VAN THIEL'S GRAND ADVENTURE #2 travel blog

Cable car up Yao Mountain

Quite high but clouds blocked the view.

Many man-made bird nests.

Not much to see on a cloudy day.

Bob and Ben take sled ride down the hill, it is SLOW.

Reed Flute Cave

Kids question if it is real or fake.

 

The extreme colouration both adds and takes away from the cave.

 

 

 

Seven-Star Park

 

Few buildings are on such steep slopes.

Fun to be in a Chinnese Garden in China.

 

The highlight of the park, probably better on a clear day.

The tour busses are gone for the day.


STANDARD SIGHT SEEING

The fog was even more extreme today but today is all we have left here so we stuck to our plans. The first site was Yao Mountain which had a chair lift to the top that is supposed to be a major tourist site. On a clear day it would be spectacular but today…not so much. There was the option of taking a sled ride down the mountain. Simon had done a very small one in Singapore and blistered his hand because he had to pull on the breaks so hard. This discouraged him from trying this much, much longer and steeper run. As it turns out this was an extremely slow ride, first because the sleds were designed to be slow but also we had an escort in front of us to keep us slow. The Chinese we saw did not get one, only Ben and I got that. We guess that they have too many white tourist going much too fast because they are used to this sort of thing being completely safe, but that was just a guess.

We then went to the Reed Flute caves. These are spectacular limestone caves. They were used to hide during WW2 and flutes of reed were made to entertain themselves. This is what we were told but making music while hiding did seem suspect. These caves were totally lit up with multiple colors. This added to the beauty by the colour but took away from the natural beauty that was the cave itself. Both boys even questioned if this was natural or man-made for the tourist, because with the coloured lights you could not actually see any normal appearing rock.

We wrapped up at Seven-Star Park which was a regular public park with gardens, walk ways, a small zoo except that you had to pay to get in. We did enjoy walking around a Chinese Garden in China and certainly enjoyed watching the locals and Chinese tourist (no Europeans were in the park).

We had booked a “tour” for this day as well. All it involved was a driver and a English speaking guide to help us buy tickets. The price was about what we would have expected to have just paid to a driver for a day of service. We had to keep reminding ourselves of this when we found the guide to be irritating in how she tried to rush us through things.

The last day, we had the morning and early afternoon. The only thing we chose to do was to go see Wave-Subduing Hill which was near out hotel. This was a small steep hill with caves in it. We walked around, looked at the inside temple, saw many Buddha’s, watched fishermen and the Chinese version of Croquet.

We wrap up Guilin much as we would feel when we go to Banff town site. Like Banff, the views are great, but the tourist things suck lots of energy and time that takes away from the nature that you went for, leaving a somewhat hollow feeling. Highlight: the restaurant around the corner from the hotel. It was called “McFound” and featured Van Gouge quality posters, a Mexican Chef statue, and had a farm house cottage in its logo. The food was excellent and included some tastes and concepts we had not experienced before: julienne potatoes lightly fried and dressed with vinegar; julienne beef strips on a bed of green onions served with a plate of egg roll wrappers; dumplings with super thin wrappers; pumpkin coated in egg and deep fried (boys loved this). Prices reflected that the restaurant did not yet know that foreigners can be charged 4 times as much as locals. We ate there twice.



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