Hello OP/Blonk--that VIP bus I took was in excellent shape and more like the very high-end VIP buses that one comes across in the US or Thailand. They even have a female attendant--similar to a flight attendant--to pass out handwipes, snacks, water, etc.
Just a caveat. I'm able to speak a bit of Cantonese myself but found China still one of the hardest countries to communicate in because not that many people outside of the Canton/Guangzhou-HK-Macau area speak that much Cantonese. I even took several years of Mandarin but because each place has their own dialects and accents, sometimes it was still quite difficult to understand what Mandarin speakers were saying. So, I'd advise to still take a good Chinese/Mandarin phrase-book along. I wouldn't worry too much about people what people think with regards to your girlfriend. If she's adopted the mannerisms of Australia, then it'll be readily apparent to locals that she's an overseas chinese and they'll be able to tell quickly just by how she dresses and carries herself. Anyways, have an excellent time. I think you'll like the Longji/Longshend/Dragon's Back terraced ricefields and concomittant ethnic minority area.
Yangshuo - a town to sit back and relax ... it's a fun place to be in. Base yourself in the famous West Street where you can find most everything there. Take the bicycle ride to Moon Hill and the outskirts of Yangshuo - tiring but enjoyable. Take the cruise and boat/raft rides - well, you will be consistently pestered by the agents anyway... Go and venture into the older villages around Yangshuo - villages like Fuli and Xingping and be awed by the old buildings and the home industries around them... After all these... sit back along the fresco cafes in West Street and seep in .......
Here are some interesting sites in Yangshuo
* West Street (Xi Jie)
* Moon Hill
* Li Jiang river/Boat & Bamboo raft rides
* Bicycle ride
* Yulong river
* Fuli village
* Xingping village
* The town of Yangshuo
See more photos attached on Yangshuo and its nearby places of interests.
For more details and write-ups on Yangshuo - See my INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL PAGE on Yangshuo.
To see the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces a.k.a Longi Titian, you will need to go to Longsheng. Longsheng basically has nothing much to offer except that most go there for the hotsprings. The main attraction in Longsheng is definately the Longi Titian situated in two main villages, namely :-
* PingAn village - which is more touristy and on lower grounds
* Dazhai village - less remote and on higher grounds
Both villages have their own set of "Seven Stars with Moon" rice terraces. In PingAn village, most of the minority tribes are of the Zhuang clan while in the upper north of it, the village of Dazhai, you will find the Hong (Red) Yao minority tribe.
More photos attached on rice terraces & minority tribes for your enjoyment.
Pls see my individual travel pages on Dazhai and Longsheng for details and write-ups
Yeap, Guilin lives up to its name as one of the most scenic spots in the world - just like the Chinese painting depicting mountains, rivers, pine trees..... You will be seeing lots of karst mountains, limestone caves of stalactites and stalagmites, peaks and waterfalls. You will do more boat and raft rides on the Li Jiang river than travelling on land.
Here are some places of interests in Guilin
* Prince's City and Solitary Beauty Peak (Chengyun Palace and Duxiu Feng)
* Seven Star Park (Qixing Gongyuan)
* Two rivers Four Lakes (Liang Chiang Xi Fu) - Water System in Guilin
* Li Jiang River & Boat Ride
* Crown Cave (Quan Yuan)
* Gudong Falls
* Third Sister Liu Folk Park (Liu Sanjie Jin Quan Yuan)
* Tunnel Hill Cave (Chuansan Scenic Spot)
* Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbi Shan)
* The town of Guilin
See additional pics attached on the abovementioned places of interests.
For detailed write-up and tips, please see my Individual Travel page on Guilin
Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi has expanded widely. The city is big with lots of tall, huge buildings.
Places of Interests:-
* Guangxi Povincial Museum (Guangxi Sheng Bowuguan)
* Yiling Cave (Yiling Yan)
* People's Park (Renmin Gongyuan)
* The town of Nanning
4 more pictures to show you the places of interests in Nanning
See individual travel page on Nanning for details
Liuzhou is also a big city with some impressive mountains. It is more of an industrial town.
Places of Interests :-
* Liuhou Park (Liuhou Gongyuan)
* Fish Peak Mountain & Fish Peak Park (Yufeng Shan & Yufeng Gongyuan)
* Horse Saddle Mountain (Ma'an Shan)
* Liujiang Bridge (Liujiangda Qiao)
* Five Stars Business Walking Street (Wu-Xing Shuang-Yeh Pu Sin Che)
* The town of Liuzhou
See 4 more pics attached on the abovementioned places of interests.
For more details on Liuzhou, pls see individual travel page on Liuzhou
this is an impressive performance of the legend of liu san jie.. with the river and lime stone hills as its background, the play presents a cast of more than 500 people, under the direction of the famous chinese director, zhang yimou.. the sheer size and number of this performance is enough to take anyone's breath away.. an experience not to be missed..
the elephant trunk hill is one of the famous hill formations in guilin.. it looks like an elephant dipping its trunk into the li river for a drink.. although this is a huge place, authorities have cleverly blocked all possible views with big potted plants, leaving you with no choice but to pay an entrance fee to the waterside to view it.. :P
if you travel to guilin,you must go to Longsheng.Pinganzhai and Dazhai are the great scenery.there is one of the largest terraces in china,it was make from Dynesty Yuan,800years ago.The Dazhai terrace is grander than Pinganzhai.To travellers,the two village are called Longji scenery.
Guilin, in my opinion, is not as beautiful as the villages along Li River. But many people start from here and then take Li River cruise 64 kms down the river to Yangshuo, and visit other villages there. One should spend more time in Yangshuo and its vincinity than in Gui Lin, if time is limited.
More photos and details in Gui Lin page.
Yangshuo is a town aside of Li River, among many beautiful and peaceful villages.
It is also an international backpackers' heaven. Many liked it so much that they actually settled here and became a 'local'.
The elephant hill is nearby Li river,it seems like an elephant extending it's long nose into Li river to drink.If you stand on the cabin cruiser'board, you can see the elephant,it is the city's band.
Li River has long been famed for its unique pinicle sceneray along the river, and always granted the 'best scene' under sky in many of ancient Chinese poems.
More photos/detail are in Yangshuo page.
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