Sunday, January 5, 2014

we meet up with Larry in Guilin

we left Chengdu more than an hour late (have I mentioned- I think I did - that not a single flight we had internally in China left or arrived on time... they were typically one hour late)

so we arrived to find Larry at the hotel entrance as we pulled up.  Our new guide is Christine a tall (for Chinese) woman probably in her late 20s or early 30s- she is married and has a young school aged daughter.  As we drive in from the airport she gives us some background about Guilin.  It is in the Guangxi province and also has ethnic minorities (different ones from the Yunnan province where we found Naxi and Tibetan)

this is the reason we are here- Guilin... my mother traveled to China in 1987 and one of the places she visited was Guilin- it looked fabulous in the photographs and so I had always wanted to visit. Our first trip to China hit all the top tourism places (Beijing- forbidden city- hutongs- palaces- Great Wall, Xian-terra cotta warriors, Chengdu-pandas, Tibet- Lhasa- potala palace, the Yangtze- three gorges, Wuhan and Hong Kong) and we were already gone for three weeks (when we were both working full time) so we bagged it for another trip. and here we are!!!

this map shows the area we will be spending our time in for the next two days- between Guilin and Yangshou and then back to head by air to Shanghai.

our guide Christine gave us her card - which made me laugh- upon reading it- see if you can guess why... it will definitely date you- LOL! 

so- as I mentioned Larry was waiting for us and the guide and driver were ready to go immediately after we checked in because our flight was so late-  AND- our room is fabulous-

but  we are off we rushed to DaXu ancient town... Christine told us it had been several years since she had been there as it was not on any of the tourist routes.  we found it charming- a long main street that ran along the river - it was once a port and trading town along the river. And given that Lijiang was destroyed in an earthquake and Zhongdian was Disney Tibet... I would say this was as close as we came on the trip to a real old time authentically Chinese village-
but you can check it out- in the selection of photos I culled from the 100+ photos I took that afternoon...


which is not to say that there weren't things for sale beyond the local pickled pepper specialty items- there were also a few stalls with bric-a-brac and some "antiques" so that if you were looking for a souvenir style item you could find something to take home...


back in 1987 - my mother brought home a pipe very much like the one that is second from the right hand side- and I still have it... maybe I should have asked how much they wanted for it...LOL

 As I said it was a river town

 Phil and Larry were willing to pose for a photo on the streets of Daxu-
after we left and went back to Guilin we decided on an early dinner- so we had a Chinese meal where we had no idea what some of the things that we were served might be- LOL
here are a few photos of the tidbits they put on the table-  LOL - OK the first photo is of soup - I think hot and sour - (very good)

then who knows???? they were crunchy - but we didn't know if it was an animal or a vegetable- LOL

I am pretty sure these were the Li river shrimp that were famous around these parts- and they were good- we must have been hungry since there were no left-overs...

 then we were off to bed - an early day tomorrow as we move on to Yangshou and we will be up early for the Li River Cruise-
so that is what you have to look forward to!

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