Live From China

Day 7 – Guillin   We arrived in Guillin around 7 am.  Most of the kids slept well on the train.  It was fun.  The girls and almost all of the women were in one car so it was a big sleepover.  As for the males, they were on another car with myself and the travel guides.  We had 6 person carts with bunks – 3 on each side in compartments without doors.  The hallway had tables and chairs so people hung out in the hallway a lot.  The lights on the train went out at 10 pm sharp.  There was a Chinese family in my cart and their daughter had spent time in West Palm Beach.

We woke up to rice paddies, mountains and rain.   We ate breakfast in Guilin and on to the rafts.  Our guide Sophie told us the river was flooding so we elected to take larger boats instead.  The kids had a ball – we had ½ the group on each boat and we rode up the river.  Hundreds of photos were taken.  It was stunningly beautiful.   Huge hills all around, water buffalo, villagers doing laundry, cormorants and their fisherman.  The weather held while were on the boats so it was great.  Then on to a cultural village to see how ethnic minorities lived.

We loaded up in small boats and was somewhat like the Disneyland Jungle Cruise however all the performers were live.   There were lots of interesting displays and we got to dance with one group.  Actually the chaperones danced – the kids were too shy.  We did our best to embarrass them.   Also like Disneyland, at the end of the tour, you get to run the gauntlet of shops.  Then it was on to the Banyon Tree.  This tree is 1400 years old and enormous.

The local tour guide suggested we consider attending “Impression Sanjie Liu”.  This is a performance produced by the guy that did the Beijing Opening Ceremonies.  About 50 of us had the stamina to attend.  It was an outdoor performance that included 500 performers and used the natural surroundings including lighting, music and the river.  It was a beautiful performance with lots of dramatic effects, animals, lighting, lightning and RAIN.  We were handed raincoats – should have been a clue.  The rains held off until almost the end – then it dumped rain.  We sat while rivers of water ran across our shoes, down our backs and were mesmerized.

The hotel in Yangshuo was very nice.  Of course, the hotel elevator – yes only one – wasn’t working when we arrived.  Our rooms were on the 7th and 8th floors.  With some team work, we got them up to our rooms.   We all agreed it was better to haul bags in a very nice hotel than have working elevators in less than great accommodations.    Today we are touring more in Guilin.  I hear there are more boats involved   We will see the Elephant Rock – the symbol of Guilin and this afternoon we head to the airport.   Our group will divide in half – not the division we have been traveling with to complicate things – for our flight.  I’m hoping to get connected to send these entries either at the airport or at tonight’s hotel.

Posted in China Trip 2010.

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