Public Transport in Guilin
Getting around Guilin By Taxi
Taxi drivers in Guilin are some of the most unscrupulous in China. It’s almost impossible to find one outside the bus station, train station, a tourist attraction or a major hotel who will use the meter. And, unlike in other cities in China, there is no apparent display in the taxis that tells you how to call in a complaint. But for short trips, the prices they ask are usually only ¥3-¥5 more than you would pay on the meter so it’s not such a big deal. Like elsewhere in China, taxis are still the most convenient way to get around Guilin. Drivers in Guilin sometimes know a little English, but probably only numbers. So it’s best to have your destination written down in Chinese to show to the driver. Make use of our “Show the taxi driver” notes below all places mentioned in our guide. It will make getting around Guilin much easier.
Flagfall in Guilin is ¥7, which covers the first 2km. Each additional kilometer costs ¥1.6, though fares can vary depending on the type of car (the price per km is displayed on the sticker on the taxi’s window). Prices increase slightly at night (after 10pm). There is also a ¥1 fuel surcharge that should be added to the end fare.
Getting Around Guilin By Bus
Guilin is perhaps the only city in China that has English on its bus timetables. If you walk up to any bus stop, you will be able to read through the list of stops of each bus. However, the names might still be meaningless as they will be Chinese words wriiten in pinyin. Nevertheless, it’s commendable that this effort has been made to help foreign tourists.
Less commendable is the bizarre fare of ¥1.2 per trip. Since no change is given, you’ll inevitably pay ¥2 or at least ¥1.5 per journey. Drop the money into the box next to the driver as you board. Note that air-conditioned buses, charging ¥2 per journey, are starting to emerge but are not common. Buses run from around 6am until 9pm.
All buses numbered #50-59 are free. The most useful of these is #58 which stops at Elephant Hill, Seven Star Park, Fubo Hill, Diecai Hill and Reed Flute Cave. Unfortunately it doesn’t run very frequently. Bus #2 stops at the train station, bus station, Elephant Hill, Fubo Hill and Diecai Hill.
Getting Around Guilin By Foot and Bicycle
The fairly compact size of Guilin, and the fact that most of the tourist attractions are around the center of the city, makes getting around by foot a practical option. However, central Guilin isn’t blessed with the same colorful streets and alleys that you see elsewhere in China, meaning that walking around isn’t always very interesting.
Hiring a bicycle (prices start at ¥20 per day) is a good option. Guilin is a cyclist-friendly city and it’s possible to reach even the more distant attractions (such as Reed Flute Cave) by bike.