Key Words: Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, Ronghu Lake ( Banyan Lake ) and Shanhu Lake ( Fir Lake )
Plan your Guilin tour? The bustling city of Guilin is dotted with pinnacled karst peaks and crisscrossed by so-called “Four Lakes and Two Rivers” – Rong Lake (榕湖), Shan Lake (杉湖), Gui Lake ( 桂湖) and Mulong Lake (木龙湖) as well as Li River (漓江）and Taohua River （桃花江). Some of the sights can be neglected due to the exorbitant entrance tickets or the hordes of domestic tourists.
Walking around Rong Lake (Banyan Lake) 榕湖 and Shan Lake (Chinese Fir Lake) 杉湖 is a smart choice to dive into the natural beauty and mix with the locals. The two lakes are free for people to stroll around their banks. The only remaining old gate ( South Gate ) to the city wall dating back to Song Dynasty ( 960 -1279 ) stands on the northern bank of Rong Lake.
Rong Lake 榕湖 (Banyan Lake)
Rong Lake 榕湖 used to be the moat of the Guilin ancient city in Song Dynasty and later in Ming Dynasty it was expanded into a pretty lake. The west side the lake was named Rong Lake (Banyan Lake) after the old Banyan tree nearby and the east side of the lake was named Shan Lake after the Chinese fir trees around the lake, hence the Rong Lake (Banyan Lake) and Shan Lake (Chinese Fir Lake ).
The only remaining old gate ( South Gate ) to the city wall dating back to Song Dynasty ( 960 -1279 ) stands on the northern bank of Rong Lake. Now the area around Rong Lake 榕湖 is a lively place with much activity which allows you to watch locals singing, dancing, practicing Taiji and calligraphy. The marble stone zigzagging bridge connects the lake and the marble archway bridge spans the lake, typical of a classical gardening and a good place to stroll around. The night view of the lake is stunning with lights on.
Shan Lake 杉湖 (Chinese Fir Lake)
Shan Lake 杉湖 is on the east side of Rong Lake and connected with Li River. The Sun Tower and the Moon Tower are the highlight of the lake. Especially, the two towers will be illuminated charmingly at night. The higher Sun Pagoda is connected by an underwater tunnel to the seven-story octagonal pagoda.
Zhengyang Pedestrian Street正阳步行街
Zhengyang Pedestrian Street is on the northern bank of Shan Lake by the right side of Lijiang Waterfall Hotel. After strolling the two lakes, you may have a leisure walk along the only walking street in Guilin – Zhengyang Pedestrian Street. The over-600 meter street is full of stores, restaurants, bars. You will have the chance to see the local products and souvenirs.
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