Today we have some low cloud and occasional drizzle to deal with but it’s not too chilly so it doesn’t curtail our enjoyment.
Our first stop is to wander around the ancient town of Daxu. A couple of cobbled streets reaching down to a fishing wharf on a tributary of the Li River offer some scenic snap shots between rampant renovation construction work. I buy a truly delicious soggy donut sort of thing just fried up by a street vender. She’s pretty delighted with my enthusiastic response. I gather it is made with ground beans and something else that grows nearby which is sweet. How’s that for a detailed identification? I know lame! We get some candied ginger from a funny little shop and pop into a traditional Chinese pharmacy. Among the mysterious herbs, fungi and lord know what, there are large bottles crammed full of dead snakes in fluid. One is supposed to drink this fluid each day for longevity and good health. We do not! We leave pretty quickly, I find the place creepy and Dad doesn’t even enter! We stroll through the immaculate vegetable gardens which stretch neatly behind each home. The houses are all wooden, with ground floors open to the street for shops and storage. The people live upstairs. There are neatly strung new electric wires, electricity having only recently arrived to this place.
As with much of what we’ve seen so far, there is a huge amount of renovation and new construction. This does detract a fair bit from what may have been a perfect tourist’s look at a quaint picturesque village. It is now leaping happily into modern times, and I hope once the construction is finished the inhabitants enjoy all the new amenities.
While in the village we wander around in a dilapidated house which has been bought for restoration. The government has sold an adjacent piece of property for a new hotel development which will be incorporated into the older building. The place was clearly once palatial and very beautiful. There are numerous dusty treasures inside, it is itself a treasure, so I hope it is restored to something of its former magnificence.
Our next stop was to ascend the area’s highest mountain – Mount Yao – via cable car. We arrive to find a chairlift with cute little fringed canopies over each chair. It is a scenic ride up and a stunning ride back down. About 30minutes each way. From the top the view across the karst mountains is incredible. While our river trip provided us an intimate look at these formations, this more overall view really enables us to more fully appreciate the vast scope of this landscape.
We enjoy a pleasant wander on the mountain before returning to Guilin for another terrific lunch. As usual there is way more food than we can manage and many new flavours and combinations of foods to experience.
Our last stop of the day is a stroll through the very large and beautiful Seven Stars Park. The park is anchored by an impressive rocky karst in the shape of a camel. There are many forested paths to explore, bridges, flower beds, even some Pandas. Unfortunately for us, the Pandas have recently moved south for the winter as it is too cold for them here at this time of year.
Back at our Inn we enjoy a beer before heading off to our noisy local restaurant for dinner. As usual we are well looked after with smiles, sign language, and the picture menu. One dish we have is strips of pumpkin or squash coated in salty egg and fried. Soooo yummy. The best French fries in the world pale by comparison.
Upon our return for the evening we visit with a lovely English woman traveling here solo (with private guides at each port of call). A very enjoyable chat about travels.
I hope I’ll be able to continue Blogging from Shanghai but no guarantee. I gather the fire wall can be set up and let down in various places for various time frames for various reasons. So if I go silent that’s likely the reason.
Cheers from Guilin – a place that for sure should be on a China visit itinerary! Thank you Karin for the recommendation!