I wrote in my Tacoma page about the disappointment that was my visit to its glass bridge, by Chihuli. Maybe because of it (and because I couldn’t read any special reference to this one, in Guilin), I didn’t approach the Crystal Bridge in Banyan Lake.
Maybe glass, maybe plastic, maybe both, it surely stands closer to what I was expecting from a so called glass or crystal bridge than the American one. And the effects, at night, have a beauty that my poor camera could catch. But Banu was in the group, and, with her permission, I’ll join her version, in the reader’s profit.
It was a simple and nice idea, the installation of some statues of elephants playing in the water, in Elephant's Trunk park.
It gave expression to the shallow and calm borders of the river, and integrates well in the landscape and touristy attraction.
For those without time to descend the Li river (will it be anyone that goes to Guilin without descending the river?), it’s possible to make a small trip around the elephant’s trunk in a typical raft, protected from the sun and rain.
We had no time to approach the sailors, and check the prices (well... we descended the river…).
The education in Guilin is so developed during the Ming and Qing dynasty that it is called the Zhuangyuan City. 'Zhuangyuan" refers to the scholar who obtained the highest score in the national examination, set by the emperor, during the late Qing dynasty period.
This Zhuangyuan will later serve as the government official and would have an opportunity to marry one of the king's daughters. Interestingly, I learned that during that time, the examination is categorised into 3 levels: village, province, and national.
Anyone who cheats or steals the examination papers would be sentenced to death. Hence, exams at that time are taken very seriously.
Don't know much about this historical site but according to the tour guide here, this place is related closely to Feng Shui. It is located at the north of Guilin city. The park is beautiful, temple is believed to be answering people's prayers, mountain is unique and cave is peaceful. The park has mountains, rivers and caves.
Upon coming out from the cave, a shop selling auspiciuos jade figurines and pendants is connected strategically there.
Chinese people are very brilliant in using tourism shopping to generate additional revenue.
Entrance Ticket: RMB32
At the peak of Gudong National Park is the canopy walk with tall trees and a suspension bridge. The bridge is strong and sturdy, shaking is very minimal. Walking on the suspension bridge you can see green foliage all around you.
Beside climbing the waterfall, you can participate in many kinds of sports activities. Eg: archery, ball throwing, flying fox, obstacles course, shooting, etc. However, you have to pay a nominal fee in order to play these games. The recommeded one is the flying fox. You can reach the foothill much faster in this way without having to follow the normal route of stone steps.
There are a total of six waterfalls in Gudong National Park and every one is unique. The most imposing is the Curtain Waterfall. Water sliding down gently to form a wide curtain. The waterfalls not only provide a recreation area but also offers some water activities like climbing up the waterfall.
Climbing up the steps in National Park is a bit exhausting with many steep steps but there are some stops at every waterfall for you to take a rest. Don't worry the park guide will always go slow and allow time for rest. The guide wiill normally ask for consensus whether to continue climbing as high up the steps are more steep. At the end of the tour, the guide will ask tourist to fill up a Customer's Feedback Form.
Gudong National Park is kind of like forest reserves for the mainland China. In addition, this national park has many sites and attractions which try to carry "Save Our Planet" message. Target audience are mostly the young school children and university students. Along the way up you will notice many sculptures, art formation or plants with special messages erected. There's even some environmental poems carved on the steps or plagues. Many of the plants here are clearly labeled.
As soon as you board a bamboo raft at a wharf, you will see some minority girls catching fish, singing by the riverside or even the famous Liu Sanjie coming out from her house, waving and singing at you. The singing is melodious through loud-speaker. Her house is so genuine with some clothes hanging for drying and some dried crops.
Don't be surprised to see some school boys splashing water in their bamboo raft. This is part of their custom. Other than taking the bamboo raft, you can also take a horse ride.
Entrance fee: RMB60
If you came to this Guilin page looking for Limestone Cliff pictures on the Lijiang (Li River), you came to the wrong place. These are close to Guilin, but are actually in and around Yangshuo, so you can find these on my Yangshuo page).
These views are famous in China and indeed internationally, and are supposed to represent some of the most Chinese areas in China. Whether this is actually true is impossible for me to say, but nevertheless, this area is the part of China I remember the most fondly and is the bit I would most like to return to! Yangshuo as a little town is well worth staying at for a few days whilst you explore the area (it's great by push bike!). The River Cruise is also well worth seeing.
Before we went to China my niece had asked me to bring her some rice seeds. She wanted to have rice growing in pots on her window sill. I was trying to get some for her, but in vain. Even when I had the name written in Chinese, everybody was looking at me in surprise. Here - looking for rice seeds in Yangshuo.
It is always interesting to find the non-touristic places. Because Yangshuo is small it was easy to walk around and get to the places not frequently attended by tourists. Here's a street kitchen. It looks O.K. but we didn't join in.
The water from these springs, three hours from Guilin by rail, is considered sacred by the minority Yao people and has been used for thousands of years as a cure for many ailments. In five square kilometers, there are 10 natural springs of temperatures up to 80°C.
Located at Chengyang in the Sanjiang Dong Autonomous Region about three and a half hours from Guilin, this 80-meter covered bridge supporting five multi-eaved pavilions was constructed entirely without metal nails or screws.
A half-hour drive from Guilin, the tombs cover 100 square kilometres and contain the remains of 14 Ming Dynasty princes. Four hills provide perfect 'feng shui', and the monumental statues are among the largest and most historically valuable in China.
This idyllic 83-kilometre boat ride down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo passes through a dreamlike landscape otherwise seen only in art galleries. Li River tours are easily arranged through your hotel or China Travel Service.