How to travel to Zhangjiajie from Guilin

Zhangjiajie and Guilin are both listed into China’s top 10 most beautiful natural places. A lot of travelers would consider the differences between Zhangjiajie and Guilin, and try to figure out which is the better to visit. Actually, each one has its own feature; why not to cover them both? We are here to offer the well-arranged Guilin Zhangjiajie Tours for you. And aslo, the tour program is flexible and can be customized to suit your need.

Zhangjiajie Introduction

If you have seen James Cameron epic movie “Avatar”, you will remember those awe-inspiring scenes from the planet “Pandora” with all those floating mountains. Those ‘Avatar’ mountains are not really floating, but they exist in Zhangjiajie city, south China’s Hunan province. Quartz sandstone peak forest and karst caves constitute the distinctive landscape feature of Zhangjiajie, which are rare in the world. The filmmakes took inspiration from the towering columns of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park – a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1992.

Avatar Mountains within Zhangjiajie Natinal Forest Park, China

And also, there is a must-vist tourist site – Tianmen Mountain when you travel in Zhangjiajie. Within, the world’s longest cableway, 99 Bend’s mountain road, cliff-hanging walkway, glass skywalk, and amazing Tianmen Cave all make it very popular among tourists. Even in the same city, the scenery is quite different from the national park.

Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie, China

How to get to Zhangjiajie from Guilin

Zhangjaijie is not easily accessible from Guilin, for there is no direct flight, even no direct bus or trains between the two cities.

By Flight
The direct flight service – linking the two popular tourist cities Guilin and Zhangjiajie – has been launched by Okay Airways on May 15, 2015, which is currently the only Guilin-Zhanjiajie route. Please check Direct flight route Guilin – Zhangjiajie launched from May 15, 2015

By Train
There is no direct train between Guilin and Zhangjiajie, but you can change trains or buses via other cities, like Liuzhou or Changsha.

Option 1
One can take a bullet train from Guilin to get to Liuzhou first, then transfer to a overnight train with sleeping berth to Zhangjiajie at Liuzhou Railway Station. Within the same railway station, it will be not difficult to change a train in Liuzhou.
Guilin – Liuzhou: There are 28 bullet trains between Guilin and Liuzhou every day, with a travel time of about 1 hour. It cost RMB 58 yuan for first-class seat, and RMB 45 yuan for second-class seat.
Liuzhou – Zhangjiajie: There are 2 daily trains from Liuzhou to Zhangjiajie, It takes about 11.5 hours, and cost RMB 152/163 yuan for Hard Sleeper. Both of them leaving for Zhanajiajie from Liuzhou are overnight trains, so you can sleep on the train and when you wake up, you will arrive in Zhangjiajie.

If you want to visit Fenghuang Ancient Town, you can get off the train at Jishou Railway Station; and then, change a bus to reach there for around 80 minuters. If not, another 2-hour ride on the same train will take you from Jishou to Zhangjiajie.

Option 2
One can take a high-speed train from Guilin to Changsha South Railway Station, then transfer to a coach or train from Changsha to Zhangjiajie.
Guilin – Changsha: There are 11 bullet trains operating between Guilin and Changsha, with a travel time of 3.5 hours. It costs RMB 182 yuan for second-class seat, and RMB 250 yuan for first-class-seat.
Changsha – Zhangjiajie: After your arrival at Changsha South Railway Station, take subway line 2 to Wangchengpo Station and walk about 170 meters to Changsha West Bus Station. There are many buses running between Changsha and Zhangjiajie every day from 08:00 to 19:00. It takes about four hours and costs 71–121 yuan.

By Bus
Zhangjiajie is about 829 kilometers from Guilin by expressway, so taking a bus is not recommended for such a journey.

Edible flower food with Sweet Osmanthus in Guilin

Guilin literally means “forest of Sweet Osmanthus” in Chinese; Gui 桂 – sweet osmanthus, and Lin 林 = forest. The evergreen Osmanthus trees grows everywhere in and around the city. Autumn is the season of the sweet osmanthus. The blossoms grow in small bunches and give off a rich, heady perfume. Naturally, the locals have a passion for sweet osmanthus, and its flowers have been widely used into the cooking.

Sweet Osmanthus - the city flower of Guilin,China

Osmanthus flower

Chinese people were cooking with flowers over 2,000 years ago. Recipes that incorporate edible flowers can be date throughout various dynasties. Flowers has been widely as ingredients, seasoning and garnish in Chinese food. Various flower cuisines were invented, including cakes, soups and dishes. Actually, flowers were included in the diet not only for their attractive colors and fragrances, but have medicinal benefits as dietary therapy.

Osmanthus flower, called guihua 桂花 in Chinese, has a uniquely sweet and buttery fragrance. There are many ways to use the tiny golden-yellow osmanthus flowers in food, drinks or even skincare. After harvested and dried, they can used to produce osmanthus-scented tea, wine, cakes, wine, sauces amd even dishes.

Osmanthus Tea – (guìhuāchá, 桂花茶)

Osmanthus tea

The osmanthus flowers are used as an infusion on their own after being properly dried. Also, they can be infused with black, green or oolong tea leaves to creat a scentd tea. The easiest way to make this tea is to simply pour hot water over the flowers which are held in some kind of tea strainer. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) claims that a cup of osmanthus tea each day can improve complexion.

Osmanthus Rice Cake – (guìhuāGāo, 桂花糕)

Osmanthus Tea,Guilin China speciality

Osmanthus rice cakes

Guilin has a very delicate candy called Osmanthus rice cakes. They are made with sugar, osmanthus and glutinous rice flour. These cakes are steamed over a hot fire and, when take out, ready to eat. The overall taste of this sweet dessert is fragrant with the infused scent of osmanthus.

Osmanthus Wine 桂花酒 – (guìhuāJiu, 桂花酒)

Osmanthus wine

Osmanthus flowers can be used to flavor rice wine, an old tradition for centuries. In Guilin, the Sanhua alcohol is infused with osmanthus to make an aromatic wine – Osmanthus Wine. It has a sweet and sour taste. For its lightness and skincare, Osmanthus Wine often called “lady’s wine”.

Common dishes get official English names in Guilin

Get lost in the English name of Chinese dishes on the menu, like “Red burned lion head”, when you dine in some Chinese restaurant?

Common Chinese cuisines get official English names in Guilin,China

Strange English name for Chinese dish on menu

In Guilin, plenty of restaurants fix their menus up with pictures, and others translate the names of dishes into English. However, too-literal English translations seen on many Chinese menus has caused a lot of confusion, just like the picture above shows.

Chinese dish names are infused with its culinary culture, and expressing them in English is not always so easy. Some dishes were translated wholly into English, whereas certain dishes or ingredients unique to China kept the original name but in romanized pinyin.

A list of English translation for some common dishes has been released by administration section to serves as a guideline to the local restaurants. Overall, the English names of the dishes have been translated by ingredients, cooking methods, tastes, name of a person or a place.

The below listed the suggested English name of Guilin dishes name.

Cold dishes

拌菠菜  spinach in Sauce
拌茄泥  mashed eggplant with garlic
凉拌黄瓜 shredded cucumber with sauce
什锦泡菜  assorted pickles
西芹腐竹 celery with beancurd sticks
糖拌西红柿  tomato slices with sugar
香椿豆腐  tofu with Chinese toon
炸花生米  deep-fried peanuts
煮花生  boiled unshelled peanuts
拌黑木耳  black fungus in Sauce
拌凉粉  mixed jelly
素鸭  vegetarian duck
卤水豆腐  marinated tofu with sauce
拌豆腐丝  shredded tofu with Sauce
拌萝卜丝  mixed shredded turnip
凉拌木耳  Black Fungus in Sauce
凉拌红薯粉   Sweet Potato Noodles in Sauce
山水西瓜盅   Landscape Watermelon Bowl
象山映月(象形拼盘) Moon Reflection near the Elephant Hill (Meat Slices Combination in Elephant shape)
酱猪蹄  pettitoes in brown sauce
叉烧肉  Chinese BBQ pork meat
卤猪舌  marinated pig tongue
糖醋排骨  sweet and sour pork ribs
五香酱牛肉  multi-spiced beef
炸羊肉串  fried lamb kebabs
泡椒凤爪  chicken feet with pickled peppers
酱鸭  marinated duck
白切鸡  boiled chicken slices
龙胜鱼生  Longsheng Yusheng(thinly-sliced raw Fish, Longsheng Style)
脆皮白切鸡 Crispy Boiled Chicken
椿记烧鹅 Chunji Roasted Goose

Hot Dishes

红烧茄子  braised eggplant
扒香菇油菜  sautéed rape with black mushrooms
干煸豆角  fried green beans with Chinese pepper
蚝油生菜  sautéed lettuce with oyster sauce
虎皮尖椒  pan-seared green chili
萝卜干炒腊肉  sautéed preserved pork with dried turnip
清炒时蔬  sautéed vegetables
松仁玉米  sautéed sweet corn with pine nuts
西红柿炒蛋  scrambled eggs with tomato
西芹百合  sautéed lily bulbs and celery
醋溜土豆丝  vinegar potato wire
醋溜白菜  vinegar Chinese cabbage
锅塌豆腐  tofu omelet
家常豆腐  home-made sautéed tofu
麻婆豆腐  mapo tofu(sauteed tofu in hot and spicy sauce)
干锅茶树菇  griddled tea plant mushrooms
蒜茸炒柳叶菜花   Sautéed Willow Cauliflower with Chopped Garlic
山水豆腐   Steamed Tofu
辣椒煸炒油渣  Sautéed Fat Pork with Chili
东坡肘子  Dongpo pig elbow
梅菜扣肉  braised pork with mustard greens
回锅肉  twice-cooked pork slices
糖醋里脊  sweet and sour pork tenderloin
鱼香肉丝  yuxiang shredded pork (sauteed in spicy garlic sauce)
红烧肉  pork braised
黑椒牛排  steak with black pepper
萝卜炖牛肉  stewed beef with radish
水煮牛肉  sliced beef in chili oil
葱爆羊肉  quick-fried sliced lamb with scallion
孜然羊肉  fried lamb with cumin
酥炸欢喜  Deep-Fried Huanxi(Fried Pork Rolls)
芋茸香酥鸭  Deep-Fried Boneless Duck with Taro Puree
芋茸香酥鸭  Deep-Fried Boneless Duck with Taro Puree
荷叶八宝鸭  Babao Duck in Lotus Leaf(Duck Stuffed with Various Nuts and Seeds and Wrapped in the Lotus Leaf)
酸笋爆炒二股肠   Stir-Fried Pork Intestine with Sour Bamboo Shoots
酸豆角炒干鱼仔   Sautéed Small Dried Fish with Sour Beans
全州红烧圆蹄   Braised Pork Hock, Quanzhou Style
阳朔田螺酿   Yangshuo Stuffed Escargots
阳朔啤酒鱼   Yangshuo Beer Fish
罗汉果敦子肉   Braised Pork Belly with Luohanguo
全州醋血鸭   Shelduck in vinegar blood, Quanzhou Style
酸辣禾花鱼   Hot and Sour Grain Flower Fish
兴安雷公鸭   Xing’an Roasted Duck
龙胜酸鸡   Longsheng Sour Chicken
平乐生菜包   Meatballs Wrapped in Lettuce leaves,Pingle Style
平乐玻璃扣  Pingle Braised Pork Slices
平乐十八酿   Pingle Assorted Vegetables with Pork Stuffing
蕨菜炒烟腊肉   Sautéed Smoked Preserved Pork with Fiddleheads
山野小笋煎蛋   Fried Eggs with Bamboo Shoots
双冬烧竹狸   Braised Rhizomys with Bamboo Shoots and Black Mushrooms
荔浦芋扣肉  Steamed Sliced Pork with Lipu Taro
桂林竹板鱼   Guilin Lijiang Fish in Bamboo Tubes
香葱炒漓江虾   Sautéed Lijiang Shrimps with Scallion
腊味蒸芋头丝   Steamed Preserved Pork with Shredded Taro
豆豉辣椒锅烧  Deep-Fried Pork with Chili and Black Bean Sauce
马蹄炒鸡球   Sautéed Chicken Balls with Water Chestnuts
酸萝卜炒双脆   Sautéed Pork Tripe Shreds and Chicken Gizzards with Sour Turnips
豉汁排骨蒸粉   Steamed Rice Rolls with Pork Ribs in Black Bean Sauce
蒜香排骨   Pork Ribs with Garlic
上汤白花菜  Braised Baihua Vegetable in Broth
糯香排骨   Pork Ribs with Glutinous Rice
清蒸旧村板鸭   Steamed Salted Duck
香芋粉蒸肉   Steamed Pork and Taro with Rice Flour
清汤禾花鱼   Grain Flower Fish in Consomme
七星伴月(漓江鱼线)  Lijiang Fish Noodles
杨提奇峰(香辣羊蹄)  Lamb Feet in Hot Spicy Sauce
白果老鸭汤    Duck Soup with Ginkgoes
汆汤鸡 Poached Chicken Slices
小鸭渡漓江 Ducklings Crossing Lijiang River (Ducking-shaped Fish Puree in Soup)
蛤蚧炖全鸡 Stewed Whole Chicken with Gecko
白果马蹄肚片汤Pork Tripe Slices Soup with Ginkgoes and Water Chestnuts
三元及第粥 Congee with Pork and Offal
皮蛋瘦肉粥 Minced Pork Congee with Preserved Egg
灵川干锅狗肉Griddle Cooked Dog, Lingchuan Style
干锅啤酒鸭Griddle Cooked Duck with Beer
猪头骨三鲜锅Pig’s Skull with Pork and Offal en Casserole
腊味干锅Griddle Cooked Preserved Pork
斑鱼火锅 Spot Fish Hotpot
三花醉鸡Sanhua Liquor-Soaked Chicken
生焖狗肉 Braised Dog meat
板栗焖鸭 Braised Salted Duck with Chestnuts

Rice, Noodles and Local Snacks

月牙罗汉斋   Mixed Vegetables in Yueyalou Restaurant
桂林米粉 Guilin Rice Noodles
马肉米粉 Horsemeat Rice Noodles
恭城船上糕 Gongcheng Ship Glutinous Rice Cakes
恭城油茶 Gongcheng Oil Tea
阳江炒饭 Yangjiang Fried Rice
桂林马打滚 Guilin Madagun (Glutinous Rice Balls in Mung Bean Flour )
担子米粉 Danzi Rice Noodles
桂林马蹄糕 Guilin Water Chestnut Jelly
三色荔芋糕 Three-colored Lipu Taro Cake
桂林松糕 Guilin Rice Cake
月牙面 Noodles Made in Yueyalou Restaurant
桂林艾叶粑 Guilin Artemisia Argyi Ciba(Glutinous Rice Cake with Chopped Artemisia Argyi)
桂林炒糖粑 Guilin Sauteed Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake
兴安糍粑 Xing’an Ciba (Glutinous Rice Cake)
豆蓉糯米饭 Glutinous Rice with Bean Puree
桂花软糕  Osmanthus Rice Cake
桂林板栗粽 Guinlin Chestnut Zongzi (Boiled Glutinous Rice and Chestnut Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves)

Guilin karst added on UNESCO World Heritage list

The second phase of South China Karst has just been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list on June 23.2014; and Guilin karst was included along with Huanjiang in Guangxi, Shibing cluster in Guizhou, and Jinfoshan cluster in Chongqing.

Karst hills in Guilin,China

Karst hills along the Li River in Guilin, China

The newly-added South China karst areas cover an extension of the first project, which was listed as a natural World Heritage site in 2007. Experts believe that this year’s extension project makes the listing more complete. The two parts group the world’s most unique karst landforms, which evolved from highlands to flatter lowlands,

Karst topography is a distinctive landscape formed from the dissolution of layers of soluble bedrock, such as limestone, dolomite and gypsum. South China has the world’s most diverse karst landforms. Now, the serial sites of South China karst, with an area of 176, 228 hectares, spread over the provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Yunnan and Chongqing.

Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo,China

Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo,China

The region of Guilin in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is world-renowned for the stunningly karst landcape. Astounding karst hills topped with lush greenery are typical. The city of Guilin lies amidst limestone towers and cones of different height and shape, on the alluvial plain of the Li River. Surprisingly, there is dramatic change in the karst landscape. A four-hour boat trip down the river from Guilin to Yangshuo allows visitors to observe changing scenery of ‘Fenglin’ – ‘peak forest’ and ‘Fengcong’ – ‘peak cluster’.

Red clothes of Yao minority in Longsheng

During a Longsheng trip, the long-haired Yao women with red clothing will light up your eyes. They refer to a sub-group of the Yao ethnic minority in Longsheng, and have been named “Hong Yao” beacuse the women wear red clothes. Typically, a national costume of Red Yao features bright red clothing and dark blue knee length skirts. Red Yao women are expert in weaving, dyeing and embroidery. Then, how do they hand-make their clothing?

Red clothes of Yao minority in longsheng,Guilin

Red clothes of Yao minority in longsheng,Guilin

The red clothes of the Hong Yao are either woven or embroidered. The woven clothes are sewn with old-styled looms – white threads as warps and red threads as wefts. Many decorative designs can be seen on the clothes, which is believed to carry some good blessings.

Yao women were weaving on the looms

Yao women were weaving on the looms

Certainly, the embroidery of their clothing is predominantly colored in red. Red Yao women have the white hand-woven cloth dyed dark blue or black with indigo plant, and then embroidered with multi-colored silk threads – mostly red. There are a wide range of embroidered designs, and the wedding dresses are always elaborately decorated with lotuses and butterflies.

dyeing cloth in Longsheng

Yao women were dyeing cloth in a vat.

embroidery of Yao minority in Longsheng

embroidery of Yao minority in Longsheng

Among Longji Rice Terraces area, most of Red Yao people live in Dazhai Village and Huangluo Yao Village. Every year, on the 6th day of the 6th lunar month, people gather together to celebrate the annual Hongyi (Red Clothes) Festival. To them, it is a most important festival just after the Red Yao’s New Year. Moreover, Red Yao girls will hang out all the clothes to expose in the sunshine. Wander around in a Yao village, and you will be standing in a red ocean.

Red Clothes Festival in Longsheng,Guilin

Red Clothes Festival in Longsheng,Guilin

In 2014, do not miss such a once-a-year chance to attend the grand event on July 2! For this 2-day Longji Rice Terraces Tour, please view http://www.guilinholiday.com/tour-v353-2-day-longji-rice-terraces-tour.

Chinese Lunar Year of the Horse 2014

Whenever Chinese lunar New Year is mentioned, the first thing that comes to the minds of most people is, “What year is this?” According to Chinese Zodiac Calendar, 2014 is considered as the Year of the Horse which begins on January 31, 2014, and ends on February 18, 2015.

Paper cutting welcomes the year of the Horse 2014.

Paper cutting welcomes the year of the Horse 2014.

The Chinese zodiac is represented by 12 animals; and each New Year ushers in a new zodiac animal. The 12-year cycle of animals are, in order, the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Chinese zodiac calendar

Zodiac animals in Chinese lunar calendar

The Horse is the seventh among 12 animal signs which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. In Chinese astrology, Horse year is considered a fortunate year that brings luck and good things. People born in Horse years (2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906) are bright, cheerful, popular, and fun loving.

Autumn harvest of Gongcheng Persimmon Festival 2013

In celebration of autumn harvest, the tenth Gongcheng Persimmon Festival takes place in Gongcheng Yao Autonomous County of southeast Guilin, from October 26 to November 24. 2013, for about one month.

Autumn harvest of Gongcheng Persimmon,Guilin

Girls of the Yao minority were dancing in the persimmon orchard.

During the festival, a wide range of activities themed around “Happy Persimmon Town” includes persimmon-throwing fight, persimmons selection, folk song & dance performance, bonfire night and much more. Hongyan village of Yao ethnic group is the main venue for the event. Thousands of people make their way there especially for the persimmon.

Among the verdant hills and clear waters, Hongyan village can be seen over hundreds of acres of persimmons. In harvest season, the golden color lightens the gates and porches of every family, creating a spectacular scene. With the picturesque landscape and charming Yao customs, the villagers started a ‘joyous farmhouse tour’, which offers tourists accommodation in private homes. Tourists can pick fruit in the garden, fish by the riverside or simply enjoy a cup of special Yao tea.

Hongyan village of Gongcheng county,Guilin

The idyllic countryside scenery of Hongyan Village, Guilin

Gongcheng county has been awarded the title of “Chinese persimmon town”. The Gongcheng persimmons, are not only sold throughout the country also exported to Southeast Asia, Europe and America. To promote the rural tourism, the annual Gongcheng Persimmon Festival has been countinously held since 2003.