After leaving HK I walked across the border into Mainland China, the city right on the border is Shen Zhen, one of China's newest and most modern cities. After visiting some wushu friends, I took a flight to nearby Guangxi Province (actually its called the Guangxi Autonomous Region), my destination was Guilin, a city smack dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery on the face of the earth:
- A better panorama of the scenery(857k)
- An even better panorama of the scenery!(748k)
- Often times people in China don't follow the rules.(469k)
After the cruise we stopped at bit of a tourist attraction... of the man-made kind. This place was a supposed to show case Guangxi's local minority ethnicities (there are four groups of them). Unfortunately the place had a bit of a Disney-esque phonyness that I didn't particularly care for. Basically you got in a boat and cruised through this man made river past different displays and performances. But they did have some interesting demonstrations of local customs. Apparently one local group shows greetings to strangers by stepping on your feet and if they really like you, they'll grab you by the earlobes. Well at least that's what they told us... I can't say I particularly liked getting my shoes all messed up by 'shaking hands'. Also they had a demonstration of local 'aboriginal' dance, which looked like something out of the amazon or south pacific.
- Hmm, no la na zhas, but still some interesting spear play.(548k)
My next day in Guilin was open to just walking around the city of Guilin itself. Which like most cities in China is pretty rough and dusty. But it does have its fair share of scenic spots along the Li River. Unfortunately the low water level kind of ruined the effect for the most famous one, Elephant Nose Rock, said to resemble (when the water is at the normal summertime level) an elephant at the side of the river drinking water through its trunk. If you don't get it, just put your hand at my shoulder level in the picture below and you'll get the full effect.
- One of the more interesting vehicles I saw in China, perhaps inspired by Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome?(309k) - This is actually passing through a toll booth on the way to the Guilin Airport.
Guilin really made an impression on me. If its this beautiful in the winter, I really want to come back in the late spring or summer to see it at full bloom. But this trip still had a good week and a half left and I was behind schedule for my next destination, Chongqing!
The next chapter will cover part one of my trip from Chongqing to Yichang (aka the Three Gorges) by boat.
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