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tour of Gorgeous Guilin

Guilin Travel Blog

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Tea farm: We had to wear the hats but when we saw the pictures later we were glad we did.... fun picture!

We called the same place we had taken the boat tour with this morning and asked to do a day tour of the guilin area as an individual tour.   We were surprised when the same taxi with the same driver pulled up and helen jumped out.  She was apparently the only English speaker available so she got assigned to take us around.  She had never been taken anyone on a tour.  The driver had and sorta called the shots.  Helen was a nice gal and was very cheery.

We went to the reed flute caves and walked through them.  It was neat. it started at a gift shop.  the caves were very well developed.  They had huge caverns and stalagmites and stalagtites: there were signs posted on a lot of things that were corny and took the ambiance away: but it was interesting.

behind david is the view we saw from the top: lots of fog and occasionally we could see a little farm and village
  There were millions of lights hooked up to the different structures: Just so you didn't miss anything.  Some of them were very funny: we followed a chinese group who were really having a great time.  Wish we could have understood the jokes to join the laughter.  We reallly liked the room with the lake in it.  The problem was it was so crowded we were not able to get pictures without a lot of people in it.  We tried to hang and get one with no one but.... it didn't happen.  Chinese take their photography very seriously and never miss a shot if there is one to be had......

We took a ski gondola up to the top of a huge mountain the Yao mountain, it was too foggy for a view:   there were nice carvings on the top and some meyou girls to pose with you if you wished to pay for the privilage.

the inscription is naming the ancestors buried there: there is chicken blood and fake money that is burned to go to the ancestors.
  We didn't but david said he saw one little gal walk up in jeans and a t-shirt to into the dressingroom: seconds later she emerged with the traditional coin jingling hat and long dress on.  I bought a scarf for 5 yuen.  the man wanted 200 but I said 5 then walked on. he caught me and started telling me to feel it because it is real silk.  i didn't have to feel it to know it certainly was not silk.... so i stuck with 5.   helen whispered that she didn't think it was silk.  we walked on and then he sold it to me for 5;  (i think that's about 60 cents: probably high by chinese standards for a fake silk scarf... but i like it.)

We took a bamboo boat out on the river and lakes of guilin with the man poling it for us..

the caves were wonderful and corney at the same time: tons of lights and gimmics: but it was very Chinese in the lack of guise and it wasn't super sophisticated: there were stilagmites that were labled "snowman" and indeed it did look like a...
..  I took pictures and marveled at how really nice the homes were by the lakes.   i saw a restaurant i wanted to go to by the lake. everyone waved to us and we waved back.   It looked fun to eat at.  we did go there later... after dark

we stopped by a tea farm and saw how they pick tea and grade it: then the sales floor....  We sort of got tricked into it by the taxi driver who said he wanted to go have a cup of tea and did we want one?  sure: why not?.... but it was one of the tourist things that you don't really want to do....   first we went to the tea fields.  This was very interesting although they insisted we wear some coolie hats; hated it at the time but the pictures are fun.... good lesson: sometimes the dumb things make good pictures later.

this is a godess: I think godess of mountains ..... it was quite well done.
....   Then we went in and watched a darling little girl cook the tea...... it was so hot and dangerous.... but she was fine.  i gave her a little money for letting the tourists watch her work...  then we went into a room to experience a "chinese tea ceremony"...  It was very interesting tasting the different kinds.    then...... then...... they took us to a merchandise room.  surprise? not.   here we got lucky: our guide got called away so he couldn't usher us and sell us things.  i bought two kinds of tea that we liked and we were ready to go:  I think the taxi driver was shocked at how quickly we were finished... 

We went to a wonderful palace that is now a university.  It was called Prince city: Jing Jiang   Chengyun palace.

This is the guy who poled the bamboo raft on the evening tour (the second night) in guilin
built in 1372 ad.  : Solitary beauty peak.  there is a pagoda at the top if you wished to hike up stairs... we didn't do it because of the time.   there was a delighful yellow "chengyun gate"   There was a pretty little lake on one side of the solitary beauty peak.  the peak had a carving on the side that means "longevity" written by the empress dowager in the Qing dynasty, Cixi.  (the mean queen)     The entire area is famous for it's good fengshui: good location, good fortune.    we exited out the back gate where I finally got to buy some street food. (it wasn't perfect tasting but was interesting....)

then to a pearl factory: I didn't want to go to the factory.... We had visited one in Beijing:   but  we pulled in anyway.

David really wanted to go to the Caves. It was very interesting...
  The thing I found interesting was there was one show room for chinese and one for foreign tourists.   I was offended as I knew the chinese prices were better.   There was a large group of Chinese and they did not appear in "our" showroom.   As we left,   I opened a door in the hall and there was another showroom with only Chinese tourists. The foreign prices were really high .....  yikes. no sales there for them...... 

Then we went to dinner at a lake side place with only Chinese. The dinner was cooked on the table in a big pot. We took Helen,  who had been our guide for the day and the taxi driver to dinner with us.  We had cold tea and rice with dinner:   They put a large pot on the table to cook in: first cooked in the pot was the fish head and the tail and tofu.

this was at the top of the mountain. it was a piano (fake) with pots of flowers around it. it seemed all of the flower displays the flowers were not planted permanently: just sitting in pots: even on bare soil. i asked about it and a lady said it's ...
then we had another huge pot with the rest of the fish, greens and rice. The cost was about 23 dollars. We were actually surprised it was so much.... ha ha..... we are adapting...... 

Tomorrow we are taking the Lijiang (Li) river cruise to Yangshou and we are taking it one way. We will have our suitcases/backpacks and change to a new motel called the Riverview motel. Yangshou is quite a bit smaller than Guilin. .... 

Guilin is really a nice city though. very pretty and they have quite a few parks along the river and lakes where families are out.

..It's 10:30 in the internet we are at and it's packed: below us the streets are still full of people. We'll walk to the hotel (20 minutes or so) and then tomorrow early AM start out. Hopefully the next town will have an Internet.

jos-nijenhuis says:
Nice blog, I will ask questions soon, because I am going there early august this year. We need probably some advice what NOT to miss there :)
We will go here after going to Xi'an.
Posted on: Feb 10, 2011
sylviandavid says:
Kora, Thanks so much for reading this! I reread it.... I am going to go in and add details and correct my spelling.... It really was a great day!..I didn't add that I refused to get out of the car at the pearl factory but Helen was upset..so.. I got out and went in to their presentation. ... After all it was her first day as a guide and the taxi guy was picking the places...it wasn't horrible but it was a waste of time. Anyway... thanks thank for the smiles & comments! Sylvia
Posted on: Mar 02, 2009
Koralifix says:
Sounds like an interesting day. Pretty neat photos by the way :)
Posted on: Mar 02, 2009
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Tea farm:  We had to wear the hats…
Tea farm: We had to wear the hat…
behind david is the view we saw fr…
behind david is the view we saw f…
the inscription is naming the ance…
the inscription is naming the anc…
the caves were wonderful and corne…
the caves were wonderful and corn…
this is a godess: I think godess o…
this is a godess: I think godess …
This is the guy who poled the bamb…
This is the guy who poled the bam…
David really wanted to go to the C…
David really wanted to go to the …
this was at the top of the mountai…
this was at the top of the mounta…
This is our guide Helen.   She did…
This is our guide Helen. She di…
another view of the mountain godde…
another view of the mountain godd…
I dont remember all of the types …
I don't remember all of the types…
This little lady moved the tea and…
This little lady moved the tea an…
here is the finished ball of fresh…
here is the finished ball of fres…
the tea farm stretched for a long …
the tea farm stretched for a long…
view from the tea farm:  tea is gr…
view from the tea farm: tea is g…
this was a grave next to the road.…
this was a grave next to the road…
Tea farm: the larger older leaves …
Tea farm: the larger older leaves…
this is looking out towards the mo…
this is looking out towards the m…
savory buns at the bakery
savory buns at the bakery
buns at the bakery: These may be c…
buns at the bakery: These may be …
sweet buns at the bakery.  Chinese…
sweet buns at the bakery. Chines…
this is kind of cool because the b…
this is kind of cool because the …
palace 1300s
palace 1300's
guilin restaurant
guilin restaurant
water filling the locks in the gui…
water filling the locks in the gu…
Tea Factory: Guilin
Tea Factory: Guilin
The houses still had up the new ye…
The houses still had up the new y…
reed flute caves: statue of libert…
reed flute caves: statue of liber…
I snapped this shot as we were dri…
I snapped this shot as we were dr…
necklaces at the top of the yuo mo…
necklaces at the top of the yuo m…
Helen in the Reed Flute Caves: by …
Helen in the Reed Flute Caves: by…
I really love this picture: top of…
I really love this picture: top o…
Can you tell how far down it was t…
Can you tell how far down it was …
plants by the ski lift rides
plants by the ski lift rides
When people would see us as they w…
When people would see us as they …
waaay down towards the village...
waaay down towards the village...
reed flute caves
reed flute caves
reed flute caves reflecting pool
reed flute caves reflecting pool
reed flute caves reflecting pool
reed flute caves reflecting pool
reed flute caves: statue of liberty
reed flute caves: statue of liberty
reed flute caves: curtain
reed flute caves: curtain
reed flute caves: sign says snowman
reed flute caves: sign says snowman
This is a vender on top of yuo mou…
This is a vender on top of yuo mo…
a family on the lake shore enjoyin…
a family on the lake shore enjoyi…
lake side houses
lake side houses
A kinda terrible picture of one of…
A kinda terrible picture of one o…
a statue next to the guilin lake
a statue next to the guilin lake
these two little cuties were at th…
these two little cuties were at t…
this is our table: they cooked rig…
this is our table: they cooked ri…
Fish and greens cooked at the table
Fish and greens cooked at the table
tea ceremony:  5 kinds of tea ... …
tea ceremony: 5 kinds of tea ...…
mountain in the middle of town.
mountain in the middle of town.
gates by imperial palace in guilin
gates by imperial palace in guilin
there were masks on display inside…
there were masks on display insid…
pictures of ancesters
pictures of ancesters
view of the grounds of the palace …
view of the grounds of the palace…
front area of palace
front area of palace
in the back of the mountain: a dar…
in the back of the mountain: a da…
view from guilin lake
view from guilin lake
reed flute cave...
reed flute cave...
Guilin
photo by: davidfeng