Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin

Why is Elephant Trunk Hill So Special?

Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbishan) is the landmark of Guilin. Located in Elephant Hill Scenic Area (Xiangshan Park) at the confluence of Taohua River and Li River, it has been a famous tourism destination since the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). The hill looks like a giant elephant drinking water from the river. There are not only many spectacular natural scenes around the hill, but also some ancient constructions, such as Puxian Pagoda, Yunfeng Temple, and Sarira Dagoba.

Where is Elephant Trunk Hill

Elephant Trunk Mountain, formerly known as Li Mountain, is located at the confluence of taohuajiang and Lijiang River in Guilin City, Guangxi. It is named after a giant elephant standing at the edge of the river, stretching its nose and drinking the sweet spring of Lijiang River. It is known as the symbol of Guilin’s landscape.

Legends of the God Elephant

There is an old story circulating among Guilin people. It is said that Elephant Trunk Mountain is the incarnation of the divine elephant, which was once the mount of the heavenly emperor. It was separated from the emperor in a war and was seriously injured and trapped in Guilin. A local couple saved his life and took good care of him. The animal fell in love with life there and decided not to return to heaven. The emperor presented a pagoda to help it suppress evil and protect the people. Since then, it has never left this place and eventually became elephant trunk mountain. The Puxian Pagoda at the top is said to be a godsend.

Main Attraction of Elephant Trunk Hill

Puxian Pagoda

This brick tower was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to worship Pu Xian, one of the four most famous Bodhisattvas. To the north of the pagoda is a figure engraved with his lines. This tower is located at the top of Elephant Trunk Mountain, which not only conforms to this story, but also to the fact that Pu Xian always appears on elephants.

Yunfeng Temple

Located on the southwest slope of Xiangbi Mountain, Yunfeng Temple is one of the famous ancient temples in Guilin. This was once the residence of Tang Dynasty monk Jian Zhen, who traveled through Japan six times to spread Buddhist teachings and help regulate the behavior of monks.

This scenic spot was the front line of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Uprising (1851-1864) in China’s massive civil war. On the second floor of the temple is an exhibition hall, which reviews this period of history with historical relics such as war flags, weapons and shells. 

Love Island

This magnificent island is located to the north of the mountain in the middle of Lijiang River and is the best place to enjoy the scenery and take photos. From there, you can not only enjoy the scenery nearby, but also enjoy the tunnel mountain and Baota shan in the distance. A cave named Moon Cave on the mountain of the tunnel is like the moon hanging in the sky. Together with the Shuiyue Cave in Xiangbi Mountain, they form a unique landscape of “double moons of Lijiang River”, one on the water and the other in the sky.

Night Show – ‘Legend of Elephant Hill’

This night is another remarkable feature of this scenic spot. Using elephant trunk mountain as a projection screen and using hypermedia, laser, lighting and other high-tech means, Guilin’s beautiful scenery and culture are displayed. The play is divided into four parts: primitive Guilin, mysterious village, phantom theater and legend of the divine image. It depicts the natural landscape, such as the dense banyan forest, the beauty of rivers and mountains, and the living conditions of local ancestors. The last amazing laser show created a completely different mountain view.

Best Time to Travel Elephant Trunk Hill

The best travel time is April to October.

Guilin has a relatively low latitude. Belongs to the subtropical humid monsoon climate. Generally speaking, Guilin has a mild climate with distinct seasons and excellent climatic conditions. The annual average temperature is 19.3℃, which is said to be “less snow in three winters and flowers in four seasons”. When traveling to Guilin, the best season is from April to October each year, during which there will be two golden weeks of “may day” and “November”, which is also the peak period of tourism. Guilin with suitable climate will have many tourists, room reservation and transportation will also enter a climax, and the price will rise compared with usual. therefore, it is better to avoid this time and choose an off-season to travel and appreciate the beauty of the world.

How To Get  There

  • By Bus
    Take bus 2, 16, 23, or Sightseeing Bus 1 and get off at Xiangshan Park Station.

Useful Travel Tips

Entrance Fee CNY 55;
Free for children less than 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).
Opening Hours April to November: 6:30 – 21:30
December to March: 7:00 – 21:30

Nearby Attractions

Recommended Guilin Tour Packages

Edited by Doreen/张洋