Guilin Travel Advice, Information and Directory
|Health Care||Accessing Money|
|Book Shops||Visa Extensions|
|Internet Access||Postal Services|
|Phone Services||Online Resources|
|Tourist Information Centers|
Health, Doctors and Pharmacies in Guilin
There are plenty of pharmacies around Guilin and there shouldn’t be any trouble finding one (although communication at pharmacies can be difficult).
If you need just basic medical attention your best bet is to try one of the major hotels. The Lijiang Waterfall Hotel has a 24-hour medical clinic, which non-guests are able to use. Otherwise you can also find English-speaking staff at the reasonably centrally located Guilin People’s Hospital. This should be your first stop in emergencies.
Guilin People’s Hospital
Address: 70 Wenming Lu
Tel: (0773) 282 9065
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去人民医院，谢谢。地址：文明路70号。
Accessing Money in Guilin
ATMs that accept foreign cards are plentiful in Guilin and ATMs almost always have a choice between English or Chinese operating language. Occasionally you will encounter an ATM that doesn’t accept foreign cards, but you can always rely on Bank of China or ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) ATMs which are common enough. Just look for the logo of your particular card (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, etc) on the ATM. There are several ATMs around the intersection of Jiefang Lu and Zhongshan Lu.
The Bank of China can always exchange money. The main branch is at #2 Zhongshan Zhong Lu (near the intersection with Nanhuan Lu. There are ICBC branches with 24 hour ATMs at #86 Zhongshan Nan Lu (on the corner with Zhishan Lu) and #16 Zhongshan Zhong Lu (on the corner with Wenming Lu).
Book Shops in Guilin
There isn’t a lot in the way of English-language reading material on offer in Guilin. If you’re desperate for any books, you’re best off checking out the city’s youth hostels or Rosemary Cafe (1-1 Yiren Lu). Some shops on and around Zhengyang Pedestrian Street sell the odd book or maps of the city. You can also try the Xinhua Bookstore which will have some maps if nothing else.
Visa Extensions in Guilin
The Public Security Bureau that handles visa extensions in Guilin is at #16 Shijiayuan Lu, south off Longyin Lu on the east side of the Li River (Longyin Lu forms the southern border of Seven Star Park).
Tel: (0773) 582 9930. Open: Mon-Fri 9:00-12:00, 15:00-18:00.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去施家园路16号，谢谢。
Internet Access in Guilin
All hotels and hostels in Guilin have some form of internet access. Almost all hotels of 3 star or higher classification have in-room internet access, which can be used if you’re traveling with a laptop. Many hotels provide this service for free while others charge anywhere from $5-$15 per day, depending on the hotel. Hotels will also have a business center with internet access as well as a printer.
There are a few internet cafes around central Guilin, however, most have no English signs to identify them. Internet cafe is ‘wangba’ in Chinese and luckily these characters are quite distinctive (网吧). Keep your eye out for those characters when seeking an internet cafe.
Post Offices and Courier Services in Guilin
The Chinese postal service is generally quite efficient. Postcards or letters sent from Guilin will usually take around 7 or 8 working days to reach North America, Europe or Australia. Parcels will take a bit longer. If you need things to be sent urgently then you can use China Post’s EMS service.
There are plenty of post offices around Guilin. The most convenient one is at #43-4 Zhongshan Nan Lu (Open 8am-7pm), right next to Guilin Train Station. China Post also offers an Express Mail Service which is a cheaper alternative to using international courier companies. In addition to postal services it is also possible to make Western Union transfers at this branch.
Phone Calls to and From Guilin
The international phone code of China is “86” and the area code of Guilin is “0773”.
If you call to Guilin from abroad, you should dial the international access number (usually 00 or “+”), then the code for China “86”, then the code for Guilin without the ‘0’ (773), and then the 7-digit city number.
If you call to Guilin from inside China, then dial the full Guilin code (0773), and then the 7-digit city number.
If you dial a Guilin number inside Guilin, just dial the 7-digit number, without any prefixes. Note that if you call a Guilin landline from a mobile phone while in Guilin, you should include the ‘0773’ prefix.
For international calls, IP (Internet Phone) international calling cards can be bought at many small shops, newsstands and hotels in Guilin. Just look for a sign saying “IP”. A card with ¥100 credit actually sells for about ¥35 (some vendors will try to charge you ¥40 or even more). Make sure it says “IDD” (international direct dialing) on the back and not “DDD”. Call rates vary depending on what country you’re calling, but a card with ¥100 credit will generally buy you about 30 minutes talking time when calling to the US, Europe or Australia.
If you plan to stay in Guilin for a longer period it is reasonably cheap to buy a SIM card with one of the local operators: China Mobile or China Unicom. The cheapest SIM card usually costs around ¥100-120 and generally includes ¥50 credit. You also pay more depending on how ‘lucky’ your phone number is. Average call charges are ¥0.6 per minute and ¥0.15 per SMS. Once you move outside the city where you bought the card you have to pay slightly higher ‘internal roaming’ charges.
Tourist Information Centers in Guilin
There’s a Tourist Information Center in the arrivals hall of Guilin Liangjiang Airport and another one right by the Ancient South Gate on Rong Hu (lake) in central Guilin. The latter outlet has some ordinary bilingual maps of Guilin for sale. Unfortunately, the staff at the Guilin Tourist Information Center are more focused on selling you tours rather than giving out helpful advice. If you really push, they might be able to provide some useful information – even for free!
Guilin Online Resources
Most online information about Guilin comes courtesy of various travel agencies and is therefore largely self-interested. Guilin’s government website currently has no English translation.
Guilin Tourist: The official website of the Guilin Tourism Information Center is quite poor (both in content and design), but does have bits and pieces of useful information.