Guilin, a city in the province of Guangxi, set a climate of 25 degrees and high humidity. This helped our pains, especially compared to the cold in Shangri-La. It was, in fact, so humid that the Karst growths seemed veiled in mist. The warm weather came with different people in better moods – most had darker skin and smiled more often. Tens of little motorcycles lined up at every streetlight and the flip flops on the sidewalk reminded one of Southeast Asia.
Our first night there was marked by a long walkway by the river canal, twinkling little houses on islands and boats, pagodas on the water, warmth and romance, and in the end we found lodging in a hostel, where we ate Western pizza and watched Western movies.
On our second night, rain came down upon the city. We were hungry from our full day excursion to the Longji Terrace Fields, so, after having found out that we couldn’t order food to the hostel, we engaged in a search for the famed pedestrian street of shops and restaurants. We couldn’t find it, slow as we were, since we wore flip flops so as not to wet our shoes. Those flip flops slipped everywhere, and as we the pale-faced squelched about like penguins on the wet sidewalk, everyone else slapped carelessly away in their rubber sandals. For the third time we found shelter in Pizza Hut. This time we had to wait 50 minutes before we could grab the cutlery and remember what “European food” tastes like. Finally we took our chances with the taxis in Guilin. It turned out to be a much more agreeable experience than in Beijing.
Fate was with us on the third night. After failing many times to enter the main shopping street, we met a student who took us to the right entrance. It turned out the liveliest part was right under our noses. We had a Western dinner and engaged in people watching from a corner cafe.
|Eating noodles despite this abundance and diversity of fruit and vegetables sounds outrageous.|
After a quick chronological survey of the dinners, we spent about a day and half visiting the more prominent landmarks – Elephant Trunk Hill (a symbol of Guilin), Fubo Hill and Reed Flute Cave. But I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…
|The swimming elephant|
|What would we do without dragons?|
|Tai Chi in the park|
|Plus some stretching|
|A very active city indeed|
|Even a cave can house a mall, including a 200-year-old tortoise|
|Your friendly next-door old timer and the brains behind the operation|
|Reed Flute Cave|
|How to recognize a Chinese cave – it’s colorful!|
A modest population of six million; nature thrives within the city; the locals seem content and healthy – what more can anyone living in China ask for?
If you’ve already made up your mind, then check this article with things to do in Guilin so you can plan your trip to this pearl of Southern China!