The landscape of Guilin has been acclaimed as "the best under heaven." Zhu Shude in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) added "eight scenic spots" to the original "Eight Scenic
Spots" and named them each in four Chinese characters to describe their features. Later local people named another
eight scenic attractions to make them a total of 24.
"Water and Moon at Elephant Hill"
Elephant Hill is also called Elephant-Trunk Hill. It looks like an elephant drinking water at the confluence of the Taohua
River and the Lijiang River. A round open
space between the elephant trunk and its
body is called Water-Moon Cave. At a
clear night the moon seems to fall on the
bottom of the water and at the same time
float on the water surface.
"To Return the Pearl and Try the Sword"
Night at Fubo Mountain
Fubo Mountain to the northeast of downtown Guilin by the Lijiang River has the Xinxi Marquis Temple built during the
Tang Dynasty (618-907). The title of Xinxi Marquis was given to Fubo General Ma Yuan, so the name of the mountain. Half
of the graceful lone peak of the mountain is in the river and the other half is on land. During flood season turbulent currents explode against the mountain rocks. On top of
the mountain one sees an exquisite scenery like a traditional Chinese painting.
Inside the "Return the Pearl" Cave, also known as Fubo Cave in the mountain side, there are the "Try the Sword" Rock, the 1,000-Buddha Crag (Buddha images carved on stone), and many carvings on the cave walls. Among the best carvings is a self-portrait of Mi Fu, a famous painter, and a poem by Fan Dacheng, a famous poet, both from the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
"View the Scenery at Grasping Clouds"
Diecai Mountain in early morning
Nayun (Grasping Clouds) Pavilion on top of Mingyue Peak in
Diecai Park sits on the site of the Mawang Terrace built by Ma Cong, Duke of the State of Chu during the Five-Dynasties
Period (907-960). The Mingyue Peak is the main peak of Diecai Mountain. Those tourists who want to climb up the mountain can pass the Wind Cave and follow a 140-step stone path to the summit. From the Nayun Pavilion one sees the
Lijiang River down below, surrounding mountain peaks and a whole panorama of Guilin.
"Reed Flute and lmmortals' Palace"
A cave is found in the middle of Guangming Mountain in the
northwestern suburbs of Guilin. Legend has it that the
reed growing by the cave's mouth could be made into flutes, thus the Cave's name "Reed Flute Cave." There are more than 70 inscriptions written in ink on the wall inside the cave dating back to A.D.792 during the Tang Dynasty. The horse hoof-shaped cave has many stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone curtains and stone flowers in numerous
forms. The cave is called an "Art Palace of Great Nature."
Crystal Palace in the Reed Flute Cave