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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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Friday, January 28, 2011

Guilin Trip Day 2: Pulled In All Directions..

As I was looking through the pictures that I have taken of the trip, I was amazed at how much we managed to fit into our schedule on the second day. Let me warn you, I had a hard time selecting which pictures that I'm going to put up here in this blog and even so there's still a lot! I'll let the pictures do most of the talking..


Chinese buffet breakfast... 


The ever famous Guilin rice noodles..


 The view from the cafe's balcony..


A normal sight: The locals roasting chestnuts while warming themselves on the sidewalk...


Lovely colors...


A park with two lakes..


Our starting point...



My roomie, Kak Zita...


Another self-indulgent pic.. Lol...


Here's where things get more interesting.. Tell me, what do you normally do on the weekends? I personally either laze about, read a novel, watch the idiot box all day, go shopping or spring clean my room (a very, very rare occurrence I assure you). Check out what the locals of Guilin do in their spare time:


They dance...


... they sing...


... and they do tai chi...


This man writes on the floor with a giant wet brush.. I wish I could understand what he wrote or why he did it..


I'm sure that you'd have noticed that all those in the pictures are the ones that fit into the middle-aged and 'veteran' category. I guess the youngsters of Guilin are not so different from us after all. Lol...


The soothing sound of trickling water...


The second lake..


Hey y'all...


Notice the tree behind me? It's over a 100 years old.. It's branches are so long they need to be supported by wooded stilts.


The ancient tree decorated with red Chinese lanterns..


Who would have thought that cauliflowers could be decorative...


Interesting knob-like details on the door..


We didn't get to go up the stairs and explore that side of the park... Btw, notice another group doing the tai chi behind me? Hehe..


I don't know what the yellow building is but it looks so stately...


 The beautiful lake...


It's easy here.. You only need to remember two colors instead of three...


Yipee!!! The cute froggie is a rubbish bin btw... How cute is that?


L-R: Kak Kamariah, moi, Din, Kak Zita and Hasanor...


The walkway under the bridge...


So much effort is put into making the walkway under the bridge beautiful, from the walls...


.. to the ceiling..


The twin Pagodas on the lake. Pagodas are mostly built near water because it is believed that they protect the water.


Oink, oink....


The paper umbrellas are so cute...


After our walk in the park (taking photos every step of the way), we headed over to a tea house, Dr.Tea.  1 of the 3 lovely girls briefed us on the history and description of the teas that we were to try while the remaining 2 girls poured and served us the tea. 

While the English are known to love their teas, I must admit that I personally thinks the Chinese have really superior knowledge on that subject, so much so that they've even developed ways of drinking different teas in a specific way. Here's what I learned at the tea house:

Osmenthus Tea (Guilin local tea): Smell the sweet aroma of this tea then drink it by slurping (yes, you read right!). The louder, the better.

Pu'Er Tea (Slimming tea): Smell the aroma of the tea then take a moderate sip. Once it's in your mouth, swirl it around in your mouth a few times. You should look like you're chewing sideways (kind of like a goat chewing grass). Believe me this takes skills to do. This is mixed with Oolong tea.

Litchi Tea: This is the cutest way to drink tea among the three. Smell the aroma of the tea then take a small sip. When it's in your mouth, make rapid light smacks with your lips (make sure you do this while swallowing or you'll be dribbling tea all over your chin). This tea contains Lychee and Black tea.

We also tried the Peony Green Tea which can just be drunk the usual way. In terms of taste and smell I'd go with the Osmenthus tea and Litchi tea. 


 
The only picture I have of the girls. Turns out we were not allowed to take picture of them while they are 'working' but we could take photos with them outside the tea room.


Later we went back to our lunch venue and while I we were waiting for those who could pray to perform their duties, look who I found...


 Isn't he just adorable? Squeel!!!! Made in Guilin... *wink*


After lunch and Zohor prayers we headed off to Yangshuo where we were supposed to go on the Li River Cruise and the Silver Cave but since we were off schedule (we had to wait for our packed dinner from our halal restaurant to Yangshuo because there are no halal restaurants there). 

Yanshuo is a 3 hour drive from Guilin and by the time we arrived we only had time to visit the Silver Cave.

  
On the way to Yangshuo..


 
It's so cold that plants had to be covered with plastics or netting.





In the Silver Cave..


Colorful lights in the cave..


Some parts of the cave are wide whereas other parts are narrow..


This is called Buddha's Teaching Rock. Buddhist chants were played here and you might not be able to see from this picture, but the formations on the overhanging rock look like a crowd of small people sitting down and listening to a teacher . Some are just 'faces' and some have 'bodies'.


Looks like a waterfall doesn't it?


The temperature in the cave remains 20 degree Celsius throughout the year regardless of the season. I could even remove my windbreaker...


 I find my experience in the Silver Cave to be a pleasant one because nothing is wet, dank or smelly. The steps and walkway is very well made and sturdy.


 You can touch the railing without getting a odourful (wonderful) surprise of bat poop. In fact I didn't encounter a single bat in the cave..





Runaway panda?


The end of the tunnel (literally!) The cave is 7KM long but you can take a shortcut of 500M. It takes approximately 1 hour to get to walk through.


At last, night came and we checked into our hotel at Yangshuo which is the Sovereign Hotel. It's a very nice place and I can see that it's one of the exclusive ones there.  


The Lobby...


Pointing at the dragon and phoenix wood carvings above me..


Framed...


At 8.30PM we all followed our guide, Miss Rebecca to the West Street which is kind of like a night time version of Gaya Street. I didn't take too much photos though because I wanted to concentrate on taking care of my belongings while keeping an eye out for bargains.


Before entering the chaos...


West Street vendors, like at any 'street' shopping places, put a high initial price on their wares. You really need your bargaining skills to shop at places like these. Don't worry if you're inexperienced, you'll learn soon enough. It would be better to have an Mandarin-speaking friend in your tour group to help you out. 

If you know not even a speck of Mandarin and no one in your group speaks Mandarin, make sure you bring a calculator with you. You can use it to negotiate price and communicate your size if you are buying shoes or clothes.

So that's day 2 of my trip. Day 3 coming up soon. Cheers!





3 comments :

ms d33 b33 said...

interesting place to visit... might include guilin on my vacation list... ;p

Phoebe said...

Hi ms d33 b33. thanks for dropping by. Guilin is not the go-to place for shopping but the scenery and rich culture elements make it a great place to visit... :)

Asrih Arif said...

yes would love to go there as well... I want to DANCE every morning yeay!!! and maybe TAI CHI as well...

love the pictures...

one question - did you go through traveling agent for this vacation? or u planned it urself?