Guilin has a long history and rich culture. To the north of Guilin City, the Baojiyan Cultural Site in Old Stone Age 30,000 years ago and Zengpiyan Cultural Site in New Stone Age 9,000 years old can be found, which provide precious data for research of pre historical culture in South China. After construction of the Lingqu Canal in Qin Dynasty, Guilin has shown its state of cultural exchange between South and North. The scenery of the Guilin mountains and rivers attracted many poets during the Tang Dynasty. The poems and essays they wrote added charming brilliance to the Guilin mountains and rivers, forming a unique culture of mountains and rivers. At that time in Guilin, the culture of Buddhism was flourishing. In the Song and Yuan Dynasties, the culture in Guilin made greater progress and Guilin tourism was the most popular in the country. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Guilin became a key cultural city in Lingnan. There are also many famous painters of whom over one hundred have their names in history.
The Gui Opera, Cai Tone, drama and mass cultural activities are very popular.
Karst caves and stone forests feature the wonderful natural ecological environment of Guilin, whose altitude is 140-160 meters. The Li River meanders through Guilin from north to south with characteristic red soils. The vegetation in Guilin belongs to the southern division of the subtropical evergreen forests, with a variety of 2,329 species and there are 1,593 kinds of animals. Guilin is in the subtropical and monsoonal zone with warm and moist surroundings, so it is not very cold in winter and not very hot in summer. Average annual rainfall is 1,872 mm.
Guilin was first established by Emperor Qinshihuang (214 BC) as the Guilin Shire. It was located on the Guixiang Corridor which was an important passage connecting Zhongyuan and Lingnan. During the Three Kingdom period, the Wu Kingdom built up Shian Shire here, and from then on Guilin has come to be a political and transition center. Until the Tang Dynasty, Guilin had become a relatively big city with great halls and walls. In the Song Dynasty Guilin was the capital of Guangnanxilu, which governed Guangxi and Hainan Island. In Ming Dynasty, Guilin was also the seat of Jingjiang Prince Mansion and Guangxi Three Departments. Emperor Yongli had been here twice. The revolutionary pioneer Sun Yatsan had his residence set up there and directed the northward expedition. In 1940 Guilin was reset as a city and the capital of Guangxi Province. So Guilin has been the political, economic and cultural center in northeast Gui Region ever since its founding.