Guilin National Park, China • 360° Aerial Panoramas
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Guilin is one of the most interesting cities in China. It is famous for its wonderful natural monuments and situated on the bank of Lijiang river in the Southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Guilin's beauty inspired people to give very poetic names to some of the local places of interest, such as Seven Stars Park, Reed Flute Cave, Folded Brocade Hill, and Green Lotus Peak. These are just a few of Guilin's sights.
Guilin's history dates back more than 2000 years ago and it's a city where natural monuments intertwine with man-made structures. In the center of Guilin there is a 152-meter high Solitary Beauty Peak (Duxiu Feng) with 300 steps leading to its summit. There are also ruins of a royal complex that dates back to Ming dynasty and further to the south there is Elephant Trunk Hill, that got its name due to its resemblance to an elephant that drinks water.
Lijiang river flowing through the city is very pure and transparent. In the middle of the river stands Wave Subduing Hill (Fubo Shan) with a Buddhist temple at the top. It houses unique objects, such as a 2.5 ton bell and a kettle which can be used to cook food for one thousand people.
Guilin's name is translated from Chinese as "Cassia Tree Forest". Its limestone pillars look like a giant stone forest.
Long time ago limestone stratum that makes up the hills was accumulated at the bottom of the ancient sea. Several millions of years later this part of Earth's crust went up due to large earthquakes. Subsequently heavy showers and snow befell on this region, eroding the bedrock that was already weakened by cracks and ruptures. Later the upper limestone stratum fell off, exposing spired limestone trunks, which are considered by modern scientists as exemplary ancient karstic rocks. Nowadays limestone pillars of China's mountains are stretched from the South Central China to the northern parts of Vietnam. Cliffs, which sometimes can rise 100 meters above their base, stand almost vertically and pressed against each other. You can see Guilin's austere ridge tops for kilometers and kilometers away.
You can assume that nothing can grow on a bald cliff. But Guilin's mountains are the most picturesque mountains in the world. The whole mountain ridge is covered with vines and small trees clinging to rocky slopes. During orchid blooming season you can see a variety of multicolored flower islands light up on the slopes. Hazy mountains and still waters of Li River have a magical aura that inspired painters and poets throughout centuries.
Guilin's unusual, and, in the literal sense of the word, unearthly landscape was chosen as one of the shooting areas for Star Wars. Episode III. Revenge of the Sith.
And now let me turn the floor over to Satislav Sedov, who will share some of his impressions about the trip.
We had to face our first serious challenge even before we arrived to Guilin. The fact is that new air transportation rules stipulate that you can't transport lithium batteries in the luggage. After we checked-in they put our suitcases through an X-ray machine and asked us to take out the batteries. Dima and I gathered all our batteries, put them in one bag, and went to get through the security screening. As expected, there were some complications during the screening: according to new rules you can't transport even one battery of such capacity, and we had 16 of them in our bag.
Katerina, our guide, switched on her "I can persuade anyone" mode, I took out my phone with new panoramic photos of China and, somehow, we managed to convince the security guys to let us on the plane with our batteries. Katya asked me to pack everything quickly before someone from the upper management saw our "goods".
Having assembled the helicopter on the move, we decided to take some mountain pictures right on the road. As a result we have very interesting "hedgehogs" on our photos. During these test launches in Guilin, Dima and I realized that we would have to take pictures from a very high altitude, because low altitude photos couldn't show all the beauty around us.
The next day we arrived to the boat station. And there we almost fell victim to an old tradition of screwing over Caucasian tourists to pay double for outgoing boat freight. Our driver, a local girl, suggested that we take her friends' boat, which was cheaper, and something unimaginable happened after that. An old lady who worked as a boat rental agent suddenly stopped being all nice and turned into an old hag: she started spouting bitter curses against the girl, and it seemed like she was about to clutch at her face. Such intrusive service made us really uncomfortable, so we decided to go along with girl's suggestion and hire her friends; at the end of her performance, the old hag shouted out some ridiculous price with zero profit to her business. Apparently out of principle.
Later that day we were on a boat, sailing up the river. I should tell a few words about those boats. The vessel is made of strapped sewer pipes of large diameter with both ends curved slightly upwards. In the middle there is a shed with shade for passengers. In the stern there is a motor unit: a mower engine with a long shaft and a propeller on the end.
The vibrations and noise the vessel produced while moving was very high, while the speed could be compared to a snail's pace. These boats seemed like they would do quite well for our purposes, because the bow had enough space for launching and landing our helicopter.
Sailing slowly up the river, we pulled in to the shore at several key locations. Chinese gave each mountain a name, which, more or less, reflected their shape. Sometimes, when we couldn't reach the land, we launched the helicopter right from the boat. Our equipment worked like a clock, and thanks to that I had an opportunity to beat my own record at high altitude flying with camera several times. I reached the mark of 524 meters. We decided not to go higher, because the haze in the valley started to conceal the landscape's details.
We finished shooting Guilin in the province capital under the same name. There are two pagodas in the center of the city, they are symbols of this place: The Sun Pagoda and the Moon Pagoda. There is a bridge leading to one of them, and an underground tunnel leading to the other. Unfortunately, we couldn't shoot the tunnel from our helicopter, but you can see pagodas in a very good detail.
We also want to thank Yuri Pustovoi for provided photographs
28 June 2013
"Wonderful!and thank you."
wang cuiting, China
"You have shown us a beautiful part of China. Thank you."
Inez Scicluna, Malta
"Que preciosso todo por dios, no pude contener una gran emocion de tanta belleza natural, es una bendicion del eterno felicidades se#241ores de china y gracias por recibirme en su lindo pais"
Brizuela Francisco, Venezuela
"As people in Guilin, I am proud of, as well as some service feel sorry"
fangqiu Chen, China
"In Guilin, China
a family of mountains
rises from a wet and rocky plain
like tall round stack of loose hay.
Each stands a distance from another
because each requires certain harvest space
and they respect personal space.
It would be good to live here
and fish the waters from a small boat
with no engine to I could hear
the water hiss up and down
the reeds and the marsh birds
soothing their children.
I see these smooth gum drop mountains
loosely wrapped in the feather boas
of springtime clouds. So much beauty
in one place surely binds the natives
for who could leave and not create
two empty places; one interior
and one among the haystacks?
I've never been there
and yet I miss it."
Parris ja Young, USA
"Words can not fulfill the beauty you create and the wonderment of this beautiful country Guilin is a magnificent city and area, spent part of our honeymoon there. The river cruise on the LI RIVER IS A MUST, AND THE LAKE CRUISE AT NIGHT FANTASTIC,every one should visit China! fore you truly show its beauty like it is.
Don xpat from Aussie."
Don Boswell, China
You are doing a super job, the images are absolutely beautiful and you almost feel like you are actually there! Many thanks."
R Freeman, United Kingdom
"Wie schön unsere Stadt Guilin ist!!!! Willkommen bei uns."
Lissy Xu, China
"great pictures of 360 park and singing thank you."
les whitcomb, USA
"so beutiful guilin,thank you for your hard work
the background music-3 i like it,:)"
blueid chdbits@qqcom, China
Rita Eberwein, Germany
"Imagens fantásticas, com riqueza de detalhes. Dá-nos mais desejo ainda de visitar a região. Pena que fica tão longe do Brasil."
Francisco Nobre, Brazil
"Nu pot sa nu ma minunez de cate ori vad imagini din China si doar cu airpano poti vedea asa ceva.Merita sa mai folositi si diverse tertipuri ca sa puteti filma aceasta tara extraordinara din toate punctele de vedere."
cecilia gadiuta, Romania
Tingyan Qin, China
"extremely beautiful,unbelievable,thank you alot"
mahdi ghafarnezhad, Iran
"سلام تصا ویر جالبی بود
Execuse me I am iranian(islamic)veri good"
mohammad khosravi, Iran
Continue to support airpano altitude panoramic view"
kim huxian, China
André BARNES, France
"very beatufol city"
amir asad, Iran
Danny Cameron, United Kingdom
"Congratulations ! Excellent presentation of this wonderful and beautiful world.
Very interesting morphology and geological formations."
IOAN PASCU, Romania
"Many thanks for your group coming to China!We need more understanding between each other. Thank you once more!"
yi xin, China
Yaelah G, Israel
"How much fun is this. thanks."
Barbara Snow, USA
"Fantastic!!!! Very enjoyable to watch the panoramas...."
MARIA BARKO, USA
"Panaromas exceptionnels, comme tous vos sites, Avec des mélodies superbes, et Pourriez-vous me donner le titre de la chanson du folklore chinois de ce site. Bravo pour votre travail et merci."
luc colot, France
"In fact we can't deny, there are too many beautiful scenery in China, everyone should go and see"
Maureen victoria, China
Pour quand,le Maroc , La Corse, L'Irlande,Sicile,Sardaigne?
André BARNES, France
"Beyond my imaginings of heaven on earth, so,... today we see its true."
Roderick Paget, Canada
André BARNES, France
"Is it that so called 'Paradise'? Thank you so much for sharing this excellent panoramas with us!""
Segmadar Mohamed Naufer, Sri Lanka
Varvara, AirPano: Thanks a lot, Segmadar, for many positive comments!
"It was beyond my imagination that such beautiful place exists. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it."
SUTESH MEHRA, India
"Many years ago I visited Yangshuo and the marvelous region of Guilin. We made bicycle trips among the rice fields and we were very, very impressed by the landscapes. And now again I am very impressed by the landscapes and by the marvelous panoramas you made of this unique region. Once again I want to thank you very much for the extraordinary views you offer us of the world. Please, go on with this kind of portraying our world?"
Constant Coolsma, Brazil
Varvara, AirPano: Thanks, Constant! Of course, we're not going to finish our project, and you will see a lot of interesting extraordinary places with us.
"Ossem it's being turned byGods heaven"
Romellamalhotra Malhotra, China
"太美妙了, 没机会去,在这图 上就可以旅游一回了"
建新 孙, China
cai zf, China
Qiang LIU, China
"The panoramas are great . I have enjoyed all that I've seen ."
Billie Phillips, USA
"C'est tres beau et tres intéressent, Continuer comme cela! Merci.
André BARNES, France
"mak xopouuo, cnacuba"
serge grant, USA
Yu Genfeng, China
"FORMIDABLE.!! TESOROS DEL PLANETA , PUDIENDO SER VISTOS POR PC GRACIAS A UDS."
German Porras, USA
"Remarkable photography-Remarkable scenery-Remarkable topography-What a remarkable job bringing "us" 18 Panoramic-Fantastic job."
Ed Nelson, USA
"Selten so beeindruckende Aufnahmen gesehen, zumal in einer derartigen Qualität."
Kurt Jagsch, Austria
"Marvelous - Excellent Photography"
Ratnaprasad Nalam, India
"Parabéns, lindas fotos!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Paulo Rattes, Brazil
"Marvellous work. Incredible photography!!!!! Gracias."
Enrique García-Arenas, Spain
Hats up to you guys doing excellent presentation of this wonderful and beautiful world.
Pl keep up and continue.
Naren Pradhan, India
"C'est tres tres Beau,Merci!!!!!"
André BARNES, France
"I create interactive 360°-panoramas myself: from the soil, or max. at a height of 6m… but YOUR panos… AWESOME!!… BEST of the world!… I take my hat off to you! ;)"
birds-view | Henning Sauer, Germany