August 26, 2009

Guilin is one of China’s best-known cities on account of its beautiful landscale of limestone mountains, likened in a Tang poem to jade hairpins. The city has been popular with sightseers for over 1,000 years, and many famous poets and painters have lived and worked here, celebrating its river and mountain scenery.
Once the capital of Guangxi Province (the capital was moved south to Nanning in 1914), Guilin has always been a prosperous commercial centre, profiting from its proximity to the Ling Canal which links the two major river networks of the Pearl and the Yangzi. This canal was built in the second century BC, during the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China, who used it to link the middle regions of his empire around the Yangzi with the far south. But central government control of Guangxi was only intermittent, and the province remained a frontier region of the Chinese empire until the time of the Tang dynasty (618-907). Many Guangxi people are not ethnic Chinese. Around 35 per cent of the population are Zhuang, the most populous minority group in China. However, the land they occupy covers over 60 per cent of the province, and thus the province has been designated a Zhuang Minority Autonomous Region.
 [Geography] Standing at 109 16’111 30′ east longitude and 24 16~26 24 north latitude in the northeastern of Guangxi Zhang Autonomous Region. The total area is 27809 square km and the city proper occupies 565 square km with 150m mean altitude.
 [Population and Nationality] Total population of Guilin is 4,760,000, in which the city proper is 603,500, living tens of nationalities of Zhuang, Hui, Yao and Dong taking up 8.5%. The population of minority is 686,400.
[Climate] Because of subtropical region, the climate of Guilin is moderate. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 7.9C, July is the hottest with an average temperature of 28C. Yearly average rainfall is 1900mm. It is the best time for travel from April to October.
[River] Li River is the mother river of Guilin, belonging to the Pearl River system, original from Mao’er Mountain of Xing’an, a country of North Guilin. It is 160km long total through Lingchuan, Guilin, Yangshuo and Pingle.
[History] The human lived in this land 30000 years ago. After Qin Shibuang, the first emperor of Qin Dynasty, unified China, a man-made Lingqu Canal connected Li River and Xiang River. In B.C111, Hanwu Emperor began to establish Shi’an county, which capital was set in today’s Guilin. During the later 2000 years, Guilin had been the capital of state, prefecture or county set by each dynastic government. From Song dynasty, Guilin became the center of politics, military, economics and culture of Guangxi.


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