This post has been long overdue. The man and I have since moved from Italy to a small mining town in Australia – hoping to realise his dream of becoming a geologist. We are getting there! It took forever to get internet – so now I am finally back on 🙂
After leaving Italy, I went home to Malaysia to visit my parents. They were going on a trip to China with dad’s siblings. Obviously I’d invited myself too.
We spent nine days in Guilin – where it is said to be one of the most beautiful places in China.
The city itself was faded and crowded. Most mornings we had Guilin mihun for breakfast, a staple rice noodle dish simmered in broth. Night markets would come alive after the sun had set, and the business of the city continues until late into the night.
We hired a private tour guide who took us around and she was very good. Xiao Deng did a marvellous job of handling the nine of us and was very flexible if we wanted to change the itinerary (yep, we had enough of caves and parks at one point).
As Guilin is well-known for its natural landscapes, we had more fun being out in the countryside.
Some places were too touristy but on the “must-see” list. I was really amazed by Chinese ingenuity to market ANYTHING and make money out of it – mainly referring to the caves and their crazy light fittings, just like this at Reed Flute Cave.
One of my favourite memories was cruising down the Li River. It felt very peaceful looking at the mountains scattered around, and we had great fun when a cormorant fisherman came on our boat with his bird. Shame that the river was a muddy yellow due to rain a few days ago.
Yangshuo was a highlight. Its famed LongJi rice terraces grace every postcard and magnet in souvenir shops. However, the best time was when it had gotten too misty to see anything, so my mum, aunts and I rented traditional costumes and took a gazillion photos whilst laughing hysterically at ourselves. That was the best.
Truth be told, I was a little disappoint in Guilin. I had expected far more from seeing photos online, but this shows that you cannot always trust what you see unless it’s from your own eyes. In hindsight it could have been the incorrect season (we went at the start of spring), but it was still a great time with family.