The two rivers and four lakes form a newly developed scenic area. The two rivers refer to the sections of the Lijiang and Peach Blossom rivers in the city proper; and the four lakes refer to the Shahu, Ronghu, Guihu and Mulong lakes. The two rivers and four lakes is also the main water system of the city proper of Guilin and one of the city’s important aquatic tourist projects.
The Peach Blossom River originates from Lingui County, and empties into the Lijiang River on the northern side of the Elephant Trunk Hill, via the Reed Flute Cave and Jiashan Hill. It is an important branch of the Lijiang River.
The four lakes used to be the moat of Guilin in the Tang Dynasty. In the Ming Dynasty, the city was expanded to the Peach Blossom River, and the original moat gradually became several lakes that are lined with each other. Of them, Mulong Lake at the northern end was dug a few years ago when the round-the-city water system was built. To the south of the Mulong Lake is the Folded Brocade Hill, which is a natural barrier of the city. Therefore it was not quite difficult for our ancestors to dig a deep lake here.
On the both banks of the four lakes grow famous trees and flowers, like a large open park. It is a great fun to take a walk along the lakes.
The upper reaches of the four lakes are lined with the Lijiang River by an underground canal, and the water in the lakes is changed once every two weeks. The water of the lakes is good enough to go swimming. At the northern end of the Guihu Lake is a natural swimming pool.
The tourist route along the two rivers and four lakes will pass a great number of places of scenic and historical interest, such as Sun and Moon Pagodas, Crystal Glass Bridge, the music fountain on water, Mid-lake Pavilion, Ancient South Gate, the big banyan tree, Lotus Pavilion, Rongxi Bridge, Liuma Hill, Old Man Hill, Kong Ming Terrace, Baoji Hill, Song City, the ship lock, Folded Brocade Hill, the Lijiang River, Wave-Subduing Hill(Fubo Hill), Elephant Trunk Hill, the stupa and many other bridges. Along the two rivers and four lakes, there are 19 bridges, which are mostly modeled on the world-famous bridges, hence the name Exposition of Bridges.
Crystal Glass Bridge
The Crystal Galss Bridge is 22.4 meters long and 2.64 meters wide. Many parts of the bridge, including the exterior, rain corridor, roof, surface, construction components, pillars, balusters and ornaments, are made with crystal glasses. This five-arch bridge is the first practical architectural structure made with special crystal glasses in China.
Located to the west of the Ancient South Gate, the Rongxi Bridge is an imitation of the famous Zhaozhou Bridge in Hebei Province.
Sun and Moon Pagodas
The nine-story Sun Pagoda stands in water, 41 meters high. All the tiles, doors, windows and bracket sets of the Sun Pagoda are made of copper, and it is the tallest copper pagoda and copper structure in the world. The Moon Pagoda is linked with the bank, 35 meters high; and it is a seven-story pagoda built with glazed tiles. The two pagodas are linked by an 18-meter-long underwater glass passage.
Ancient South Gate
It was originally the South City Gate in the Song Dynasty. Later the city was expanded to the south, and the city walls disappeared with the passage of time, only leaving behind this gate.
You can take bus No. 2, 16, or 23 to the Elephant Trunk Hill and then walk a few minutes to either of the two wharves to board a ship.