We loved it! We loved it! We loved it!
I've heard about the beauty of Guilin for so many times... I've yearned of visiting the place for so long...
I was definitely jumping with joy when I was finally there! I love that place!
We originally planned for 4 days holiday in Guilin. But thanks to Air Asia for changing its flight schedule, we ended up having to stay for 6 days there. We originally booked the 'Yangshuo Outside' inn, but due to an unfortunate incident at the inn, we ended up staying at the 'Yangshuo Magnolia' hotel. One thing we learned from our trip this time was that there IS such a thing as a blessing in disguise and we're very thankful for it!
As per our usual traveling habits, we only booked for accommodation and airport transfers. All the tours we arranged with the hotel once we're there and the staff very very helpful. They speak good English, so no problem at all. The driver that picked & sent us to/from hotel/airport was a kind man. Didn't talk much.
There was something about this place that made us generous tippers :) Must be all that beauty, serenity, freshness & overall satisfaction... but the guides were all nice & friendly people!
And again, I was told that I look like Chinese people... that's it! I gotta admit! I've got Chinese look! :P
I'm gonna share with you the wonderful scenery of the places that we visited and the activities that we did while we were there. Enjoy! Let's see if my joy can be contagious :)
This entry is a long read... but, you don't want a miss a thing!
The view from the room we stayed in... lovely... relaxing...
Around Yangshuo Town:
If you think that this place was like some old China town... opppssss!!!! You're wrong! We were wrong! In fact, a few other tourist admitted that they underestimated Yangshuo and that was a mistake! This place is such a tourist town that the West End street reminds me of 'Bintang Walk' in KL! Except that this town was surrounded by hills. So many shops, so many cafes, so many restaurants and surprisingly, so many clubs... which is not to my preference. All the loud noise in such beautiful, serene place, it just doesn't match.
And the nights were alive.
The thing that I admire about the development about this town is that, they didn't cut down the hills for development. They developed around it. Which is very nice, very unique and very caring for the nature. I like!
From my observation, there was no useful land left unused in this part of the world... impressive!
Liu San Jie Light Show:OMG! The show was brilliant. With all the coordination of people, music, lights and the lovely singing. The director, Zhang Yimou is also the person responsible with Beijing 2008 Olympics opening ceremony. I don't know how to express the feeling when I saw the show. You have to be there to experience the awe. It was impressive.
Perhaps a little peek here? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ukofI9FrS4
By the way, just FYI... I love those songs!
My only sharp photo during the show... taking photo under low lights... challenging...
LongJi Rice Terraces:
OMG! The place is breathtaking! The green hills, the fresh air, the amazing view, all that nature, the nice & friendly people, the good feeling! Priceless!
LongJi Rice Terraces is located in Longsheng, about 3-4 hours drive from Yangshuo. We didn't mind the long ride because we were so excited and happily enjoying the view on the ride there. Once we arrived at Longsheng, we have to change to a coaster, a smaller bus because the road up the hills was quite narrow and winding. The view of the hills? Mesmerizinggg... I can still see the image in my head.
At the village, we watched a show on the life and culture of the ethnic there... do you know that over there the women is the head of the family and they are the ones responsible to 'bring home the meatloaf'? Or in their case, the rice? Do you also know that over there, if a woman likes a man, they'll pinch the man's butt? Hahahahaaaa... I found that is so cute although that is totally inappropriate in my culture :)
And over there, the ladies... they have a very long hair... almost the same as their height. Their hair was so black & shiny even the grandmothers'! I was so jealous of them! Their hair were so healthy & thick... no white or red hair whatsoever!
Their secret? They wash their hair using the water that they wash the rice! Those rice they plant at the terraces must be ultimately organic!
It rained when we were about to climb up to see the rice terraces from an 'aerial' view. But, we climbed up nevertheless :) It was really foggy & misty... not to forget tiring. All the panting and sweating despite the cold weather... we reached the top to see white clouds and no view of the rice terrace what so ever... heheheeee... see see... despite the disappointment and the tiredness, I'm still laughing... lalalalaaaaa...
We slowly walked down... the houses on the hill looks classical... other than a few cafes and shops, the place looked untouched by modernization. I loved the peacefulness there... We stopped at a souvenir shop where we bought some beautiful table cloths... happy happy happy!
The fogs dissappered once we arrived at the entrance of the village... I was so thrilled to see the vastness of the rice terrace. The place was amazing!
Huangyao Ancient Village:A trip worthwhile... enough said :)
Have you ever watched the movie 'The Painted Veil', starring Edward Norton and Naomi Watts ? I watched it, I loved that movie... most importantly I loved the scenery!
I insisted of going to Huangyao once I knew that the movie was shot here. The ancient village was well preserved and you can feel like you're walking in a truly old Chinese environment.
You'll admire the old buildings and the landscaping of the village.. and the people was friendly too!
They were doing their 'business'. I shouldn't have disturbed them but I couldn't resist those cute faces!
Cycling around Yangshuo countryside:
From my experience from cycling in the town of Yangshuo... it was not dangerous at all. The other vehicles will not simply knock you down. They didn't even honk when we were slow & blocking their way. They would just slow down as well. But if you're blocking the road, please be kind enough to get out of the way :) The only danger when cycling is if you don't know how to handle the bicycle.
So in conclusion, the possible danger of cycling in the town of Yangshuo is you yourself :)
We cycled from the town to the countryside, then took the bamboo raft, then to the Moon Cave. But on the way back, we took a bus coz our bottoms were already sore... eiikssss...
Mmmm... not my favourite activity coz the trip was slow and long (45 mins) and mostly because the nice view along the river were blocked by stalls on the river.
Bamboo Rafting along Yulong River:
Bamboo Rafting along Yulong River:
But, if you were here, don't skip this activity please... There were a couple of very nice areas along the river... if you were lucky, then maybe you get to shoot some nice photos as well.
I was pretty pleased with some of the photos I took. Of course I edited them a little bit before I uploaded them here, but the original photos were just as great :)
There are a few not too small waterfalls along this river... the drops were not deep, but it's enough to give us the suspense... hihihiiii... I enjoyed the waterfalls. It was fun!
We loved this activity as well! Despite the tiredness, the sweating, the panting because of all the climbing and ducking etc... we got to see an amazing cave system and an underground river which was very clear and cold!
Underground River @ the Moon Cave:
Underground River @ the Moon Cave:
In the cave you can also enjoy a mud bath & hot spring... but we skipped both of that...
We explored the cave wearing slippers! I gave myself a pat on both shoulders! Well done! Hahahaaaa...
We loved this activity! Plus, we got to meet a lovely couple from Ecuador where we shared a lot of laughs! They were really nice!
At the exit of the cave, we were presented by a mass of paddy fields! So green, so peaceful... so worth it!
andddd... Shopping! Yeehaaaaa...silk scarves, table cloths, clothing, paintings, etc etc... just don't go crazy ok :)
Halal food? No problem!
Sooooo... how do you feel? Feeling like going to Guilin & Yangshuo or not? Ngeeeee... the place so beautiful, the memories so sweet and wonderful and amazing... I can say that, I'll be back! Definitely!
OMG OMG... I want to go there again!
Note: The challenge of this entry was choosing photos to share... there are so many that I want to show you... but I can't possibly upload them all here...