The Two Rivers and Four Lakes is actually an urban live water system in Guilin covering an area of 380000 square meters. The water system consists of Li River, Taohua (Peach blossom) River, Rong (Banyan) Lake, Shan (Chinese fir) Lake, Gui (Osmanthus) Lake, and the Mulong (Wooden Dragon) Lake. The round-the-city waterway stretches a total length of 7.33 kilometers, enabling the whole city to be a scenic park.
The waterway construction firstly formed during the North Song Dynasty (960- 1127) and attracted visitors to take a boat ride on the rivers at that time. At that time, Guilin was called the Water City, just like Venice in Italy. However, over the centuries, the urban waterway was separated and destroyed. From 1998, the local Guilin government launched the program and finished in 2002. The recreation project of the thousand-year-old waterway integrates the modern buildings and the historic sites, reaching an ecological harmony between the man and nature.
Two Rivers and Four Lakes occupy an important part of the painting-like sceneries in Guilin. There are slabs covered in lush plants along the lake banks. The two brilliant pagodas (the Sun and Moon Twin Towers) are also the landmarks of the Two Rivers and Four Lakes Area.
Locals prefer to wander along the banks in the late afternoon. The Area connects the rivers and lakes to various attractions including Elephant Trunk Hill, the Fubo Hill, the Folded Color Hill, Senior Hill, and other renowned hills. Distinct bridges and traditional pavilions are designed to add the charm of the natural water area. The longest white marble bridge in Guangxi Province is located in the Rong Lake area. There were used to be many historic celebrities’ residences on the banks of Rong Lake. However, only two of them remain until now.
Taking an evening cruise on the golden waterway offers travelers a new alternative to enjoy the natural night views of Guilin with colorful lights shining under the dark sky. Tourists could have a refreshing and relaxed time during the peaceful cruise tour. Breathing the fresh air on the cruise with a glass of wine, tourists could even hear the soft folk songs performed by street artists.