Solitary Beauty Peak is created by Mother Nature. It is famous for its sharp precipice. It stands solitarily, interlaced with some other mountains around it. The top of the peak is an ideal place to take a whole view of Guilin city. There are numerous cliff-side and stone inscriptions carved on Solitary Beauty Peak. Among those tablets and inscriptions on the peak, the inscription that declares the rivers and mountains of Guilin as the best under heaven (桂林山水甲天下) is particularly renowned. Another world culture wonder “Taisui” stone inscription is located at the Taiping Cave at the foot of the Peak.
Solitary Beauty Peak is located in the ancient Mansion of Prince Jingjiang, in the center of Guilin City, Guangxi Province, with an area of 6,100 square meters (about 1.5 acres). Towering 216 meters (about 709 feet) above the sea level and 66 meters (about 217 feet) above the ground, this peak has been a major scenic site in Guilin since ancient times and is renowned as the 'Sky-Supporting Pillar in the South'. Composed of limestone from the shallow sea sediment biochemistry about 0.35 billion years ago, the peak got its name from the famous line in Southern Dynasty (420-589) literature, 'none can surpass this solitary peak in beauty'. When bathed in the dawn sunshine or afterglow, the peak seems to be wearing a purple gown and a golden belt, which is the origin of its other name 'Purple Golden Hill'.
A stone stair of 306 steps will lead you to the top of the peak, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Guilin City. Here, you will also find the famous Solitary Beauty Pavilion, which is 7 meters (about 23 feet) high, has 2 floors and is supported by several red pillars.
There are many peculiar caves in this scenic site. The most famous one is the Dushu (Study) Rock at the east foot of the peak, which looks like a stone room with natural windows and beds inside. It is said that Yan Tingzhi, governor of Guilin and also a famous writer, often studied here about 1,500 years ago. At the west foot lies the Taiping (Peace) Rock, which is 2.9 meters (about 9.5 feet) high and covers an area of 140 square meters (about 1,507 sq ft). This cave looks like a gracious house with a very smooth floor and stalactites of various shapes hanging down from the roof. Flowers are planted in the front of the cave, and statues of Buddha have been erected inside. On the wall of the cave, you can read poets' praise of the cave's exquisite characteristics. The Snow Cave on the other hand, which is located at the north-west foot, is famous for its stalactites that are white as snow.
The renowned Yueya (Crescent) Pond is located at the east foot of the peak. Its name is owing to its distinct crescent shape. The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Tower stands on the bank of the pond, and was established in 1921 to memorize the revolution led by its namesake, Sun Yat-sen. Now, it has been acknowledged as one of the major protected heritages of Guilin City.
If you are willing to make the 306 step trek to the peak, you will be rewarded with fantastic views of Guilin, the Lijiang River, and the surrounding peaks. However, the stairs are very steep and reaching the top can be dangerous. Depending on the weather and your experience level, it may be best to explore only part of the way.
The stairs to the peak start from a Ming dynasty palace on the eastern side of the peak, where a RMB4 entrance fee is charged.
How to get Solitary Beauty Peak : From the Guilin Railway Station, Bus No.1 reaches the west side entrance and Bus No. 2 goes along the eastern side of the peak.