For the next three places, we decided to book guided tours as it has several advantages compared to traveling on our own. The most significant benefit is the included bus. Especially our next locations, which are not big cities, require much travel time between those. The second reason to book guided tours is organizing everything on our own cost much effort. Thus, we can’t focus on enjoying the trip. Furthermore, it’s much more expensive. For example, if we went on our own, the hotel itself would be as expensive as the whole guided tour.
However, the most notable disadvantage is the guided tours were in Chinese. So, my travel partner had to translate a lot to me. There were several more disadvantages, which you’ll experience in this and the next blog entries.
Jingjiang Prince City
After we arrived in Guilin, our driver already waited on us. He drove us to our hotel, and after a short stay in the hotel, our trip began. The first destination was the Jingjiang Princess City. But already after one minute on the bus, I was annoyed by her loud voice, which unfortunately turned out not to change over the whole trip.
The Prince Jingjiang was the master of the present prince city. The visited Mansion has a history which is longer than the Forbidden City, and 12 generations have lived in the Mansion. Basically, the sightseeing tour can be separated into four different parts: History Museum (with an excellent introduction movie), Drawing, Reading Cave, and Examination.
Well, if you want to know more about history, feel free to google. I won’t cover it, haha. However, the employees showed us a unique printing technique to draw Chinese characters. Also, we saw the reading cave and the examination process. The examination process punishes cheaters and awards the best student. In our situation, the winner got alcohol. But! He had to buy it with a discount, haha. It was fun, though.
Dream like Lijiang
After the Mansion, we went to an opera called “Dream like Lijiang”. It was breathtaking! I loved the music in combination with professional acting. Sadly, the hall was cold, and the audience was loud. Those two things made it hard to enjoy the show entirely.
Afterward, we ate Guilin noodles. But to be honest, I don’t know why they are called this because they taste like every other noodle for me.
The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast in our hotel. The opportunity to give your noodles an individual taste will definitely be missed when I’m back in Germany.
The next destination was Shiwai Taoyuan, which is located near Yangshuo. We did a river cruise and saw 600 years old villages. The river should be the clearest and clean water in the area, and thus, the indigenous people do their laundry in the river. You could also see indigenous people playing music. But to be honest, I think it’s just makeup, which is not bad at all. We, tourists, support the local people increasing their life standard.
Around Guilin and Yangshuo you can find a lot of caves. One of those caves is the silver cave, which opened in 1996. I took some photos of the street before entering the cave. However, what you didn’t see is there are many souvenir shops, especially when you leave the cave.
And the following photos show the cave inside. This cave is enormous, and the lights make it to a lovely place.
After visiting the cave, we had lunch together.
Arrived in Xingping, a small town, we started our trip to the Li River, which is the river you have to see. We decided to do a “rafting” tour, turning out to be an ordinary boat tour. To go there, we took the bus for approximately 15 minutes.
And then the 50-minutes river cruise begun. Unfortunately, the sun position was not the best, resulting in bad photos. In the middle of the cruise, we saw the 20 Yuan note mountain finally.
Later that day, we arrived in a Yangshuo hotel. We explored the street and ate something. Well, I was starving, so I ordered two dishes, both of which were delicious.
The next day, we visited the Yulong bridge. It was not special, so we end up waiting until we continue our trip.
Now, I may introduce you to the first village we went to. Actually, it is a running geck because, well, we have seen a lot of villages, and unfortunately they all have the same concept. But later more.
The main idea behind this village is that indigenous people are moving out of the mountains. The government built a new village for old people so that they can have a better life.
They taught us the rituals of the indigenous people, like how they marry and how they wear their hair. Also, they told us that the children have to do the hair of the parents every day, and it’s a behavior of respect.
The longest part, however, was the cam and silver section. They showed us a special technique of how to do the hair, and also how to do a neck massage. The cam plays a significant role as it has an important meaning to them. And that’s basically the story of how they want to sell us the silver things. With a high probability, this village is just fake. But still, I believe that the money from the tourists helps the indigenous people a lot.
Elephant Hill and Twin Towers
Back in Guilin, we visited the Elephant Hill. Nothing special, but nice to have seen.
Then, we separated from the group and went to our AirBnb.
I also wanted to visit the Twin Towers. To do so, we did a bicycle tour through Guilin. Those two towers look amazing. What do you think?
On the last day in this province, we decided to do an English guided tour to the Rice terraces recommended by my cousin. The tour guide and his driver picked us from Guilin with a private car up, and we had a three hours drive to the terraces. We hiked about three hours to two villages. The Zhuang village, which is the first village, has 800 people only.
Then we continued walking to the second town. It was a nice tour since nobody was there, and thereby, it was silent. Once, we saw a local collecting Bamboo shoots.
Finally, we arrived in the second town and had lunch. I was disappointed by the fishes because I expected one large fish. The small fishes were not delicious, but the bamboo rice was nice.
In the second town, you could see the Seven-star moon, which basically describes seven platforms. Also, they built a new building at the top finished just two months ago. The challenge to build the pavilion was that they have carry everything from bottom, and believe me, it’s a long way. Unfortunately, it was not the best time to see the terraces. The best time is from April to September. But that’s also why nobody was there, and we could enjoy the trip with nearly no tourists.
After seeing the nine-dragon, we moved on, and at the bottom, we met our driver again.
They dropped us at the train station, and our trip went on. Next destination Changsha!