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Guilin Tour

CHINA | Sunday, 28 October 2007 | Views [1132] | Comments [6]

By Felix Fung:

Back from Guilin!  What a trip it was!  Words cannot describe the beauty that we saw so we'll just let the pictures do the talking.  Some highlights:

1. Soaking in the absolutely stunning scenery as we traveled from Guilin to YangShuo along the Li River

2.  Navigating through the caves in YangShuo

3.Climbing atop the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces and mingling with the local villagers

4. Eating fried bugs, toad, freshly killed chicken, various species of snails, etc...

Ok... a round of applause please, for Felix's effort in writing the above! ;) He is frowning at me right now! But in all honesty... he made a big effort and he was the one that initiated the blog... so I better stop teasing. He is afterall an engineer at heart... and its just in his nature to state the hard facts without all the flowery words!

Many of you have written emails to us to step it up on the blogs... and that some of you even check in daily! (Pammy!!) The pressure is on! =) I guess this will have to make up for my not writing emails as often!

So our first official leg has been completed... and gosh... as Felix so eloquently described... the scenery was just indescribable! Breath-taking! Stunning! Absolutely INCREDIBLE! None of the pictures we took could do any justice to what we saw... I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you visit Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng if you ever have the opportunity. You will not be disappointed!

Felix and I BOTH agree that this little place in China quite possibly is "the most beautiful place" we have ever visited... Now don't quote me on this, since it is only leg 1 of many... but it really just took our breath away.

We took a 5 day tour... with what Chinese people call a Duckling tour. (Nap Jae Tun) Basically we have a guide at the front and at the back that keep all the little ducklings moving. And let me tell you... it was absolutely exhausting. I never thought that it would be so grueling! A lot of the people that we met on the trip, agreed that going to work was easier then following one of these tours! We were up each morning between 6:30 and 7am, and in bed at close to 12 or 1am. Not that we had to sleep that late... but Felix and I, had to try the local food on our own time.. so we'd sneak out to get a bite every night .. (more on that later!)

Each day we visited a different place, and at each place we went to... it was completely different in terms of terrain and scenery. It's hard to imagine in just a mere 1-2 hours drive, that you can get such a dramatic difference in the landscape.

We visited Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng, and the place I was most impressed with was Yangshou. Absolutely beautiful, it was everything you would imagine the little mountains to look like... just like the famous Chinese paintings that you see of mountains and water! 

Yangshuo is a charming little Chinese village, and was so quaint and not overly developed. I wish we had more then just one day there! I think you could easily spend a week there, and not even go with a tour, and just explore on your own time. 

Guilin on the other hand is more of a small town, and although it has some of the most famous mountains, like Elephant Mountain (Xiangbi Shan) and Seven Star Park with the famous Camel mountain, it was all set within the city. (I guess this is similar to what my friend Sumit experienced when he went to Egypt to see the Pyramids.) One thing for sure, I cannot say that architecture, at least in this city is one of the Chinese strengths.

Since we were in the Country, how could we NOT try some of the local fare... and like Felix said... we tried everything! Thankfully we had a seasoned tour guide who was willing to bring us out! My friend Laura taught me that you should ALWAYS try something once... no matter how gross it may be! Hence Felix and I swallowed some deep fried Bees and the baby larvae.. Felix was definitely a lot more brave then I, and sampled a couple of these critters.. but for me... the crunchiness.. just reminded me of the Bee's big bulgy eyes and the webbed wings between my teeth!  The larvae to me was much worse. It was this BIG FAT WHITE squishy grub like creature.. and the tour guide made a point to tell me it was nutrious and yummy... and when I bit into it... it was so SOFT! Lets just say that night.. I drank a lot more beer then my counterparts to wash it all down! Check out the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecD33l9TWK0

Big fat thorny toads with bumpy skin was also on the list of exotic fare... and was in fact quite tasty... but I had to remove the skin.. it was just too bumpy and green for me to ingest! We had FRESH chicken, in the freshest possible sense.. ie.. they literally killed it 3 minutes before we ate it... and the waiters gave us the internal organs in fresh warm chicken blood to eat with the broth.. I skipped out on the blood... but the broth and chicken was very tasty! And we also tried various different species of snail.. I prefer the little snails to the big ones... more  crunchy and less poo. (PS If you ever eat snails.. NEVER eat the ends ... thats where all the by products are kept!)

We also visited Longsheng, for the famed Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces, which is these huge steps that the local villagers carved into the mountain, where they culitivate crops and farm. Another stunning sight...  The local woman  only cut their hair once in their lifetime at 16, and keep every strand of hair that falls out, and weave it into a sort of wig, to wear with their natural hair. They also demonstrate their affection for men with a pinch on the bum. Needless to say ... my husband got more then a few pinches. =)

Ok.. as always I rambled long enough! =) Our next leg is off to Yellow Mountain... (Huangshan). It came highly recommended by my pal Lauranna. =) We're super excited... but happy to have three days of rest before the next trip! We miss you guys... and keep your comments and emails coming! We love HEARING from you!

Check out 'Guilin Tour' under Photo Galleries (on the right) for more pics of our trip. 

Tags: Adventures

Comments

1

That was pretty long. It could be comparable to my blogs back in the day. Hahaha...
I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself, because I think its a shame that I've lived so close to China for so many years but never got to explore the different places there. About the food, props to both of you. I really liked the video, you should have had one for every dish you had.
I'm gonna go look at the pictures now.
Love you!

  Ju Jai Bao Oct 29, 2007 5:50 AM

2

Wow, Steph, you are so brave to eat the Bee - Healthy food :) Your Guilin Video is fantastic.

Good writing!

  Ellen Oct 30, 2007 1:48 AM

3

I can't get over that bee video! Steph, did I hear you say, "it tastes good, but (ick)" lol. Anyway, looks like you guys are having an amazing time...love the pics! Keep up the great blog :)

  Karin Oct 30, 2007 2:27 PM

4

sounds like so much fun. i really wish i was travelling with you guys! i wanna try all the interesting foods that u guys have encountered and see all the spectacular sights you both are encountering. the house is in good order, no worries.. and MAO WONT LEAVE ME ALONE! but its all good.. i think she just misses u guys a lot a xlot a lot! i am going to drop by felix's family's house tomorrow to pick up stuff! time for bed, night suckaz!

  AA fei mui Oct 30, 2007 3:00 PM

5

Wow...I am so impressed with you Steph! I can't believe you ate all those things...bees, larvae, snails and a toad!! That's courage! I think the larvae totally would've grossed me out. You know me and texture!
And Felix getting pinched a lot? No surprise. If it's anything like the ladyboy experience... =)
Stay safe you two. Miss you!
Jaime

  Jaime Oct 30, 2007 11:58 PM

6

Kudos to you both for eating all that gross stuff. What beautiful pictures - absolutely stunning. I'm like Ju Jai Bao...so many years in Hong Kong and I've never ventured into China. I am so envious of you two :) Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! You look like you're having lots of fun, and I'm really enjoying reading about your adventures. Miss you guys! Love, Carmen

  Carmen Nov 4, 2007 4:57 PM

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