Funny story, when I was at the entrance of the Seven Stars Park in Guilin. Outside the main entrance of the park, there are several stands selling cigarettes, drinks, lighters, and various souvenirs. The owners of these stands will often approach tourists (or people who they think are tourists), and ask if they will buy discounted tickets for the Seven Star park, and I was approached by a few of them that day.
The ticket cost is $65 yuan if you buy at the ticket booth. These ladies were offering tickets that cost $55 yuan - a $10 yuan discount. At first I didn't want to bother with them, so I was just going to buy my ticket from the official ticket booth. Then they said they're not trying to con me, but they can make $2 yuan by helping a travel agency (located just outside of the entrance to the park) sell entrance tickets. I'm assuming these tickets from the travel agency are purchased from the park operators in bulk for group discount rates. So basically, the original $65 yuan ticket is now $55, with $2 yuan profit going to the middlemen, a portion going to travel agency, and the remainder going to the park.
Riding the shuttle bus through Seven Stars Park.
The Seven Stars park is rather huge, so I would suggest paying $5 yuan to get a ride to all the key tour attractions inside the park. In the photo above, I was put in with a pre-made tour group of 12 people or so, and i'm riding in the 2nd cart.
About Seven Stars Park in Guilin
The Seven Star Park (Qi Xing Gong Yuan) covers an area of over 120 hectares, and is the largest scenic park in Guilin. It's located on the east bank of the Li River - about a 15 minute taxi ride from city center. The park has many beautiful mountains, small lakes, and popular attractions include the Camel Hill and a very popular Qi Xing Dong (Seven Star Cave).
Our first stop was the Yuanfeng Cave, which is located at the Putuo Mountain. The cave is 3m to 24m high, 2m to 15m wide, 250m deep, and covers an area of just under 2,000 square meters. The temperature inside the cave stays at a steady 20 degrees celsius all year round, regardless of summer or winter, while the temperature outside the cave can range from -5 in winter to +39 in summer.
Inside the Yuanfeng Cave.
While standing at the entrance of the cave, you will feel a very strong air current. During my trip there, it was in the heat of the summer, but upon nearing the cave entrance, I immediately started feeling the cool, refreshing air coming from inside the cave. It was very pleasant. At the cave entrance are tourists and local residents alike enjoying the cool breezes.
The next key tour attraction was the Camel Hill, which looks like a gigantic camel slouched down on its four legs. See photo below:
The Camel hill. See the camel head, and the camel humps?
My third stop inside Seven Star park is the most famous Seven Star Cave. There is a somewhat long climb up to the entrance of the cave, and like the Reed Flute cave, they form tour groups of 15 people or so and assign a guide to each group. The entrance of the Seven Star cave is huge - much bigger than the reed flute cave.
Entrance of the Cave.
Inside the Cave.
Of the 3 caves I toured in Guilin and Yangshuo, this Seven Star cave is by far the largest cave. The entire trip is about 0.85 km long and lasts about 35 minutes. It is very cool inside the cave, and the guide mentioned that it's 20degrees all year round, just like the Yuanfeng cave. Cool in summer, warm in winter.