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Guilin: The Forest of Sweet Osmanthus

Guilin is located in the northeast part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, next to the Li River. Its population was established in 214 B.C, with the first emperor of the Qin dynasty, but it was not a municipality until 1940. During the war of resistance against Japan, the scholars gathered here, giving the place the name of “Cultural City.” Its real name derives from the large population of Sweet Osmanthus or “Tea olives” in the city, a tree whose flowers are used to make scented tea.

Due to its subtropical situation, the city of Guilin benefits from a gentle and temperate climate. It has an area of 4,000 square kilometers, of which 54 square kilometers correspond to the urban center with a population of more than 1 million inhabitants. Within the city, you can enjoy of beautiful landscapes such as lakes, rivers, plains, and smooth hills. The Elephant Trunk Hill is one of the most famous ones, located in the banks of the Li River. Its shape mimics the head and trunk of an elephant and it has become one of the landmarks of the city. According to the legend, some countrymen saved an elephant, which belonged to the Celestial Emperor, from dying of the forced labor to which it was subject. The elephant, thankful, decided to stay on earth and help its saviors. The Celestial Emperor got angry and killed the elephant while it was drinking water from the river. When the elephant died, it turned to stone, giving shape to the current hill.

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