guilin lake pagada at night
We flew to Guilin yesterday. We were met at the bus by a group of venders who had tours of the area. We went with one gal into the bus/station : travel agency. Her name was Helen: she arranged for us to catch a late night tour of the Guilin area on a boat.... more on that later...
We stayed at the Gui Shan (Jasper) motel. It was a great place that had an amazing lobby. It was not a brand new place and looked a little tired but it was very different and unique. The lobby had a huge skylight with red ribbons (about 6 feet wide) running from different points in the roof and ending at the skylight. It was neat looking.
The floors were marble and they had many groupings of furniture. There were ponds with gold fish and waterfalls. Off to one side and up two stairs was the breakfast area. (we missed the breakfast buffet this morning but will go to it tomorrow. We had to order off the menu.) The breakfast area was sort of surrounded by a moat of water with cute little goldfish.... very nice setting for breakfast.
detail of a bridge we passed under
We went to a nightime lake and river cruise when we got in last evening. It was really amazing. Our group was all chinese except for us....so we didn't know any of the things we were seeing.... but it was still beautiful and fun ... All of the trees on the sides and all of the mountains were lit with different colored lights. It was stunning.
.... then like it couldn't get better, an entire orchestra was sitting in a huge island pavillion playing traditional songs. It was very brightly lit and they all had on red outfits and the ladies had on red evening gowns. They sounded very professional ..... the captain turned off the boat and we sat and listened to them.... It just gave me chills to hear the beautiful music coming over the water....
pagoda: all of the banks and trees were lit on the sides as well as many buildings. it was a great trip...
We went through locks between the lake and the river. That alone was so interesting. David said the trip was worth it just for that as it's the first time we have gone through locks. In a lock you take the boad in: then a gate closes..... the water fills it and it lifts you to the next area.... It is amazing how quickly it fills: then we drive out when we are at the next level.
the pictures we took did not do it justice.
bronze horses; 7 of them together signify sucess.
There were also two tiered pagotas. They were on little islands and the lights from them reflected on the water.... guilin city really thought all of this out...beautiful.
Then on the River there was another brightly lit island pavillion and a group was performig chinese opera. It was so great. The pilot cut the engines and we sat and watched. The boat cheered when they finished a song. I thought of the song for days....
Then back through the locks. The cruise lasted one and 1/2 hour. We were the only Americans and the only ones who didn't speak Chinese but everyone was really nice.
They passed out complimentary dvd's of the cruise. That was a huge bonus for us! We didn't expect to get it. It was funny on the boat someone asked where we lived (miming) and we gave them our little picture album with pictures of our 3 daughters and the area we lived in. One of the pictures was a post card with a redwood tree... It was obvious they thought it was trick photography but redwoods really do grow 15 feet wide and hundreds of feet tall... All in all the people were very pleasant and it was fun although we realized everytime we talked it was a bit disruptive as no one could understand us. We tried to keep it to a minimum.
This is the wonderful group of musicians on the lake. Traditional sounding songs...
We got back to the motel and asked the manager if he knew of a restaurant: near by.
(He was still working although it was almost 10 PM: what incredible dedication.) he asked what kind of food? muslum? koshur? american? no! .... we wanted Chinese. He recommended the restaurant in the motel: ... excellent choice! We got eel with bamboo shoots, duck tongues (they had a bone!!!) with vegetables, rice, tea, a huge plate of fruit, round water chestnuts with celery and macadamia nuts all for twelve dollars total. The duck tongues were so funny to eat. I popped one in my mouth then discovered they have a long, flexible bone in them.... they had to be eaten off the bone. I loved it when I offered David one and he popped one in his mouth... ha ha... We love trying new things .... The server was so lovely and sweet.
While we ate many, many people came in (from tour bus) and ate at the group tables on the sides where they have big lazy susans that spin and allow everyone to dish up. We have eaten many of those free group meals and felt very fortunate to be eating on our own. Although the variety is good at the group meals you don't actually know what the dishes are & that is part of the fun! Plus, the meals tend to be hurry hurry and it is so fun to linger and chat after a meal. What a perfect day.....
Guilin Hotels & Accommodations review
Gui Shan (Jasper) Hotel ~ unusual & affordable
The Gui Shan (Jasper) Motel was a recommendation of Vivian, our Friendly Planet guide. It was a very good pick. The Jasper motel was a great place… read entire review