Saturday, January 18, 2014

Guilin 2013

Abby blogging mode on. HAHAHA I should start being a better blogger because I can see spider webs forming around the corners of this page... 

I joined a tour with my family to Guilin, China in mid December last year. I wanted to go back to China since the first time I went there to visit my... grandfather's hometown in Dabu. I loved that place! But Guilin didn't live up to my expectations. The tour was pretty bad. The food was below average, the smog during our stay there was horrible, not to mention the freeze =__=

But it was still a fun trip abroad. The landscapes in Guilin were hands down, really really pretty. I always thought that the scenes in Mandarin dramas were all fake, all green screen, but they are not. They really do exist, on this Earth. The sad thing is that the pollution in China is quite bad, most of the sceneries were coated with haze, the sky grey and dead..

Here are some pictures I took during the whole one week I was there... 

First day we arrived, we travelled from mid morning till almost midnight. Sat on a plane to Hong Kong, took a bus to Shenzhen. We were supposed rest for a night there, but the local tour guide changed our itenary without our knowing (only informing us when we were in the bus), and told us that we will be travelling a few hours to a place called Gaoyao, Guangzhou. Great.


Hong Kong. See the smog, I am not kidding when I say it's bad.



Shenzhen Bus Terminal. It's not a place that I would like to revisit. So hectic!!


First dinner in Shenzhen. A dish that I didn't touch.



Our hotel in Gaoyao, taken the next morning. Gaoyao turns out to be a city very close to Hong Kong. The tour guide told us that many Hong Kees like to invest here.. Didn't see much of the place as the hotel is located on a hill, and we left the town at 8am -.- wow.


Gaoyao is famous for 粽子 (zong zi), or rice dumplings. They even have factories producing these!!


A famous lake somewhere. Too lazy to grab my travel notebook in my room sorry HAHAHA


Lover's street.


China knows One Direction too?!


Lunch somewhere in the middle of nowhere. It really was nowhere. The whole area's filled with dust and dirt.
The famous Li River. See how pretty the mountains are! Too bad the weather wasn't really good so most of the pictures turn out so sad :(


We watched a musical that night. The stage was a part of the Li River, so the set was actually the mountains, and they performed on water! The musical is called 'Impression, Liu San Jie', directed by Zhang Yi Mou. If you don't already know, Zhang is one of the directors of the 2008 Beijing Olympics! I was really impressed and enjoyed every bit of it, though until today I have no idea what it's about hahaha I was just amazed at the fact that China has such talent to produce something so magnificent.
 Most of the cities/towns we stayed in were surrounded by these limestone mountains. Pretty huh? Most of the these pictures were taken in the bus :( Didn't get a chance to stand under the mountain (?) to snap a picture :(


芦笛岩 (Reed Flute Cave)
The paling famous cave in Guilin. I felt like I was in an alien movie while I was there, all the formations were like mutated jellyfish :O
 
 
 Guilin is famous for its river rafts made of bamboo. We took a ride while singing folk songs to the local ladies.. okay only the men sang lah HAHAHA so weird if girls sing to girls ameeeeh



 Got a chance to try rowing the raft!! It's not an easy job! The raft-man we had was maybe in his 50s or 60s but can row the raft 10 times faster than I. All I did was turn the raft in circles and ended up almost falling into the water -.- But I think I did better than Nick.. HAHAHA


Hiked up the famous 龙脊 (long ji), which translates to Dragon's Backbone? HAHAHA This is where you can get a view of the Long Sheng Rice Terraces.



 Love this photo I accidentally snapped while hiking
  Rice Terraces. The locals actually plant and harvest rice here so it is not just for show!

The Sun and Moon Pagodas. At night they are called the Gold and Silver Pagodas because of the lights. After our day in Long Sheng, it was rain and rain and rain for the next few days until our departure.. The wet weather made the cold even worse. The tour guide told us that winter in Guilin is cold and wet, instead of cold and dry. So the cold actually seeps into your bones. I experienced it when it rained, you can feel the cold stinging under your skin (in my case, my fats)


I have no idea what this place is called and I don't wish to know. All I know is that we walked for about half an hour IN THE RAIN just to see this block of building, which is said to have some history since post-war times. When the tour guide showed us this place, the entire tour group showed a zadao (unamused) face, probably thinking 'you drag me all the way to see this?!' HELLO? IT WAS RAINING, DRIPPING COLD AND WET AND ALL WE GET IS THIS?! SIAO.

Tour guide gave us about 45 minutes to rome the streets nearby, since some shops and food stalls are open at that time.. and she probably knows how we felt about having to walk a few miles just to see this -.-

AND THEN I FOUND THIS


BEST THING I ATE IN THE ENTIRE TRIP.
It's called 牛肠酸 (niu chang suan), or sour cow innards? It's basically beef and innards boiled in a special sour soup. The lady at the stall was really friendly and kind. I love the soup (though it was super sour and spicy) and the radish! The most fulfilling meal of the trip! After this I felt like I could die happy HAHAHA


Yin-Yang river somewhere, under the rain


 The rain makes you emo.


 At the ferry terminal in Shenzhen. Yes people we have sat in almost all the land, sea, air transportation during the trip. We took a plane, rode in the bus for more than 40 hours, sat in rafts, cross borders by ferry. MY BUTT IS FLATTER THAN FLAT PLEASE.


On the way home. I realized why Peeta Mellark likes orange, that sunset-kind of orange.



I think this tour didn't do Guilin justice. It would be insane to say that I would like to revisit. But yes, I do want to visit again (OHMAI YOU CRAZY AH?!?!). But I do mean it. I want to see those mountains again before I die, but not on a tour. Maybe I should backpack there someday... hehehe

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