Guilin is a small city situated on the west bank of the Li River in China. Nicknamed “the forest of sweet osmanthus” due to the number of osmanthus trees in the city, Guilin is surrounded by a spectacular landscape, with rain and water producing the karst topography of oddly shaped hills of limestone and dolomite, and the underground rivers and caves. The famous Elephant Trunk Hill, with its large natural arch forming the shape of an elephant drinking from the river, is situated at the point where the Peach Blossom River joins the Li River, and the limestone Reed Flute Cave, with its impressive stalactite formations, are popular features in Guilin. The Guangxi Normal University of Guilin is housed in the former Jing-Jiang Princes City, and well worth visiting as well. Although buses operate throughout the city, cycling is the best mode of transport. By registering with InterNations, the exclusive online community of global expatriates, contact can be made via the online forums with expats of a similar professional standing to arrange social gatherings in Guilin.
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Guilin Llangjiang International Airport serves major cities throughout China, and is some seventeen miles from the city. A shuttle bus operates between the city and airport, while trains to Guilin operate on the Hunan to Guangxi line. Two stations in Guilin (North and South) provide connections to all major cities, with the South station in the main downtown area of Guilin. Long distance buses operate from the bus station in Guilin, and within the city buses are plentiful. To have no problems getting around, any expatriate moving to Guilin will need to learn Chinese, for example, by enrolling with the local, American-run Chinese Language Institute. Hotel accommodation is plentiful as the city is a major tourist destination, but renting, which requires a minimum six month contract, or buying a house, is cheaper. Members of the currently still small expat population mainly live in the San Li Dian area of Guilin. When moving to Guilin, be aware that foreign driving licenses are not valid in China, so having contact with trusted members of the InterNations community living in China and even Guilin can help you prepare for the theoretical test and produce the necessary documentation. For specific advice on moving to Guilin, expats may network with others who have experience of relocating to China for useful tips and guidance. Our members are willing to network and offer friendship and support to expatriates moving to Guilin. General information on the relocation process worldwide may furthermore be found in our Expat Magazine which contains a wealth of topics of relevance to expats undergoing relocation.
Although Guilin is a major tourist destination, the city had undergone rapid industrialization from the 1950s onwards. The high-tech Guilin Industrial Development Zone was established in the late 1980s, with leading international companies in information technology, bio-pharmaceuticals and environmental protection situated in Guilin. Major industries in Guilin also include engineering, machinery and transport production, food processing and agriculture. The city has five universities: Technical, Medical, Electronic Technology, Aerospace and the ‘Normal’ university. Expats working in Guilin may access the InterNations portal to locate fellow expatriates in the city. Our online community is composed of like-minded individuals who are willing to share their leisure time in the company of expatriates and global minds alike. Expats living in Guilin may organize social events for themselves, visiting the many tourist hot spots, cruising on the Li River, hiking in the surrounding countryside or exploring the many brightly-lit pagodas in Guilin.