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First day in Guilin

Guilin Travel Blog

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Fir Lake - Guilin

Nowhere else in China I saw such an effort to "justify" the tourism. 
The landscape is beautiful, but the anxiety to add attractive details to it, is excessive, and sometimes... boring. Each peak, each rock, each possible detail gets a name, a tale, a pretext to be listed. 

No need to! Guilin is a lively city, with some interesting points and... it has Li river, that justifies the trip.

Fir Lake

In the fastly developing cities, it's easy to loose the image of China. 

Big buildings, large avenues, compose quarters that could be...everywhere else in the world. 
However, here and there, even in the most transformed cities, it's possible to see the views that filled our imaginary. Fir Lake in Guilin is one of those places. 
Water really plays an important role in Guilin.

Waterfall hotel - Guilin
 

A couple of lakes meandering in town complement the river: Fir Lake, edged by a small and cool garden, with its two pagodas, is really nice, and one of the most photogenic points of Guilin.

Lijiang Waterfall Hotel

One of the attractions in Guilin is the show that each night, at 8.30 PM, takes place in the rear of the hotel: from the top, a cascade of water descends along the glasses of the wall, with music in the background. 

It's nice, and it is, indeed, the most spectacular way to … wash windows!

Shopping

I couldn’t see any difference between the ambiance and social conditions of Guilin, and any touristy city in the west. 
Modernity, mass consummation, expansive youth, safety in the streets, only with one warning: pickpockets! Once again, as in most western cities…
All the times that I separated some meters from Fernanda, a new kind girl offered to be my friend.

Night Market - Guilin
That's not too uncommon, also.

Night Market

Half of the main street, in central Guilin, was closed each night for the night market (at least while we were there!).

For several hundred meters, three row of stalls sell all kind of crafts, for locals and tourists.

Next morning the traffic flows normally, without signs of the crowds and huge deals of... a few hours before.

Regular commerce however, is strong in the modern avenues. People skating in the yard, a large screen with a film exposed to the street, strong lights and music! Am I really in China... or am I lost in New York?

Crystal Bridge

I had in Tacoma a disappointment that was my visit to its glass bridge, by Chihuli. Maybe because of it (and because I couldn’t read any special reference to this one, in Guilin), I didn’t approach the Crystal Bridge in Banyan Lake.

Discipline - Guilin
 

Maybe glass, maybe plastic, maybe both, or (maybe) only light effect, it surely stands closer to what I was expecting from a so called glass or crystal bridge than the American one. And the effects, at night, have a beauty that my poor camera could catch. But Banu was in the group, and, with her permission, I’ll join her version, in the reader’s profit.

Discipline

It's remarkable the Chinese discipline at work.  The almost military way how they line in their working places, waiting for the clients, is something uncommon in the west. 

But there's discipline and discipline, and I think that all men will agree with me that discipline at work in Guilin has something special... a "je ne sais quoi"... a...

Cards

One common detail in China’s way of life is the way people gather in the streets to play, or to dance.

Organization - Guilin
 
Mahjong or cards were played everywhere, by people of all ages, but the funniest thing that I saw was the contrast between the lined employees in the modern malls, and the ease of the workers in the public underground market, in the absence of clients…

Getting back to discipline and organization

Atten-hut!
Stand at ease!
Li, you wash the dishes;
Xi, you pass the dishes to the room;
Pi, you take care of the costumer’s requests;
Ti, you take care of the drinks;
Di, you smile at everybody, and help the other if needed;
Is that understood? Let’s move inside and work.
Atten-ut!
Right face!
Forward… march!

Traffic

One last remark about traffic:

We come to a place with a series of expectations that sometimes are confirmed, some other… they don't.
Traffic was an example: I was expecting the crazy hustle and bustle of India, or Thailand. 
Wrong. The traffic is intense, but normal. There is discipline, order, and… efficiency. A very positive surprise, but... wait! I'm going to Shanghai!

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Fir Lake - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Waterfall hotel - Guilin
Waterfall hotel - Guilin
Night Market - Guilin
Night Market - Guilin
Discipline - Guilin
Discipline - Guilin
Organization - Guilin
Organization - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Crystal bridge - Guilin
Crystal bridge - Guilin
Crystal bridge - Guilin
Crystal bridge - Guilin
Commercial street - Guilin
Commercial street - Guilin
Commercial street - Guilin
Commercial street - Guilin
Commercial street - Guilin
Commercial street - Guilin
Traffic - Guilin
Traffic - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Fir Lake - Guilin
Guilin Hotels & Accommodations review
Good Hotel
Very good hotel, maybe the best we had in China, with excellent location in the centre of the city. The rooms were good, and the the breakfast a b… read entire review
Guilin
photo by: davidfeng