For the start of my travels, I met my boyfriend, his sister and her own boyfriend in Guilin. In China, Guilin is quite a famous tourist destination. For natural beauty, it is the place to go.
So for our time in the province, we decided to stay in Guilin city for 2 days, then head to the rice fields. With the rice fields in the north, and Yangshuo to the south, you need to pass through Guilin city to get to these places.
Surprisingly, none of us enjoyed Guilin city. Every park or scenic area has a fee. And it’s expensive! One famous landmark is the Elephant trunk; a hole in the middle of a mountain that supposedly looks like an elephants trunk, hence the name. So we decided to have nosey at the price; 75yuan!! What!!?? Why the hell is it that expensive??
We then tried to look around the area and see if we could spot the famous trunk. But no….they put huge trees in the way so no one can see it. So you either pay the ridiculous price or not see it at all.
We couldn’t wait to leave. We couldn’t do any sightseeing as it was just too expensive. So Guilin was a bit of a disappointment.
We heard of a small ancient town outside of the city so we decided to go and visit. It’s called Daxu Ancient Town.. and it certainly looks ancient! In Chengdu, most of the towns are reconstructed, but this one really hasn’t been touched at all. People still live in the small town which was nice to see.
We made one small mistake though; we saw an old man ushering us into his small house.. I was a bit hesitant… I didn’t want to intrude. But he seemed ok about. So we had a look inside; very old. Their kitchen was literally in a shed. It was very cool to see how they live though. I was very thankful and said thank you in Chinese. Then I hear from him; 4 people is 5yuan each.
What?? He’s charging us?? He’s the one who invited us in… but anyway, my boyfriend gave him 20yuan altogether, about 3euro and out we went. I was a little annoyed about being conned. I thought he did it out of kindness. Then I see on the door that they actually have prices to enter! We never saw this until it was too late. So it was our fault really. But I suppose they need to make their money some way. After that we made sure to look everywhere in case we stumbled into a fee paying place.
I really enjoyed the small town and thankfully it hasn’t been demolished; unlike most other places in China. Hopefully the government will forget about this little gem of a place.
Our next stop was to Longsheng Rice Fields. I have always seen this fields online and I always wanted to visit them; I just never thought I would have… so I was very impressed when we arrived! It was more than what I imagined. Really pretty. The fields change with every season, but for me visiting in the summer is the prettiest.
We had to hike 1 hour up a mountain to get to our hostel, and it was tough!!! Especially with our bags.. but the view was definitely worth it.
We spent 2 days in Longsheng, then made our way south to Yangshuo. This is where the creators of Avatar got their idea for the huge floating mountains in the film. Yangshuo is a vibrant city and we all loved it. Being surrounded by mountains made it really beautiful. We were only there for 2 days unfortunately; we could have done with 3/4 days; theres plenty to do.
We walked around the city, climbed a huge mountain and watched the sunset go down over the high mountains and spent another day cycling in and around the beautiful area.
We enjoyed Yangshuo that much that we are thinking of going back when my boyfriends parents come to visit. 2 days isn’t enough to spend there.
After our stay, we had to get the train to Chengdu, and that was a nightmare altogether. I will do another post about that ordeal.