Sunday, October 17, 2010

Guilin Day 1 & 2

During the Chinese National holiday I spent five glorious days escaping the hustle and bustle of city life in Beijing.  Along with five other teachers, I traveled to one of China's southern treasures: Guilin.  We spend one night in Guilin City, two nights in the touristy town of Yangshuo, and one night in a tiny farming village called Longji. Mountains, rivers, and rice fields as far as the eye can see.  It was a perfect vacation in Southern China.

Guilin city was more of a pit stop on our way than anything to write home about.  We arrived, were met by by our private tour guide with our private bus (yes- this is why I love traveling in asia), went up Yao mountain on a chairlift to see the view, did a bit of shopping, and went to bed.  The Yao mountain chairlift was a bit of an adventure, if only because I'm a bit afraid of heights.  The view was well worth the death grip I had on the chairlift bar.  Another noteworthy moment from Guilin was watching Tim, the only male companion in our party, bargain with an 8 year old while shopping.

Yao Mountain 

Tim pulling out his top bargaining skills 

The following morning we woke up early to catch the boat for our Li River Cruise.  The Li River is China's fourth largest river. The scenery is famous for a reason- it's breathtaking. The photos I took don't even begin to capture the magic of it.  The river winds through limestone mountains, past fisherman and their cormorants,  and past the water buffalo enjoying lazy afternoons.

The Li river is famous for the Cormorants trained for fishing. 

Illegal vendors on small bamboo rafts would pull up alongside our much larger boat, and try to sell their wares.  Our tour guide cautioned us that this is dangerous for the vendors, and he has seen many fall into the river with their rafts still attached to our boat while trying to make a sale.  They can swim- but certainly not fast enough to catch up with the boat and therefore lose their raft and goods.  

The cruise took us all the way to the town call Yangshuo, where we spent the next two nights.  To end the day we walked around Yangshuo's very touristy West Street, and took it easy.  Stay tuned- more to come!

Walking down a very busy West Steet alongside a man selling fruit


mostlybrightideas said...

You have a real skill for re-creating your experiences. The narrative and the pictures made me feel as though I were there cruising on the river. And I bet the cormorants trained for fishing would make a great post all by themselves.

Tessie said...

Thank you very much for your comment! I wish we would have seen the cormorants in action, but what you can see in the photo is about the extent of our experience with the birds. I am working on posting day 4 and 5, which we spent in a tiny farming village. It was my favourite part of the whole trip :)