Guilin is located
in northeastern Guangxi Zhuang
Autonomous Region. In 1998 with the approval of
the State Council, the original Guilin and Guilin District
merged to form the current Guilin, with a total area
of 2.78 million square kilometers and a total population
of 4,951,100 people. The urban area is 565 square kilometers,
and the urban population is 734800 people. There are
at least 37 ethnic groups including the Han, Zhuang,
Miao, Yao, Dong, Hui, Jing, Yi, water nationalities
etc. Guilin Governs Xiufeng, Xiangshan, Qixing, Diecai,
Yanshan 5 municipal districts and Lingchuan, Xing'an,
Quanzhou, Lingui, Yangshuo,
Pingle, Lipu, Longsheng, Yongfu, Gongcheng, Ziyuan,
Guanyang 12 counties.
Undeniably, to live in Guilln is to be
a lover of mountains and rivers. Which is not to say
that all the city residents spend this leisure hours
gallivanting among the hills and forests of the high
The establishment of the new city, approved
by the State Council in 1999, will further to strengthen
Guilin's status as a tourist attraction, and promote'
construction and economic development in the whole area.
The new government gives top priority to tourism and
make better use of rich resources to develop its economy.
The expansion provides better opportunity for the city
to optimize tourism structure and improve tourism services.
Guilin, one of China's most popular scenic
cities, played host to 10.97 million tourists in 2002,
up 8.7 per cent from 2001. With a history of more then
2,000 years, Guilin is renowned for its green mountains,
clear water and strangely shaped rock formations.
Most of the sights in Guilin are scenic.
Although the mountains are the usual peaked mountains,
they are rounded at the top and there are tons of them,
very picturesque. They look almost fake and the ones
in the background fade to grey more than the nearer,
darker ones. A popular Chinese saying goes: The scenery
in Gui[in is the finest, but Yangshuo's is still better.
The well known poet Hah Yu (768-820) in the Tang Dynasty
(618-907) described Guilin's landscape: "The river forms
a green gauze belt, the mountains are like blue jade
hairpins. "The river resembles a green ribbon, while
the hills are emerald hairpins."
About 30 ethnic groups like Zhuang,
in the city. Gui[in is reputed as a city with "the most
beautiful hills and rivers on earth. Its fantastic scenery
and cultural heritage attract millions of tourists each
year from both home and abroad.
It is said that since ancient times the
landscape of Guilin has been second to none under Heaven
(the scenery in Guilin is the best under Heaven). Great
poet Fan Chengda (1126-1193) of the Southern Song Dynasty
(1127-1279) said, " The strange sight of Gui Mountain
should be ranked first under Heaven. "Li Zengbo of the
Southern Song Dynasty acclaimed," The mountains and
streams of Guilin ave second to none under Heaven. "Till
the Qing Dynasty when poets changed the word" stream
"into" waters, "hence the popular saying:" The mountains
and waters of Guilin are second to nolle under Heaven,
"or rather," The landscape of Guilin is second to none
under Heaven.' It is said that Guilin is unique in four
aspects : verdant mountains (enchanting hills) , lovely
waters (limpid water) , strange eaves (fantastic caverns)
, and charming rocks (wonderful rocks) , and in addition
there are four excellent views: deep ponds , dangerous
shoals , flowing springs , and torrential waterfalls
. It takes years to appreciate each of these features.
Besides the four uniquenesses and the four excellences,
the four seasons should also be taken into consideration.
The landscape in Gui[in changes in four seasons.
The city boasts 9 international exhibition
centres, 34 universities and institutlons and a high-tech