Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Wednesday 16th October - Xi'an to Guilin

"You are welcome to travel by our plane" I wasn't expecting a meal on the short flight from Xi'an to Guilin, which is just as well, because this fish and rice tray, with not one but two bread rolls was fairly unappealling. Nevertheless, it made for shared amusement with my fellow flyers, a tour party from Istanbul. Got chatting to a nice old fella from The Princes Islands there that I visited a few years ago.

Guilin is capital of Guaangxi province and is a very popular tourist destination for both Chinese as well as foreigners. The attraction here is the landscape oflakes and rivers that flow through the extremely steep and unusually shaped mountains formed by the erosion of limestone karst. Within Guilin itself the natural beauty is somewhat overpowered by efforts to gild the Lilly, and illuminate the chintzy bridges and boardwalks. You can get your photo taken for a price (with or without period costume) at any number of places around the lakes.

Pretty as it is though, I'm just using it as a stepping stone to get further down the Li river where alledgedly less adorned wonders await. One night here is just fine. I walk the length of the pedestrianised shopping street, and settle into yet another Irish Pub for some udon noodles and quick pint of the local before heading back to This Old Place hostel for some shut eye.
The sun and moon pagodas at Guilin.

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