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Elephant Trunk Hill

Explore an intriguing waterfront rock formation with a fascinating legend and then hike up the hill for panoramic views of Guilin.

Guilin’s iconic Elephant Trunk Hill, at the center of the park of the same name, is a rock arch that resembles an elephant drinking from a river. Spend a few hours exploring the scenic park, with its Ming Dynasty pagoda, colorful sculptures and serene atmosphere.

Take a ride on a rustic bamboo boat on the Li River and glide under what would be the elephant’s trunk. This arch is also known as the Water Moon Cave because when the moon is full its watery reflection appears to be trapped, floating inside the cave. Colored lights illuminate Li River in the evenings, so a wonderful time for a boat ride is after sunset. A daylight visit reveals fascinating historical inscriptions on the cave walls which date back to the 7th century. Many are poetic musings on the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Understand something of what those writers were enthusing about when you hike up the tree-covered Elephant Trunk Hill. The steep ascent is rewarded with panoramic views of Guilin. Atop the hill is the 46-feet (14-meter) tall Puxian Pagoda. It was built during the Ming Dynasty, some time between the late 14th century and the middle of the 17th century.

The pagoda resembles the handle of a sword, stuck in the elephant’s back. One legend about the pagoda says the Emperor of Heaven became enraged when he saw that his celestial elephant preferred the company of humans. He threw his sword into the animal, which turned it into stone.

Elephant sculptures are everywhere in the park. Stone elephants wallow in the water along the banks of the river and the stone bridge to the bamboo-covered Love Island (Aiqing Dao) features carvings of elephants. During your walk through the grounds, you will also come across marble sculptures of lovers and abstract figures between the flowering trees.

Situated in the south of the city, Elephant Trunk Hill Park is reached by several bus routes. The attraction is open from early morning until late evening year-round and there is an admission fee.


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Best Lodging Options Near Elephant Trunk Hill

See all 220 Properties near Elephant Trunk Hill
Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill Hotel
Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill Hotel

Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill Hotel

No. 52 Democratic Road, Xiangshan Dist., Guilin, Guangxi
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Guilin City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park and Elephant Trunk Hill. Seven-Star Park and Mulong Lake are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Holiday Inn Express Guilin City Center NT$1,103
    Holiday Inn Express Guilin City Center

    Holiday Inn Express Guilin City Center

    No 30 Yiren Road, Xiufeng District, Guilin, Guangxi
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Guilin City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Shan Hu, Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park, and Seven-Star Park. Elephant Trunk Hill and Mulong Lake are also within 2 mi (3 km).

      Jolie Vue Boutique Guilin NT$2,009
      Jolie Vue Boutique Guilin

      Jolie Vue Boutique Guilin

      No.8 Binjiang Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin, Guangxi
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Guilin City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park, Shan Hu, and Seven-Star Park. Lijiang Folk Customs Garden and Guilin Chuanshan Scenic Resort are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel NT$1,546
        Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel

        Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel

        No.1 North Shanhu Road, Guilin, Guangxi
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Guilin City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park, Shan Hu, and Elephant Trunk Hill. Seven-Star Park and Mulong Lake are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          Zen Tea House (Seven Stars Park) NT$1,053
          Zen Tea House (Seven Stars Park)

          Zen Tea House (Seven Stars Park)

          No.10 Shi Jia Yuan Road, Qi Xing District, Guilin, Guilin
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Guilin City Centre, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Seven-Star Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Elephant Trunk Hill and Mulong Lake. Wanda Plaza and Reed Flute Cave are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin NT$2,520
            Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin

            Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin

            111 Huan Cheng Bei Er Lu, Guilin, Guangxi
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Guilin hotel is located on the riverwalk, within 2 mi (3 km) of Mulong Lake and Lijiang Folk Customs Garden. Seven-Star Park and Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Riverside Inn Guilin Central NT$901
              Riverside Inn Guilin Central

              Riverside Inn Guilin Central

              No 5 Zhumu Alley, Xiangshan District, Guilin, Guangxi
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Guilin City Centre, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Elephant Trunk Hill and Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park. Seven-Star Park and Reed Flute Cave are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Memory Inn Guilin Central NT$602
                Memory Inn Guilin Central

                Memory Inn Guilin Central

                NO.5 Lingui Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin, Guangxi
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Guilin City Centre, this inn is within 2 mi (3 km) of Elephant Trunk Hill, Seven-Star Park, and Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park. Mulong Lake and Liu Sanjie Landscape Garden of Guilin are also within 2 mi (3 km).