Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Diecai Hill in Guilin: Signs, Sliding, Critters, Caves, Refreshments, and Views

people taking photographs on Bright Moon Peak at Diecai HIll (叠彩山) in Guilin
One of the popular locations for enjoying the view and taking some photos at Diecai Hill

For some tourists, Guilin is just a city to fly into so they can reach less developed regions nearby with incredible natural scenery. However, urban scenes surrounding karst topography make central Guilin very special in its own way and are a reason not to skip out on spending some time there. Solitary Beauty Peak is often claimed to be the #1 peak for a great view. The ranking presumably plays a roll in its high ticket price of 120 yuan (about U.S. $17.70), which also includes the adjacent Jingjiang Prince City. But nearby Diecai Hill (叠彩山) is one of my personal top choices. Not only does it have more to explore and offer a greater variety of views, but at 32 yuan (about U.S. $4.70) it costs quite a bit less.

Before sharing some of the excellent views available from the tallest two peaks at Diecai Hill, I will highlight a few other aspects of the park I noticed during a late afternoon visit not long ago.


One sign at an entrance reminds people, if they bother to read it, that drunk visitors are not welcome. So save indulging in the local sweet osmanthus wine and Sanhua baijiu for another time.

sign warning "Drunken visitors are not allowed up to the hill."

Of course, all of the signs in the park use Chinese. English typically appears as well. Indicative of Guilin's status as a tourist destination, other languages sometime appear as well. Some of the directional signs went with an impressive five languages — Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, and German.

directional signs with locations written in five languages

Falling rocks are apparently a problem in the park. In some sections, signs point towards an area of safety.

Sign with a falling rocks warning and directions to a "haven"

In other places, there is no haven nearby, so instead the recommendation is to keep on moving.

sign with "Warning falling rocks" and "No stopping"

Heeding this advice, some people may be tempted to stride. They will be discouraged from that too.

"no striding" sign

Although this translation is somewhat common in China, the message is probably lost on many who can only read the English. Basically, this is a "don't cross over" sign, which makes sense giving the steep drop on the other side.

Sometimes there aren't even rails blocking one from a disastrous fall. In this case, there may be a sign with a message clear in both Chinese and English, though the potential danger is hard to miss regardless.

"no climbing" and "warning drop down" sign

Those thinking about a touhua or two on the hill will be disappointed. There is a sign warning against it.

sign with "Touhua is prohibited, the consequences of the consequences"

For those thinking "what is touhua?", this is another sign with translation issues. Presumably "touhua" is the result of a translator giving up and going with the pinyin version of the Chinese — not particularly useful for English readers. In this case the sign discourages people from trying to ride a slide for free, presumably by climbing up from the bottom. "The consequence of the consequences“ sounds deep, but I would probably go with something in the spirit of "break the rule at your own risk".

The Good Luck Slide

The touhua sign is near the bottom of the the Good Luck Slide (also called the Good Luck Chute depending on the sign), which offers a quick way to descend Bright Moon Peak, one of the two highest points in the park.

bottom of the Good Luck Slide at Diecai Hill

The view from slide is blocked, which would seem to take away much of the enjoyment of sliding down a hill with much greenery and other sights.

Good Luck Slide

Near the top of Bright Moon Peak is the entrance to the Good Luck Slide.

entrance to the Good Luck Slide

looking down the Good Luck Slide

I didn't take it for three reasons. One, as mentioned before, the side views are blocked. Two, there are two routes to walk down. I had walked up one of them and wanted to try the other going down. Three, the slide costs 20 yuan per person, which seemed a bit overpriced. But there's a possible away around that. On this day as the slide was being closed around 6 p.m., several people were able to score rides for just 10 yuan each. After tying on a sliding apron and putting on some slide gloves, they headed down. I never saw them again.


I don't have any photos of mosquitos, but I left with plenty of signs of their presence. They were most a problem when I stopped at the edge of a wooded area. And really, I shouldn't have stopped there because of the whole falling rocks thing. Anyway, some mosquito repellent worked well at stopping the onslaught.

The one insect I photographed doesn't suck people's blood as far as I know, which is a good thing — although I am biased in this regard.

a nifty bug of some sort

Cool bug.

Two Caves

Windy Cave (风洞) offers a path to reach the top of Bright Moon Peak.

Windy Cave at Diecai Hill

Inside the entrance of the cave on the other side, one can pay their respects to Budai.

Budai in the Windy Cave

Crane Cave (仙鹤洞) fittingly cuts through Crane Peak — the other high point in the park. Although it is not possible to exit the one side (at least I wouldn't advise it), the view is worth a look.

looking out of Crave Cave

view from Crane Cave


After reaching the top of Bright Moon Peak one can take a break at a refreshment stand with seating options nearby.

refreshment stand and pagoda on top of Bright Moon Peak

Very exciting.

OK, more than signs, slides, bugs, caves, and refreshments, the main draw to Diecai Hill are the views so . . .

View from Bright Moon Peak

Bright Moon Peak doesn't disappoint and offers a view of Crane Peak — the closest peak in the next photo, just left of center.

view from Bright Moon Peak at Diecai Hill

Crane Peak is on the far left side of the next photo. The arching bridge and pagoda at ground level are attractions at Mulong Lake. That will set you back 70 yuan to visit. Or you can just enjoy the view of them from here.

view of Mulong Lake from Bright Moon Peak at Diecai Hill

The next few photos capture the view moving further around in a clockwise direction.

view from Bright Moon Peak at Diecai Hill

view from Bright Moon Peak at Diecai Hill

view from Bright Moon Peak at Diecai Hill

view from Bright Moon Peak at Diecai Hill

view from Bright Moon Peak at Diecai Hill
Hills at Seven Stars Park in the background and Fubo Hill closer on the right ride

view from Bright Moon Peak at Diecai Hill
Fubo Hill on the far left and Solitary Beauty Peak on the right

The view from Crane Peak

Crane Peak is worth a hike as well. From there you can look back at Bright Moon Peak.

view of Bright Moon Peak from Crane Peak at Diecai Hill

There is also much else to point out.

boy looking towards where a man is pointing while standing at the top of Crane Peak at Diecai HIll

Below are a set of three photos capturing views moving around in a clockwise direction.

view from Crane Peak at Diecai Hill

view from Crane Peak at Diecai Hill

view from Crane Peak at Diecai Hill

And finally, Crane Peak has only one path and no slide. But the way down offers a view perfect for ending a visit to the park.

steps down from the top of Crane Peak at Diecai Hill in Guilin

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