It all started here...

It all started here...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sinorama China Tour Day 5 Guilin

Sinorama China Tour--Scenic Landscapes, Rural Villages 10 Days+5-night Yangtze River Cruise, November 10 to November 24, 2015

Day 5 -- Guilin, Guanxi 

Guilin means "Forest of Osmanthus". It is a city with many osmanthus trees which produce tiny sweet fragrance yellow flowers.

Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
This hotel had two separate restaurants open for breakfast. I believe all the foreign tours were served at the western cafe on the 3rd floor and the Chinese guests/tours had breakfast in the restaurant on the 2nd floor. They checked our room numbers against their list to make sure we were at the right place and saw some people being turned away. We asked the waitress what the difference was and she said they serve more local items on the 2nd floor to Chinese tourists.

Atrium--western cafe for breakfast is at the lower left corner of this picture.

Hallway outside our room on the 8th floor.

Some of the rooms have views of the atrium which means they probably have to have the shades down most of the time.

After breakfast we had some free time before meeting up with everyone.

We took our morning walk around the neighborhood.

Right across the street from the hotel is the Shanhu Lake with the Riyue Shuangta (Sun Moon Twin Pagodas).

It was easy just following the path around the lake.

Some cute 'pigs' blocked off traffic on Shanhu N Road as we walked towards Zhongshan Middle Road.

A Starbucks right on Zhongshan Middle Road as we crossed the bridge to the other side of the lake.
There is a department store right next to the Starbucks.

Zhongshan Middle Road

Ronghu S. Road on the other side of the lake.

A decorated stone gate

our hotel

boat dock

A sculpture of someone. I think he was the poet who wrote a famous poem about Guilin.

As we walked back to the hotel, we made a right turn to the Zhenyang Pedestrial Street. It was very quiet in the morning. Most stores were not even opened.

Street of "Good Eats"

The back of the hotel where people would gather for the waterfall show every night.

Back to the pedestrian street.

This restaurant looked interesting and it happened that we had dinner there that evening.

Posted menu

As we were checking out this restaurant on the opposite side, a gentleman came by and gave us some detail history of this place. Apparently this restaurant had been there for many years and holds some high praises from locals. I thought it was a very friendly gesture on his part to just walked up and shared the bits of history that would benefit visitors.

Morning opening ceremony of a clothing store.

Back to the hotel and they were already setting up the banquet hall for a wedding that afternoon.

Elephant Hill

After meeting up with our group, our local guide took us for a short walk from the hotel to the Elephant Hill Scenic area by the Lijiang River. I remember coming here in 1988 but it was very different then. It is very touristy and crowded now.

Imagination is needed when traveling in China. 
Now, can you see the elephant drinking water from the river?

Some brave ones in our group went hiking all the way up to the top of the hill but we opted for a walk to the other side of the hill instead, on flat surface. On our way, we saw this temple which is a sort of memorial of the "Boxers Uprising" which originated here. Interesting but not much inside.

This is the back side of the elephant trunk.

Poems carved inside the cave. I remember there were a lot more carving when we were here in 1988. Many of them were scraped and painted over.

Our local guide Summer. She speaks very good English.

One of the 'Boxers'

A stone wall of elephant carving.

After lunch we drove around town to our next shopping stop--Pearl Factory.

Some random shots of the city.

I missed it every time but it would be interesting to have pictures of the smaller version of the Golden Gate Bridge and the London Bridge here.

Fashion show with jewelry made of pearls

Shopping time!

parking for motorcycles

We took another walk that afternoon and this was what I bought from the department store. We also bought some freshly roasted chestnuts from a roadside stand. Wonderful!

The wedding banquet was in full swing as we left for dinner.

Nothing to write home about except these peach-shape sweet buns.

Evening at the Pedestrian Street was quite different from this morning. It was packed with locals and tourists with a lot of actions everywhere. Here this gentleman was crushing peanuts to make peanut candies right on the spot. They also gave out free samples for people to taste. Quite generous, I thought.

We then walked to the back of the hotel to see the water fall show. The city of Guilin provided free entertainment on the weekends at the square. It almost had a festive-like atmosphere there.

A 10-minute water fall show promptly started at 8:30. Quite impressive!

After the waterfall show we walked down to the lake again before going back to our room. Absolutely gorgeous sight!