Yet another view of China

Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
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21
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Trip End Jul 22, 2009


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Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Monday, January 26, 2009

Unfortunately not the best hostel we have stayed at, but convenient it is.  We got here after a long train ride (which neither of us mind) and we made our way to the hostel.  We checked and then rushed back down to figure out what our plans for the next days were going to be.  Close to Guilin there is a neat little town called Yangshuo that we had been told by many people that we need to get to by going down the Li River, so that was the plan.

At the hostel they offered two different boat styles - foreign and Chinese.  Steve and I had decided to take the Chinese boat.  The lady wouldn't accept that.  She kept telling us - you have to go shopping with Chinese before, the boat is colder, the food isn't as good, no English guide, too crowded, we had to find our own transportation back, etc. etc. etc.  We kept telling her we would be fine because we live in China.  As far as the boat being colder, which was probably what I was thinking about more than anything else, we would be on the top taking pictures most of the time.  Finally we gave the girl money for the Chinese cruise and she said it wasn't enough for the foreign tour.  We couldn't seem to get it through her head, and her English was good.  Finally she let us book it.

Then we asked if she could help us get tickets to the dance/acrobat show here in town.  She said they were sold out.  We said okay and went to get lunch.  We found a great restaurant right around the corner of the building where the dance show is held.  We ate and then inquired on tickets for the night.  We got them without any problems.

The show was great.  There were a few frustrations, though.  Theatre etiquette as we know it in the West is not something the everyday person knows.  Much of the audience talked at full volume through at least part of the performance.  People had their cellphones on (but when they rang they did leave).  Also at the end when they were doing curtain call many people didn't clap.  The audience was a little disappointing, but the show was very well done.  They showed different situation that the minorities in the area deal with and dealt with previously like harvest and marriage ceremonies.

Our second day here we went to Yangshuo (see next entry).  When we got back to the hostel we had found that they had remade the bed that Steve was sleeping in and someone else's stuff was on it.  Shortly after we got there the guy who took Steve's bed came in.  He was understanding and Steve was able to sleep in the same place.

Our bus didn't leave until 9:00pm, so we checked out of the hostel and checked our luggage there and headed out to look around Guilin.  We read that Qixing Gongyuan as one of the original places the site see in Guilin, so we decided to give it a try.  We got there and discovered that they kind of set it up like a little theme park.  They had areas to site see, but they also had a zoo and panda area (finally see a panda bear!), and a few little kiddy rides.  Okay, we would look at what we wanted and forget the rest.  In one area we lucked out because there were some very active monkeys.  They weren't on the ground bothering anyone, but flying from limb to limb.  It was fun to watch.  In another area Steve even got to go rock climbing!  He had so much fun with it and I think it had been too long since he had the chance to do something like that.

We made our way over to the 'zoo' and we weren't happy.  We kept having to remind ourselves that the Kansas City Zoo was horrible too until it was revamped (though the St. Louis Zoo is still SOO much better)...anyway.  We also went over to the panda area.  They had two pandas.  At the time one of them had been taken inside and was taking a nap.  The other panda seemed so lonely and was hanging around the door and almost looked like it was begging to come in or begging for the other one to come out.  They were cute, but I still think we need to go back to Chengdu. :~)  In general the park was very picturesque in many places and not so much in others.  It was a nice day's walk.  Guilin was very beautiful and different from what we had seen elsewhere in China.  We liked that very much.
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Comments

dagwin
dagwin on

greetings from Anqing
Hey Steve,

This is Dagwin. We are moving in to Anqing this week. I lost your phone number, so drop us a line when you are back in Anqing or e mail me at dagwin.decru@gmail.com.

Regards,
Dagwin

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