, they resemble a celestial galaxy, casting shimmering silver light. Combined with lighting effects and music, the cave creates a dreamlike beauty that leaves a lasting impression.

Taste of Local Delicacies: 

桂林米粉 (guì lín mǐ fěn): Guilin Rice Noodles

Made from finely ground early rice, steamed into a smooth and silky texture, Guilin Rice Noodles are known for their soft consistency. The broth varies, typically made by simmering pork, beef bones, and mangosteen with various seasonings. The diversity in ingredients gives rise to different flavors.

桂林荷叶鸭 (guì lín hé yè yā): Guilin Stuffed Duck Wrapped in Lotus Leaf

This dish features tender duck as the main ingredient. It is deep-fried until golden, then stir-fried with assorted seasonings, stuffed into the duck belly, wrapped in a lotus leaf, and steamed. Its meat is delicate, while the lotus leaf imparts a refreshing fragrance.

阳朔啤酒鱼 (yáng shuò pí jiǔ yú): Yangshuo Beer Fish

Fresh carp from the Li River is selected for this delicacy. It is first deep-fried in locally produced raw tea oil, and then braised with beer. It has a crispy outer layer, tender meat, and a flavorful sauce. 

Key Notes:

千姿百态(qiān zī bǎi tài ): portraying a rich variety of shapes or types.

For example:

  • The clouds in the sky changed into forms of horses and waves, truly displaying a variety of shapes.
    天上的云一会儿像马,一会儿像浪花,真是千姿百态。
    tiān shàng de yún yī huì ér xiàng mǎ ,yī huì ér xiàng làng huā ,zhēn shì qiān zī bǎi tài 。
  • The flowers in the park have countless types, with white, yellow, and purple blooms.
    公园的花朵千姿百态,有白色的,黄色的,紫色的……
    gōng yuán de huā duǒ qiān zī bǎi tài ,yǒu bái sè de ,huáng sè de ,zǐ sè de ……

秀丽(xiù lì) describes a delicate elegance and exquisite beauty, both in picturesque landscapes and in the appearance of someone.

For example

  • Guilin is a city endowed with picturesque beauty.
    桂林是座秀丽的城市。
    guì lín shì zuò xiù lì de chéng shì 。
  • This girl possesses a graceful appearance.
    这个女孩长得很秀丽。
    zhè gè nǚ hái zhǎng dé hěn xiù lì 。

奇特(qí tè) signifies something unusual, rare, and astonishing.

For example:

  • The way he walks is peculiar.
    他走路的样子很奇特。
    tā zǒu lù de yàng zǐ hěn qí tè 。
  • My younger brother is fond of that bird with its astonishing feathers. 
    弟弟喜欢那只有着奇特羽毛的鸟。
    dì dì xǐ huān nà zhī yǒu zhe qí tè yǔ máo de niǎo 。

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