• To the south of the Big Banyan Tree in Gaotian Town, about five miles (8km) away from Yangshuo County of Guilin, there is a natural masterpiece called the Moon Hill. On the hilltop is a round hole penetrating the hill from north to south, which resembles a bright moon, therefore, the hill is named Moon Hill. It is the last stop when you travelling along the picturesque 'Ten-Mile Gallery', the superb tourism section in Yangshuo County. In 1972, the former U.S. president Richard Nixon and his wife climbed the hill. Now, Moon Hill also serves as a popular place for rock climbing.

     

    The thin hill measures 756 feet (230m) high, resembling a huge screen. With another hill behind the Moon hill for reference, you will find the 'moon' constantly changes from a new moon to an old moon and then to a full moon. The hill is fronted by Licun Village, where a moon-admiration path is developed for the sake of visitors. Walking along the path, you will enjoy a show of waxing and waning of the moon. This village is also the best place to take distant view pictures of the Moon Hill.

    800 marble paved steps lead visitors to the "Moon Palace", the hole on the top of the hill. In this huge palace about 55 yards (50m) in diameter, you will find a smooth wall and various stalactites hanging from the ceiling. Locals believe that three of them look like the fairy Chang'e, the Jade Rabbit, and the woodcutter Wu Gang respectively. On a fine day, blue sky and white floating clouds make a fantastic background against the hole. At the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, people will light lamps made of grapefruit on the grassland at the mountain foot, then put them into the Li River at midnight to make good wishes.

     

    Yangshuo County has long been a popular destination for rock climbing. It enjoys about ten climbing places and over 900 climbing routes. Annual Yangshuo Climbing Festival is the grandest of its kind in China and even in Asia, attracting thousands of climbers from home and abroad. The Moon Hill is one of these sought-after climbing places. The climbing site is at the hilltop and it takes nearly twenty minutes to reach it. In total there are 15 routes. The first route was pioneered by the American climber Todd Skinner in 1992. And the route no. 14, as long as 100 feet (30m), is one of the most demanding natural rock climbing routes in China.