Guilin (Chinese: 桂林; pinyin: Guìlín; Zhuang: Gveilinz) is a prefecture-level city in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of far southern China, sitting on the west bank of the Li River. Its name means “forest of Sweet Osmanthus“, owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. The city has long been renowned for its unique scenery. (Wikipedia)
Guilin is world famous for its amazing scenery, especially its karst mountains. The city of Guilin has five famous mountains that stand out in not only their beauty, but also their historic significance. The most famous is Elephant Trunk Hill. It is located where the Peach Blossom River empties into the Li River and is the symbol of Guilin. Its shape resembles an elephant drinking from the river.
On the top of Elephant Trunk Hill sits a pagoda named Puxian Pagoda. It is 14-meter-high, and was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The pagoda looks like the hilt of a sword sticking out of the back of the elephant. There is a ancient legend surrounding it. In the ancient past, the Emperor of Heaven set out to conquer Earth commanding his troops from the back of the elephant. The elephant worked so hard to provide transportation for the Emperor of Heaven, that it became seriously ill. The local farmers nursed it back to health. The elephant being extremely grateful, decided to desert the emperor and stay on earth to help the farmers plow their fields during a time of famine. The Emperor of Heaven was so angry, that he thrust his sword into the elephant’s back and turned the elephant into the rocky hill. The pagoda erected on top of the hill stands for the hilt of the sword. Now this kindly elephant can forever stay with the friendly people of Guilin, guarding the city and welcoming guests from all over the world to this beautiful city. (Taken from China Odyssey Tours)