Elephant Trunk Hill

On August 30, 2011, in Guilin, More Cities, Must-sees, Nature Scenery, by Jack Li

Elephant Trunk Hill, also known as Li Shan, Yi Shan or Chengshui Shan (‘shan’ meaning hill/mountain in Chinese) is located between Peach Blossom River and Lijiang River in Guilin, Guangxi province. Its most common name is the Elephant Hill, as the hill resembles a giant elephant stretching its nose to get water from the river. It is one of the best examples of the landscape of Guilin. The main attractions in the Elephant Trunk Hill area are the Water Moon Cave, the Elephant’s Eye rock, the Puxian Tower, the Hongfeng temple and the exhibition hall of the Taiping revolution site in the temple. Nearby, there is a stupa, marking the location of Kaiyuan Temple, which used to stand there. The water moon cave is located between the elephant trunk and the legs, resembling a bright moon floating on the water. This famous scenery is known as the “water moon of Elephant Hill”. An inspiration for poets and artists for over thousand years, it has been a must-see for visitors to Guilin since Tang Dynasty. The Elephant Trunk Hill is one of the national 4A-level scenic spots. You can take No.2, No.23, No.16, No.57, No.58, and No.88 buses to get there. Covering a total of 118800 square meters, it preserves a rare type of karst topography. There is a stone path leading to the peak of the hill. In the past, the Taiping army used to station there, as the top of the hill is flat. On the eastern side of the peak, there is a brick tower built in Ming Dynasty, known as the Puxian tower. A Puxian Bodhisatva is displayed there. The tower resembles a round bottle or a hilt, which is why it is also called bottle tower or hilt tower.

Elephant Trunk Hill Attractions

Water Moon Cave

Puxian Tower

Elephant’s Eye Rock

Elephant Trunk Hill Story

The recently rebuilt Yunfeng temple is located at the south foot of Elephant Trunk Hill. In the temple, the historical relics of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom are displayed. In the western part of the temple there is a stupa. Kaiyuan Temple is a site of profound historical value, known already in Tang Dynasty, as a residence of renowned Jianzhen monk. Nowadays, the Kaiyuan temple no longer exists. The only object reminding of the temple’s glorious days is the stupa.

Jack Li

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