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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.

Want to be sure to make the most of your visit here? We've put together a list of popular activities that will help:

Have a look at our Guilin things to do page to learn about more activities in the area.


Best Lodging Options Near Elephant Trunk Hill

See all 232 Properties near Elephant Trunk Hill
Sheraton Guilin Hotel NT$2,162
Sheraton Guilin Hotel

Sheraton Guilin Hotel

15 Bin Jiang Road, Guilin, Guangxi
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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

    Guilin Go Home Convenience Inn
    Guilin Go Home Convenience Inn

    Guilin Go Home Convenience Inn

    No. 6 Zhongshan Middle Road, Xiangshan, District, Guilin, Guangxi
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Guilin City Centre, this boutique hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Elephant Trunk Hill, Seven-Star Park, and Mulong Lake. Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park and Shan Hu are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Moon Reflection River lnn
      Moon Reflection River lnn

      Moon Reflection River lnn

      No.17 Nanhuan Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin, Guangxi
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Guilin City Centre, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Elephant Trunk Hill and within 3 mi (5 km) of Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park and Seven-Star Park. Shan Hu and Mulong Lake are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Venus Hotel Xiangshan Park 2
        Venus Hotel Xiangshan Park 2

        Venus Hotel Xiangshan Park 2

        No. 22 Nanhuai Road, Guilin, Guangxi
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Guilin City Centre, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Elephant Trunk Hill and within 3 mi (5 km) of Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park and Seven-Star Park. Shan Hu and Guilin Chuanshan Scenic Resort are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          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 2 mi (3 km) of Elephant Trunk Hill, Riyue Shuangta Cultural Park, and Seven-Star Park. Mulong Lake and Liu Sanjie Landscape Garden of Guilin are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Guilin Triple Happiness Youth Hostel
            Guilin Triple Happiness Youth Hostel

            Guilin Triple Happiness Youth Hostel

            Room 4-2, Unit 8, No. 8 Wenming Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin, Guangxi
               
              2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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

              Wandering around Xiangshan Hotel
              Wandering around Xiangshan Hotel

              Wandering around Xiangshan Hotel

              No.1 Jin Tai Building Fu Lou, Zhong Shan Zhong Rd , Xiu Feng District, Guilin, Guangxi
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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

                Memory Inn Guilin Central NT$654
                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. Liu Sanjie Landscape Garden of Guilin and Shan Hu are also within 3 mi (5 km).