Guilin (桂林; Guìlín) is a city in North Guangxi, China. Guilin is a scenic town and one of the best-known tourist destinations in China. There are many scenic places within short traveling distance of Guilin. These include Longsheng with its famous Longji rice terraces; the Li River, a scene of which is printed on the back of ¥20 bank notes; Yangshuo, a small county downstream from Guilin; and much more. This makes Guilin an excellent base for exploring the northern end of Guangxi Province.
Separated from the center of China and the Yangtze River basin by the Nan Mountains, Guangxi has always been distinct from the rest of China. The Han Chinese empire first expanded into Guangxi in the 2nd century BC. The Ling Canal was cut around the time, allowing small boats to transit from the Yangtze to the south flowing Xi River via the Xiang River. Trade grew along the canal and river routes. Guilin was founded as a trading post in the 1st century BC on the West bank of the Kuei River. During the Ming dynasty, a garrison was set up in Guilin and the surrounding area gradually civilised with the development of farmland. The city had a population of over two million at the time of the Second World War, but was utterly destroyed during the war. The population slowly recovered with post-war construction of several factories for the production of paper, chemicals and agricultural equipment. However, market forces have caused several of these industries to relocate out of Guilin.