Yibin is renowned for two things: its location at the junction of the Min and Yangzi rivers (essentially the head of the Yangzi, or Yangtze if you're old school) and the distinction of being known as the "Liquor Capital of China." The latter accolade comes thanks to the over 600 Yibin distilleries, which produce the juice for some 30 major brands, including China's premier bai jiu brand, Wuliangye.
Aside from being the home of the headwaters of both one of the China's great rivers and its most popular spirits, Yibin's surroundings include a wealth of geographical features perfect for numerous outdoor activities, and its long history and cultural significance make for plenty of sights, though some require a day trip out of town.
You might want to swing by Yibin's Daguan Tower first to give traditional thanks to the guardian tower for making your visit possible. The tower sits on the head of an infernal dragon, preventing the fell creature from escaping its prison and wreaking havoc above ground. We know this to be true because it has worked for many, many years.
For a great view of the city, head to Cuiping Shan (Cuiping Mountain), which rises from the middle of town. True nature lovers will want to head a bit further afield for a hiike through Shunan Zhuhai (South Sichuan Bamboo Sea), where Ang Lee's breakout film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was shot. In addition to hauntingly beautiful swaying bamboo forests, the Bamboo Sea also features mountains, rivers, karst caves, lakes, falls and a smattering of atmospheric Buddhist temples.
Spelunking enthusiasts should head to Xingwen Stone Cave Forest (also know as the Xingwen County Stone and Geological Park) for the 83 astonishing stalactite caves dotting the wooded landscape, including the popular Hall of Cascading Light. Continuing on a stony tip, If paleontology is your thing, try the Shibei Village Dinosaur Fossil Museum (Shibei Konglong).
If all that hiking and climbing puts a few knots in your muscles, you'll appreciate the Yibin area's many wen quan (hot springs). Try asking your hotel concierge where they're at by saying: Hao de wen quan zai nali? They'll likely answer: Xibu Daxiagu wen quan (Xibu Daxiagu Hot Spring), a top tourist spot 32 kilometers outside of town, and have other recommendations besides.
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