Yangshuo Day 3 & Guilin

Continued from Yangshuo Day 2 Part 2.

Way behind on the blog!! I think 5 fucking days behind. I blame Game of Thrones!

Woke up today to the sounds of heavy rain. This picture pretty much sums up the whole day. We were expecting heavy rain here in Yangshuo, and we are getting it today.

No problem. Eating some Chinese BBQ flavored Lay’s and watching hours and hours of Game of Thrones while it rains cats and dogs outside sounds like a great plan.

It wasn’t until a bit after noon when we made it out for lunch. It’s still raining. Kind of glad it’s raining. Makes us appreciate the dryer weather yesterday so much more. Yeah!!

It’s rained quite a bit!

Get some postcards. Then I asked the shop girl what she likes to eat around here. She suggested a noodle shop just around the corner.

Row of noodle shops.

This is the one.

They were showing one of those game shows where you try to get through an obstacle course. This one was Mario themed.

Delicious and Cheap! I think it was something like $3 to feed both of us. This is how locals eat, and not at the overpriced Beer Fish places.

Time for dessert.

Apparently, quite popular. People write the dates that they visited this place on the cup sleeves and put them all over the place.

This one drink costs almost as much as our whole lunch, but was it worth it! Mango passion fruit smoothie!!

While we are at it, wrote out some postcards. Then, only to realize that we don’t have addresses for many of our friends, and also to realize that we can’t access Facebook in China so it’ll take some effort to get their addresses. Sigh.

Just some light rain, might as well walk around and stretch our legs a little.

OK, that’s enough walking around. The heavy rain is coming again, so time to get holed back up in the hotel and watch more GoT. The rain is so relaxing today after the all day sightseeing yesterday.

We only leave the room for one thing, to get food. Time for dinner.

They pick the strangest people to draw over here.

We ended up at this Indian restaurant that had decent reviews on Tripadvisor. Sure, why not.

Not happy. We waited almost an entire hour for the food to come out. They claimed that two large parties got sat right before we got here…

The wait wouldn’t have been so bad if the food was good. It wasn’t. Probably the most bland Indian food we’ve ever had. I even had to ask for salt. Disappointed.

And that’s it for Yangshuo Day 3. It rained all day, so we watched GoT all day.

Guilin Day 1

Today we are leaving Yangshuo and heading to Guilin. Can you spot the turtle?

The great majority of mopeds here in China(at least this region) are electric. I am very surprised by this still.

I asked our hotel to write down directions on how to get to Guilin. We walk to this intersection, look for a pedestrian bridge, find a sign, wait for the bus, get on the bus, go to the long distance station, etc. etc…The trade off for saving money on a private car that takes us straight there is a lot of transfers.

Now, we walk.

Got to the intersection, did not see the bus sign but did see a taxi. Oh, and it started to rain. Rain is a great motivator for taking the easy way out and getting in a taxi.

Dropped us off at the bus station. Gonna get some express bus tix.

There is our bus. Leaves every 20 minutes, so we didn’t have to wait long.

China is not very travel friendly for people who do not speak Mandarin. Very few signs are in English, and very few people, even the hotel staff, can speak English well enough to help you. If I didn’t speak Mandarin, this country would be very difficult to travel in. Not to mention, there is not a lot of resources in English to help a traveler online either.

Great, I had this sticking out in my seat back. Good thing I was able to fold it out of the way so that it didn’t poke a hole in my back.

The bus did not take the tollway, but just the regular road. Bumpier, and more traffic that we had to overtake, but overall not too bad.

In a bit over an hour, we’ve reached the outskirts of Guilin.

Arrived at the bus station, and we got into a taxi. A lady taxi driver, the first for us on this entire trip.

When we pulled up to a light in our taxi, this car pulls up next to us. The driver looks over at RL and stares. Then a few seconds later, the rear windows roll down, so that his wife can stare too. Then the wife points at her baby to stare at RL as well. The Stare-O-Meter for RL’s Caucasianess has reached an all time high here in China. Our taxi would literally pass buses, and half of the people would crane their heads all the way around to stare at RL. She hates it.

Reached out hotel!

Our wonderful view from our window.

They gave us two tiny beds instead of one large one. When I went downstairs to ask for a large bed, they said that it would cost extra($3). OK, that’s fine. Then when we went to the room with the large bed, it reeked so strongly of cigarettes that we decided to come back to the room with two beds. Not liking this place, but we expected that. Guilin Hotels are expensive, and none of them are reviewed well until you go into the super luxury hotels. This is what you get for $48 a night, and it’s easily our least favorite hotel. It’s very very tired and badly needs an update.

Not to mention, our internet didn’t work when we first arrived. We had to call the front desk to come fix it. Good thing we are only staying here for two nights.

There is supposedly a pedestrian street very close to us for some food.

Indeed very close to us, less than 3 minutes walk.

Hah…Well, it was funny until we decided that we’ll be eating here.

We did not order that…

Some flower tea.

Chinese BBQ pork. This was divine! Better than any that I’ve ever had in America, and it had a different marinade. Surprisingly enough, tasted like the Lay’s chips.

Let’s eat! We’ve also decided during this meal that we can’t eat 3 dishes for family style meals. From now on, only two dishes!

Seriously, this BBQ pork was incredible!! RL agrees!

Giant plaza, had to come here to find an ATM that works. The first ATM that we tried did not take overseas ATM cards. Lame.

Our hotel comes to fix our internet…Lame. Well, at least they were able to get it to work.

It’s the middle of the afternoon already, and we didn’t really have anything planned for Guilin today. How about a river cruise…sure, I guess. Booked it with the tour desk at our hotel. The tour desk lady was nice and awesome, the lobby staff were indifferent and incompetent.

The Li River.

We need to cross that bridge, and the pier is right on the other side.

Got our waterproof hiking shoes on. We’ve been hauling these heavy things in our luggage the entire time, just for wet rainy days. Finally got to use them for the past few days. They actually have really shitty grip on flat wet surfaces, so they are actually terrible urban shoes. What a shame.

Exchanged our receipt for tickets.

There’s our boat.

A group of swimmers about to take a swim in the Li River. This can’t be a great idea. 1. I bet it’s polluted, this being China and all. 2. There is quite a lot of boat traffic, and this just seems like a terrible safety hazard.

Our boat eventually fills up with almost all Chinese nationals. They are also tourists here in Guilin. Everyone stares at RL. We suspect that one of the girls sitting across from us even took a photo of RL on her phone.

I could never pull off those shoes. And to think, he’s even got green pants on!

This is supposedly the most famous sight here in Guilin, Elephant Trunk Hill. Yawn. I think we may have made a mistake on this cruise, as is is the most boring tour I’ve ever been on.

About halfway through the trip, and it felt like an eternity because it sucked, we are heading into a lock and go into the lakes of Guilin.

Immediately, the scenery gets better.

OK, this is more promising.

They even decorate the bottom of bridges here.

Look at that crazy root system!

And…we’ve crossed the Pacific and are now entering San Francisco Harbor.

And now we are in Rome or France. The Chinese rip off the architecture of many countries around the world.

This is more like it.

A stone boat.

The Sun and Moon Pagodas. This is supposed to be the other famous sight in Guilin. Too bad we are here too early, and they are not lit up for the night. This is also where our river cruise ended. The first part was terribly boring, the second part was decent. I guess it was worth it.

The boat dropped us off close to our hotel, and there are vendor stalls everywhere.

They really cater this country for the shorter people, and I am not even that tall!

RL ended up buying a traditional Chinese dress from this stall. She’s pretty pumped about it.

Then for dinner, I got to pick the dinner spot, and what better place than a Taiwanese steakhouse!! This place smells very similar to my favorite restaurant in Taiwan.

We also got a nice window view, and please, do pay attention to the nice touch on the fake grass.

Ahhh yes. Unfortunately, I’ve started getting sick, yet again. Or rather, I’ve been continuously sick for a few days now, and tonight, it took a turn for the worse, so I didn’t have too much of my dinner.

RL did enjoy her meal though, especially the corn broth soup.

Check please. Many shops here in China have this cash countering machine. It’s because their biggest denomination is 100, which is something like $16, so you are always carrying around a large wad of paper. Seriously, bigger denominations would be great. China isn’t cheap like it used to be anymore. They are also religious about checking for counterfeit bills. Every 100 Yuan bill gets checked.

Tomorrow, we’ve got an early wake up to head to Longji, to see the rice terraces. It’ll be a long day of traveling, ugh.

Guilin Day 2

Woke up in the middle of the night, and I was freezing. I am having the chills and I think I have a fever. Shit, I think it’s mild food poisoning.

This morning, woke up with a slight fever. I debated back and forth about whether we should still head to see the rice terraces today or cancel on our ride last minute. It would be 6 hours total of traveling through vomit inducing mountain roads, and won’t get back until late in the day. With about 30 minutes until our ride comes to pick us up, I decided that it was best for me to stay home.

To our surprised, when we called the tour desk, they refunded us 80%(about $40) of the cost. Sweet, did not expect to get any sort of refund for cancelling 30 minutes before.

Not as good as the Chinese BBQ Pork flavor.

I was running a fever and could not stay warm. RL, being the RN that she is, prescribed a pair of my own shorts as a blanket to warm my head…

After a disorienting morning, my fever finally broke and it’s time to get some food. I am not happy that RL is making me go eat. I just want to lay in bed.

We ended up at this blue collar Chinese cafeteria place.

I had to force food down my throat. Ugh.

Today is not my day. I think I may have also gotten bitten by a mosquito on my lip(lower right side)…not only am I sick, I now also look like a monster! Damn you Guilin! Took away my health, and now you are taking away my beauty!

Spent the afternoon just being sick and not leaving the hotel. Ugh.

Dinner time. Time to eat something safe.

Safe only really means KFC. Sigh.

They had an egg custard on the menu!! Did not expect that.

By night time, I had started feeling better. Made the right decision not to go to Longji today. I would have been miserable and probably thrown up in the ride there and back. Longji, perhaps next time!!

To be continued at Tibet Day 1

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