Overview:Elephant Trunk Hill stands majestically in the downtown area of Guilin city, at the junction of the Li River & the Peach Blossom River. The name was chosen because the hill looks like a giant elephant dipping its trunk into the river. The green water of Li River in front of it and the clear spring at the foot make Elephant Trunk Hill one of the most famous hills in Guilin City .
Located on the Li River, Guilin’s Elephant Trunk Hill is the symbol of Guilin. It is a karst rock formation, which looks like an elephant dipping its trunk into the Li River. The Hill is the centerpiece of a park located on the banks of the river. Everything in the park is elephant themed. It is a fun spot and is filled with great photo opportunities.
On the top of Elephant Trunk Hill is a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) dagoba. It is said to resemble the hilt of a giant sword and there is a legend connected to it. In the past, the Emperor of Heaven decided to conquer earth, and he did so from the back of a giant elephant. The dedicated elephant worked himself sick. The Emperor of Heaven deserted him, and the local farmers nursed the sickly elephant back to health. The elephant being extremely grateful, decided to desert the emperor and stay on earth to help the farmers plow their fields during a time of drought. The Emperor of Heaven was so angry that his elephant had deserted him, that he thrust his sword into the elephants back, and turned the elephant to stone. The dagoba erected at the top stands for the hilt of the sword. Now the elephant can stay with the friendly people of Guilin, guarding the city, and welcoming guests from all over the world. From the top of the elephants back, visitors will get a beautiful panoramic view of Guilin city, and the beautiful Li River.
The round hole that is between the elephant's trunk, and front legs, is called Shuiyue Cave. It is round in shape, and on nights when the moon is full, and the surface of the water is still, the reflection in the water looks like the moon is floating on the river. Inside the cave are more than 50 stone inscriptions dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). They are poems and written records of visitors thoughts upon visiting the hill.
There is an island out in the Li River called Love Island. Visitors can cross a stone bridge carved with elephants to get to it. It is a beautiful little island covered with bamboo groves, winding paths, and dotted with statues dedicated to love. It is a nice place to relax, and spend some time with that special someone.
The best way to get photos of Elephant trunk hill is from a traditional bamboo raft. Visitors can pay a little money and ride around the hill. The man on the boat uses a bamboo pole to propel the boat, so it is a quiet and peaceful way to get some really beautiful shots of the hill and the Li River.