There is a Chinese proverb: Guilin’s landscape is the best in the world (Guìlín shānshuǐ jiǎtiānxià). Guilin, located in Guangxi Province, is surrounded by picturesque limestone mountains on the famous Li River in China. The natural landscape of Guilin is so fascinating that it is even printed on the back of China’s twenty yuan banknote. Because of this, many international students are attracted by its beautiful scenery and consider it the destination to study Mandarin in China.
But the best landscape in the world does not mean that this place is also the best place to study. In contrast, Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan Province next to Guangxi Province, is a better choice for learning the Chinese language. I’m listing out the specific reasons as follow in today’s post:
The transportation system in Guilin is not very convenient and efficient. The airport and the north and south railway stations can facilitate inter-city transportation. However, there are only buses and taxis in the city, as well as privately operated motorcycles. If you are going to travel long-distance within the city, it will be time-consuming.
As a transportation hub in southwest China, Kunming not only has the fifth-largest international airport in the country but also a comprehensive subway transportation system in the city. It is very convenient to fly to Kunming from major cities across the country. At the same time, Kunming can easily fly to various tourist countries in Southeast Asia by its border with many Southeast Asian countries.
To promote Yunnan’s tourism industry, the high-speed rail system in Yunnan Province has gradually improved. As the most attractive tourist province in China, Yunnan has different tourism resources. If you study in Kunming, you will be able to enjoy the convenience of travel very conveniently.
Especially when studying at Keats School, you can choose the Study + Tour program. This program will bring you the best Chinese learning experience and the hassle-free touring service in Yunnan.
Climate & Weather
Guilin City is located southwest of the Nanling Mountains, with an average elevation of 150 meters. It features a typical “karst” landform. The limestones all over the city have been eroded by hundreds of millions of years, forming a unique landscape here.
The climate of Guilin is a humid monsoon climate in the mid-subtropical zone, characterized by sultry summers, damp and cold winters. If you live here for a long time, you need to keep dehumidifying items and dryers. Otherwise, the stored clothes and food are more likely to become moldy. And the laundry is not easy to dry. The rainy season is also prone to flooding.
In contrast, Kunming’s climate is more liveable. Because of its mild climate, Kunming has won the reputation as the “eternal spring city,” but the four seasons here in Kunming are also very distinct.
Kunming is also windy in spring, but the wind in Kunming is cool and moist, and it feels as comfortable as a massage when it touches the skin. The most comfortable season of Kunming is summer. Unlike other cities in China, Kunming will not experience the sweltering heat. The climate throughout the whole year in Kunming is divided into dry and wet seasons. Although precipitation will generally increase in summer, the humidity will stay low, and you can still enjoy dry and cool summer weather here. Wintertime is the dry season, featured with reduced precipitation and large daily temperature differences. Preparing a suitable coat to keep yourself warm in the early morning and late evening, you can still enjoy lovely and comfortable wintertime here in Kunming.
Check out Climates of Different Places in Yunnan
Kunming belongs to Yunnan Province, and Guilin belongs to Guangxi Province. The dietary preferences of both provinces tend to be similar. People from these two provinces both love a spicy and sour flavor. Besides, they both tend to use fresh local ingredients for cooking.
However, Yunnan’s food culture has integrated with more ethnic characteristics. At the same time, Yunnan also enjoys the reputation of the kingdom of animals and plants and the kingdom of wild mushrooms, so in Yunnan, you can taste more delicious wild ingredients from nature. Especially Kunming city, the capital city of the Yunnan province, has gathered the essence of the food from all parts of the province. Without long-distance traveling, you can also taste the special dishes of different ethnic groups and regions.
The impact from the dialects
Guangxi Province, where Guilin is located, belongs to the Cantonese dialect area, while Yunnan Province, where Kunming is located, belongs to the northern dialect system. As most Chinese learners are familiar with, in China, people use different dialects in different regions in addition to the common Mandarin. However, China has a vast territory and diverse and rich cultures, so dialects are also various in different regions.
The northern dialect system is very similar to Mandarin. When you live in an area where the northern dialect is spoken, you can easily understand the speaker even if the local people you talk to do not speak Standard Mandarin. However, the Southern Cantonese dialect outside the northern dialect system is very different from Mandarin, and the tonal pronunciation of words is very different. The dialect accent even has a great impact on the pronunciation of Mandarin. You will find that the locals in this area have thick accents when they speak Mandarin, and this kind of accent will greatly influence your Mandarin learning and communication.
If you have studied Chinese for many years and want to learn more about Chinese dialects, Guilin is a good place. But if you intend to have an immersive learning experience and are still in the early stages of Chinese learning, it is better to choose a city with weaker dialect influence, such as Kunming.
Generally speaking, Guilin is a good place for leisure and vacation, and you can appreciate the natural scenery of southern China and the customs of Nanyue culture at the same time. Especially between July and September of each year, it is a city very suitable for sightseeing.
But if learning the Chinese language is your ultimate goal, Kunming will be a more ideal destination for you. Moreover, Keats School, the best and biggest Chinese language school in China, has also established good cooperation with China Highlights, which can provide students with advice and customized tour services in Guilin and even Guangxi province for Keats students after they complete their Mandarin learning. Therefore, studying in Kunming, especially to study Chinese at Keats School, will be a wiser choice for any Mandarin learner.