Thursday, April 15, 2010

Walking Around Guilin

It was another rainy day, but it eased up in the afternoon. I didn't get out of my hostel until it stopped raining. It was absolutely freezing at night and I had a hard time just getting out of bed. I can't believe the difference humidity makes when it comes to cold.

I made an effort to get out and see some of Guilin despite the cold and cloudy weather. The tourist map listed a few nearby attractions; parks with limestone formations. My first stop was Solitary Beauty Peak which is in the Ming Prince mansion. The buildings in the compound didn't interest me much, but I was interested in the views. I thought maybe I could see down the Li River. However, once I got to the top, all I could see was a sprawling Guilin. Buildings in every direction.

A guest at the hostel I'm staying at recommended checking out the Seven Star Park, so I made that my second destination. It's quite a large park, complete with waterways, waterfalls, temples, caves and even a zoo. The guidebook said the zoo is fairly run down, so I avoided it. The attraction here is supposed to be the Seven Star Cave. After checking out a bit of the park, I decided to head into the cave.

What I wasn't prepared for was the cave tour. To see the cave, you must go with a guide as the guide turns the lights on and off. The guide is for domestic tourists and the tour is in Mandarin. Needless to say it was a very long tour and I didn't understand a thing, but the cave was very pretty with the lights.

My final stop of the day was the Elephant Trunk Hill, named so because the limestone peak it surrounds resembles an elephant drinking water. It was a nice way to end the day. It was quiet and provided a nice stroll along the Li River. I even managed to catch see cormorants before heading back to my hotel.

Ming Prince Park and View from Solitary Beauty Peak:

Seven Star Park and Cave:

Elephant Trunk Park:


Anonymous said...

I always forget how cold it gets in Quebec when is 0c compare to 0 in Calgary... so I know how you feel. It snowed here this weekend, so you weren't missed much here!


Unknown said...

Although you could not take part on a cave tour but you took very colorful and amazing pictures of Seven Star Cave showing some stalactite/stalagmite columns in front. I could see on one of the pictures two cormorants on a raft presumably on the Li River, but the birds are not helping fishermen by catching fish.Maybe,they are resting! I have a question for you: Why do you call the city Guilin Sprawling Guilin?

Unknown said...

I see you had a nice day despite the rain and cold :) Great pictures as usual!

Anonymous said...

You miss nothing on the cave tour. What the tour guide told the tourists was the personified images,no info on what and how. By the way, down in Youngshou,you could find a fish man to take you on one of the bamboo rafts along the Li River.

Sprawling Guilin is true. 30 years ago, there were not many high buildings, only one western tourist hotel in town with 13 floors. Now, how many are they? The roads are wider and paved. And many new accessible caves have been discovered with underground rivers running through the caves and water falls in the caves. Check them out.


Anonymous said...

Trippy cave pictures...I think I'd have to walk through that cave with "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" playing on my iPod.

Anonymous said...

Last post was from Kevin (forgot to put my name down).

Anonymous said...

Hi Marko, great blog, and your pictures are beautiful. Especially love the mountain scenery and the limestone formations. Thanks again for sharing, it's an amazing second-hand trip :-)


Marko said...

Aarmaan, I called it "sprawling" because in every direction I looked from one of the peaks, I saw buildings.

Liping, I was quite surprised by the size of it. For a city of 700,000 people, it seems very spread out. The guide for the boat tour was saying that though the population is officially at 700,000 there are a lot more people that come into the city from the surrounding areas.

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