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Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Guilin Trip Day 1: The First Taste Of Winter..

We touched down at the Guilin airport (I don't remember the name) at around 11am. The moment we exited the plane we could feel the cold, yet we could still bear with it. Kind of like being in an almost super-cold office. We were chattering among ourselves that it seemed bearable. And then we stepped out of the airport....

At the Guilin Airport.. 

The cold didn't seem to matter.. 

OMG! It's like being hit by a freezing wall. That's the best description that I can give. That didn't stop us from taking pictures like mad and indulging in a series of deep breaths to see white 'steam' (fog?) coming out of our mouths. And, uh, yes, I did indulge in a bit of unsophisticated, childish fun. Lol...

The largest tiger and bear zoo in Guilin (Quite possibly the biggest in China)

It was about a 45 minute drive to the city of Guilin. There were a lot of development along the way. Half completed houses and a humongous mall in progress were just some of the them. It was also a scenic drive, with lots of limestone formations that can be seen in the distance to the left and right side of the road.

We went to have our lunch at one of the halal restaurants. The name of the restaurant is Endian Halal Restaurant. Imagine there being an Indian (excuse me, Endian, hihi...) restaurant in China, with a Chinese chef no less.

Where we were to have our lunch and dinner for the duration of our stay. 

Before we checked into our hotel, we (at least, my friends did) prayed at the mosque situated just behind our restaurant after lunch. Through this, I learned a few things. 

First of all is that the Chinese Muslims are very conscious of the amount of heated water they use. Instead of letting the water run from the tap to take their Wudhu', they would put the water in a medium brass pot and use the water in that pot. Some would even use a wet towel to spread the water over their skin.

Secondly, heated water is not available in the women's section simply because the Muslim women there would take their Wudhu' from home.

Lastly, I learned that the Muslim women don't wear the telekung to pray. It might be because it's the winter and they are already bundled up, thus fulfilling the conditions of attire for prayer and all they near to add on is a head scarf.

The inside of the mosque...

The local Muslim women.. Not a telekung in sight...

Chinese and Islamic elements blending together harmoniously.

We later checked into our hotel, Eva Inn, and I was surprised to see that it was a very nice hotel indeed. My room was on the 2nd floor. Later we went to shop at the Pedestrian Street (aka Underground Market because it is located underground).

The place is kind of like Petaling Street in a sense where  you can hardly touch an item without you being forced to buy something. Me and my friend became 'victims' of these 'forceful beings' about three times within the 2 hours that we were there.

I decided to buy my windbreaker in China instead of locally as I had heard that it is much, much cheaper to buy winter apparel there. What I didn't remember to take into consideration was the problem with size. The clothes there are sized according to the size of the locals. After a frustrating 2 hours I finally managed to find a windbreaker that fitted me.

It was worth the wait though because I got it for only RMB149 which is approximately RM75. If I had bought a windbreaker here, it would have cost me around RM200++ to RM300++ at least.

That night we once again went to the Endian Halal Restaurant for our dinner. I had expected the food in China to be the same as our Malaysia style of Chinese cooking. It wasn't. A lot of people that have gone to China told me that the food was unpalatable.

I personally found that the food there was okay, some even delicious. I think this difference in opinion is due to 3 main factors; personal taste, sense of adventure and the food I ate was not authentic Chinese cooking but it has a fusion between Chinese and Indian cooking.

See that fried dish on the left? That's fried fish with big chillies and peanuts.. 

 A hollowed out wheat pau and mutton cooked with Indian spices.

Disaster struck when we were to return to the hotel after dinner. Our bus broke down and so we had to walk back to our hotel which is about a 15 minute to 20 minute walk from the restaurant. It would have been quite okay if only we hadn't just ate and it was cool instead of super cold with gusty winds. 

For me the walk was a bummer but on the way to our hotel we passed a park and let me tell you, the walk was worth it to see the park lit up during the night.. We spent a few minutes there taking pictures, forgetting momentarily about the cold and the wind that was stinging our faces.

 The bridge over the lake..

The lake.. 

Post for Day 2 of my Guilin vacation coming up soon so stay tuned. Cheers!


Amanda Christine Wong said...

inneresting! keep em coming!