Laozhai Mountain

Laozhai Mountain near Xingping Town of Guilin has an altitude of over 300 meters (984 feet). 1,149 stone steps lead to the top of the mountain, where you can have a bird’s eye view of the whole scenery at the foot of mountain. It is also the best place for you to take panoramic photos of Li River and Xingping Town.

There was no path on Laozhai Mountain until one Japanese person came here and climbed the mountain. He was attracted and impressed by the landscapes on Laozhai Mountain and spent money to construct two pavilions and a path leading to the top, free for all people.

It is easy to find the only entrance of Laozhai Mountain, which has a big sign with the word “Go”. Planted with lush camphor and banyan trees on both sides, the beginning path is smooth. After a while, you can get to a small turnoff. Go straight and you can find Peace Pavilion. Resting in the pavilion, you can appreciate Banyan Pool and the whole Xingping Town at the foot of the mountain. Then, visitors can go back to the crossing and choose the side road leading to the top. From here on, the path, paved with uneven stones, becomes more and more narrow and steep with a width less than half a meter, so you need to be careful of your steps.

When you see an incomplete stone door only allowing one person to pass at a time, you may have finished 2/3 of the whole journey. Walking through the door and turning left, you need to take a flight of iron stairs which is almost vertical with a length of 5-6 meters (5.4-6.5 yards). Then, you can get to Friendship Pavilion, the end of the path.

The Friendship Pavilion built by the Japanese symbols friendship between Japan and China. Visitors can have a broad view in the small pavilion for the hills around are lower than Laozhai Mountain. Viewed from afar, Li River winds through the hills like a jade belt scattered with small boats and villages. The Xingping old town stands silently at the foot of the mountain with crisscross roads, old houses and green fields. In the pavilion, you may feel like lingering in a wonderland. Besides, it is also relaxing for you to sit quietly and feel the cool wind on the top.

However, Friendship Pavilion is not the end of your journey. The lush trees growing beside the pavilion may limit your view. If you want to have a broader view, you need take a risk to climb a pile of stones beside the pavilion. Only when standing on the stones, can you see the big bend of Li River.

It is a great place to appreciate the beautiful sunrise and sunset on the mountain top, especially the sunset. When the sun is disappearing at the end of the day, the far rolling hills are colored in reddish. That’s the famous Xingping sunset pictured by great Chinese painter Xu Beihong in his painting. If you want to appreciate the sunrise, you can live in Laozhai Mountain Hotel opened by the Japanese for the night and get up early next morning to the mountain top.
 

Photography Tips

In the morning, you can take pictures of the beautiful sunrise in the east and misty Li River in the west. In the afternoon, you can get the pictures of the sunset in the west and the fields and Xingping Town in the east.
 

How to Get there

From Guilin

1. Take the Guilin - Guanyan bus, getting off at Guanyan (Crown Cave). It takes about one hour. Walk a few minutes to Guanyan Dock and then take a bamboo raft to Xingping Dock. Laozhai Moutain is about a 10-minute walk from Xingping Dock.
2. Take the Guilin -Yangshuo bus, getting off at Yangdi Crossing. Then, take the Yangshuo -Yangdi Dock bus and get off at Yangdi Dock. The whole journey takes around one and half hours. Next, take a bamboo raft to Xingping Dock.
 

From Yangshuo

1. Take the Yangshuo - Xingping bus and get off at Xingping Town. It takes about 30-50 minutes. Then, take a battery car and get off at Banyan Pool.
2. Take the Yangshuo - Yangdi Dock bus and get off at Yangdi Dock. Then, take a bamboo raft from Yangdi Dock to Xingping Dock. The whole journey takes around one hour.