03.02.2012 - 03.02.2012 4 °C
Up late-ish today which I attribute to the need to be thawed after the shower last night. After heading down to reception (did I mention I am on the 5th floor with no lift, it's a calf killer and the steps are higher than usual) so anyway grabbed a map from the front desk and the girl told me that there are 3 main sights to Guilin, Seven Star Scenic Area, Elephant Trunk Hill, and Solitary Peak. So I am determined to do all of these today as my only day here.
Apparently they are all within walking distance 30 minutes tops, but I am wary of time and distance by the Chinese, everything is not too far, but is actually 3 times as far. So upon arrival at 7 star scenic area some 35 mins later I am relieved that she was right about the distance, the area is a huge national park and is very beautiful, bought a ticket to 7 star cave, which is a spectacle in itself, and an unexpected surprise to the park. The cave is magnificent, and beautifully lit up, the tour is in Chinese but English titles to what the rock formations look like are all there, there was also a demonstration of Mongolian hair weaving, and traditional dress which was both a weird and interesting experience.
On the way through to the other sights, walked through a food market, which I love now and seek them out all the time. Had duck neck on a stick which is probably the best tasting duck I have ever had (the flavor is all in the neck I guess) a spicy pastry and some quail eggs on a stick. Full from lunch now I head off to see solitary peak and on the way see fir lake, both of which are beautiful landmarks, and Guilin is shaping up to be an incredible natural beauty.
Made it to solitary peak before it started to get dark, but it is just a Ramon peak that the city is built up around. So after a quick snap, took the rest of the afternoon walking along the Li River which flows quite quickly considering it goes through the city, the hostel is quite close to one section of the river.
Lessons Learnt - Part 9
When people say you are more likely to die getting hit by a bus, they are talking about in China. So still haven't learnt to look the right way when crossing the road as traffic is opposite here. So I did me look left look right look left again and then stepped out right in front of a bus. So that's an experience, now will be walking when the locals walk, preferably behind one.
So followed the Li river for about 40 mins which was a very peaceful stroll until it connected to the street my hostel is on. A quick meal at the local hole in the wall shop, just rice and vegetables today, but you choose what you want vegetable wise and then the put it in a bag and weigh it, and you pay by the weight of the bag, then you get rice free, well I think it's free it just came out but it cost around $3.50AUD so can't complain too much.
So chilled in the hostel tonight and played a little pool with some of the other guests, tomorrow Li River Cruise to Yangshuo which is said to be spectacular.