Sunday, June 22, 2008

Guilin city

Reaching Guilin after oh so many hours of train ride was a blessing in itself. The man waiting with my name written on a cardboard was even more delightful. He was the one to guide us to our hostel. It was a 15 minutes of brisk walking as we were chasing after the guide with all our baggage. Still, we could see a bit of what the city has to offer, and we were relieved to find a big shiny city that awaits our visit.

We arrived at our hostel, and we rejoiced at our decision, since it was a newly built one, with clean rooms, big beds, TV and a shower, all in a 3 bed dorm room. Moreover, the staff actually understood English. We quickly regrouped and went out to view the city's night life.
The broad main street was teeming with Chinese going their own way or selling their goods. All along the road there were big shiny buildings of shopping malls, fashion shops, relaxation resorts and so on, beckoning the coming and going with its huge flashing neon lights. At the center of the massive road, there was standing a big red colored market with whatever you can try to sell to foreigners, with exaggerated prices of course. But still, we felt relieved to find a place with opportunities. After a while, we stumbled upon the two dazzling Pagodas, which are stationed in the midst of a small lake that is connected to the river flowing across town. It was beautiful. Simply beautiful.
After a hearty spicy meal and a decent walk, we returned to the hostel to rest for the next day.

The next day we just toured the whole of the city, in the bloody heat. Although a big town, it seemed that not a lot of vehicles are used, and if used, many of them are electric, so the noise of a relatively small town in china (1.3 million) is quite dim. As we were walking around, enjoying the limestone rocks view in the distance, we heard a peculiar noise, that sounded like a whole group of squirrels being stumped upon under the bridge we were walking on. We walked down to the bank of the river to see a Chinese quire practicing its deadly traditional melodies, while a nearby a moonstruck looking fellow was drawing water calligraphy on the pavement. it couldn't get more prosaic than that.
After traveling along the local markets, with some interesting dead animals offered as medicine. All in all, the day wore on peacefully, and we returned for a siesta in the afternoon. Evening came, and we took a walk along the river and the two pagodas.

The next day, after a morning breakfast at a nice cheap noodle place we had found the day before, we took a tour to what is called the something something terraces. I'm not a fan of tours, but since its not that easy of getting from point A to point B in China by yourself, we didn't mind trying it for a day. It turned out to be pretty nice. We were introduced to a scenic village on top of a mountainous area with a clear river passing through the valley.
walking upwards to the top of the mountains, while trying to ignore the numerous peddlers who can't have enough of saying "hello!" to you in the assumption that this special word speaks volumes about their situation and the quality of their goods. But we weren't there to buy anything in any case. The goal was to see the terraces, and we were not disappointed.
When its written "Eggs and Vegetables", it really means "Eggs and grass".
After a sweaty climb, a fantastic view was awaiting us (and the other million tourists). I don't think I need to explain what my pictures depict.

The next day, we packed our bags and headed towards the next attraction, Yangshuo, the limestone town.






1 comment:

Ayelet said...

I'm happy to see Shmoo is having fun!