the swanky Li River
The swanky Li River – Wave Subduing Hill (middle) and Folded Brocade (right)
Mention you’re going to Guilin to any Chinese person and you’ll certainly receive longing looks of jealousy. It’s easy to see why. The sheer sided karst peaks that surround the city, the osmanthus trees that line the streets, and the tranquil Li River. Or perhaps the strong smell of fresh diced chilis and garlic that fill the air. For many, Guilin is a dream destination.
I was fortunate to spend 3 days in Guilin. (Oh, and BTW I got my luggage back!)
The early half of my trip was spent orienting myself to the city and the locations of its many scenic attractions. I strolled through the enormous 137-hectare Seven Stars Park and climbed one of the seven karst peaks that give the area its name. I walked north along the east side of the Li River to climb Fubo Shan Hill only to discover that the pathway up the Hill was closed for the season. I learned this fact AFTER having paid full-admission to the scenic area. Some cool water pagodas though!!
Walking further South from Fubo Shan, I entered another park entrance to climb Folded Brocade Hill. This hill had arguably the best views of the
Fubo Shan Hill
Fubo Shan Hill - a bigger disappointment than Boba Fett's death in Star Wars
city. To get to the top I had to follow some confusing zig-zag stone pathways
but near the top I passed through Wind Cave, a narrow cave through which a strong breeze blows through. It felt awesome to walk through, especially after ascending dozens of stone stairs! Reminder to self: do stair workout before visiting Guilin.
Another afternoon I took up some advice from one of the locals who had recommended West Hill Park. The trek took me 2 km West of the city center, but the journey was well worth it. Guanyin Peak, the second highest peak in West Hill Park, is a spectacular spot to watch the setting sun. The walk up was pretty cool in itself. I walked past dozens of vivid Buddhist statues carved on the cliff. Vividly ugly. Many of them were carved during the Tang Dynasty. Statues they OLD. Mmm, orange Tang.
Returning to the hostel at the end of each day was always an ardent moment. A warm shower and a cold Beer Lao became my standard end-of-day ritual. I’m glad to say I'm beginning getting to like this Trek Through China.
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