Shangri-la Park (Shi Wai Tao Yuan)

Shangri-la Park, 17 kilometers (10 miles) from Yangshuo of Guilin, is a beautiful garden centered on Yanzi Lake and features beautiful landscapes such as a lotus pond, peach trees and Yanzi Cave. Ethnic tribes and minorities in north Guangxi demonstrate their old customs and culture for you here. The park is called Shi Wai Tao Yuan in Chinese, meaning a wonderland with flourishing peach blossoms. The name originated from the wonderful and peaceful land evoked in an essay by Tao Yuanming, a great idyllist of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420).
 

How to Tour in Shangri-la Park

When entering Shangri-la Park, you will see a waterwheel revolving slowly. Passing over Zigzag Bridge, you can board a wooden boat in Dock 1 to start your trip. The boat sails on Yanzi Lake which reflects the long bridge, small halls and towers on the shores.

Soon, the boat arrives at Zhuang Minority Hall. From afar, you can see 20 Zhuang people standing on the platform of the hall. The boys wear Zhuang style jackets and their waists are tied with red silk. They are playing reed-pipes and dancing. The girls, with silver decorations on hair, dress in pink and blue. They are welcoming your visit by singing and dancing.

Then, the boat goes through Yanzi Cave which has a length of 1,000 meters (1,090 yards). The natural cave is dim without any artificial lighting. You may feel cool in the cave. Different-shaped rocks and stalagmites come into view through the beam of an electric torch. After going out of the cave, you will see a wide panorama. On the bank, many peach trees blossom. People from ethnic tribes hold spears in hand and present powerful dances to you.

After a voyage of about half an hour, the boat finally reaches Dock 2 where you can go ashore to visit different buildings of the minority tribes. Going through the gate of Dong village, you may be invited to drink sweet rice wine here. The original and raw cloth on display is woven by local people. Then, Flower Hall and Drum Hall of Dong come into view. Flower Hall is a typical Dong-style living house while Drum Hall is a place where local people gather to make big decisions and hold celebrations.

Walking for a while, you can see Love Tower, decorated with red silk. On the tower stand Zhuang girls. They will throw red silk balls to visitors. You can participate in the activity to catch an exquisite ball as a souvenir. Next to Love Tower, Minority Customs Gallery keeps exquisite handicrafts such as Dong brocades, Zhuang silk balls and Miao batiks.

Passing through Cailing Bridge and the Totem Column of the Dong, you will reach Yuanming Villa. It is constructed in the Suzhou Garden style and north Guangxi residence architecture style. The themes of most buildings here are derived from Tao Yuanming’s lifetime experiences. Five Willows Hall, for example, has five willows in front, just like Tao’s house. South Mountain Hall originated from Tao Yuanming’s famous poem “Drinking”. It describes the peaceful rural life. In the hall, you can see two of four great inventions of ancient China: printing and papermaking. What’s more, you may participate in printing and papermaking activities. Through the windows, you can see the broad landscapes of Shangri-la Park including fields and buildings.

Leaving Yuanming Villa, you will pass the Wind and Rain Bridge, which leads to the exit of the park.
 
Admission Fee CNY 70, includes boat ticket and performances.
Opening Hours 08:30 - 17:00 (ticket sale stops at 16:30)

Attention: Please buy your tickets in the ticket office of Shangri-la Park. Beware of people outside the park that offer to lead you to visit the attraction.
 

How to Get to Shangri-la Park

From Yangshuo
Take the Yangshuo - Guilin bus and get off at Shangri-la Park. It takes about half hour.

From Guilin
Take the Guilin - Yangshuo Local bus, getting off at Shangri-la Park. The trip takes about one and a half hours.

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