Blogs from Nanning, Guangxi, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning December 19th 2015

I've never did this before - made an exact list of trips of in a certain year. I don't know why, perhaps because I was always more concerned with particular trees than the forest. But writing here seemed like a call to do it. So, well - - - 1. Spent the 2014 - 2015 new year in Guilin and Longsheng. This was part of my 2015 "project" of trying to understand what exactly terrace fields are. How they function, what happens with them during different seasons. Plus I really wanted to try and work on them a bit. Anyway, this trip is easy, it takes two and a half hour form Nanning to Guilin by express train now, and another two hours or so to the mountains. Also, took a walk from Dazhai to Ping'an ... read more
Mountains above Dazhai
Tofu hanging to dry in Qujing
Qujing

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning November 11th 2015

I've stumbled into this blog so quickly I did not even realize that I've left things unexplained. (And it feels lonely in the beginning, so I was not sure how much I should explain). So, there you go - - I am living here in Nanning, Guangxi, China, for five years. I came as a writer with (renewable) tourist visa, and stayed a year in order to see what will happen. Then I studied Chinese, and then started teaching English. I've been teaching for 3 years now. The regular schedule goes like this - working from Thursday to Sunday, and then, free. If I stay in Nanning, I write. (And many times I do nothing, just read and think, and, akhm, eat). And at least once a month I go somewhere. The school is very nice ... read more
The detail from the ball

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning December 16th 2013

December 16 Last Day in China I leave tomorrow so of course today was busy. I’m including a couple of details about arriving back in China from Vietnam below and a couple about my last day here. Crossing the border into China is like travelling between two worlds. And the government of China has no doubt worked hard to solidify this fairly accurate comparison. Travelling to the border from Hanoi on a cold, cloudy day with misty rain falling was a slow affair. The highway was often single lane and often crowded with the usual variety of vehicles, from motorcycles and motorized tricycles to huge tractor-trailers and buses. When you get to the border you disembark your bus and board a ten passenger cart that drives you to Vietnamese customs in a modest building and then, ... read more
dining w HK Friends
Our Delux Junk
Jinyi Closeup Catba

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning December 6th 2013

No pics yet but I'll see if I have time to add some later. We head for Vietnam on an overnight train. Arrive at 5 a.m. and our hotel has agreed to receive us by six. I've corresponded (in my bad French) with a hotel recommended by Wiki Travel. They have told me their address, promised me a room at the back (thank you Wiki), and told me the approximate cab fare from the station to the Hotel du Centre Ville. That's about it as far as planning. Hanoi sounds very cool. Vietnam, according to Wiki, is full of scammers and thieves--partly because it's relatively poor. No idea about its post-typhoon condition but we won't be going to any beaches where people are grieving the November devastation. Money is a bit of an issue: one Canadian ... read more

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning December 4th 2013

Some thoughts about working and workers in China today. To begin with, when we tried to buy tickets to Vietnam at the railway station two days ago, we were told by a clerk at a wicket that there wasn't a train any more to Vietnam. This surprised me and I searched Google when I got home to see if other travellers had posted anything about his. They hadn't. We checked with the Vietnamese embassy, who appeared baffled and confirmed that were daily trains in both directions. So we went back to the station to try again yesterday, and when I tried to buy tickets a young man sent me to wicket 16, the one that was labeled "English Language/" I wondered if I was about to be told in English that there was indeed no train. ... read more

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning December 3rd 2013

A change of plans. Yesterday we reverted to our original plan and decided to travel to Vietnam. This meant a visit to a photo studio and the Vietnamese Consulate here. We did this ourselves because an agency told us that it would cost 400 Chinese dollars and we thought that was too much. We ended up paying the consulate 450 Chinese dollars and, though Jinyi mentioned this to the clerk, there was no explanation offered—at least as far as I could tell. It was fun walking about in warm weather here in Nanning. Today we climb a famous hill or mountain, not sure which. Our visas will take three days for processing. There are no agents selling tickets for trains to Vietnam, so we will have to travel to the railway station once we know our ... read more
Pedestrians and Scooters
Zoom to Cellphone Drivers
kids 002

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning December 2nd 2013

We arrived back in Nanning after an overnight in Kunming back at the same hotel we stayed at en route to Lijiang. Not sure where next, maybe Guilin in a few days but we will rest here for a day or two. I've had many requests for more photos from the thousands of people following this blog, but I can only post five with each entry and am too lazy to do multiple entries. Today I'll post a few more random ones, starting with the top-of-the-mountain pig roast at Haike village, which might just be my trip highlight so far. I can hear kindergarten kids laughing and screaming with play just outside Jinyi's condo here. There are tropical plants everywhere and it's five or so degrees warmer than where we have been. I'm posting a small ... read more
Can't Read the Lyrics!
Haike Banquet 3
Alleyway, Lijiang

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning November 29th 2013

And so almost as soon as I'd arrived, my time in Guangxi has come to an end. Just five short days in this Southwestern province of China before I make an equally brief detour to its eastern neighbour of Guangdong, before finally calling time on this six-month long leg of my continuing Southeast Asia-Southern China adventure. Prior to arriving at my final destination in Guangxi, the provincial capital of Nanning, I'd in fact taken another quick overnighter in another mid-sized city Chongzuo, just over an hour away on the spanking new intercity highway. Apart from a quick stop at its famous leaning pagoda, Chongzuo wasn't particularly noteworthy, so I thought I'd combine the two blog entries. Nanning, on the other hand, offers more. Truly a large bustling city, serving as a transnational hub for journeys into ... read more
A City after my own Heart
Yong River
I did not know what this was

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning November 29th 2013

Visited another restored ancient city yesterday (Nov 28 in China). It was only a half hour bus ride from Lijiang so we spent the afternoon there. It’s actually in Lijiang district, like a suburb, and it has its own character, different from Lijiang. Suhe means under the mountain because its location is at the base of small mountain. It apparently antedated Lijiang because of its location at the hub of several travel routes. Its streets, as it stands today, are much wider than Lijiang’s crowded but charming alleyways, and they seemed to accent the lack of tourists wherever we walked. Most shops were empty of tourists and I had to reflect on how it must feel to open at seven or eight and close at elven or so and have such meager traffic. There is a ... read more
New Meets Old
800 Year-Old Buildings
Bargaining for Horse Rides, Lijiang

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning October 28th 2012

Our last stop in China was Nanning. The main purpose for our time here was to get our Vietnamese visas. Since our hostel arranged visas free of charge, that part was easy! We just showed up, gave them our passports and money and waited three days. Every Chinese city we have been to has had its own identity and the same goes for Nanning. It was like a mix between China and South-East Asia. There were still people playing mahjong everywhere and people dancing in the parks, but it had a much more southern feel. We would wake up, walk around the farmers market (conveniently only a couple of blocks from where we were staying) and eat fruit. The fruit vendors had prepared fruit ready to eat; we just walked up and bought a full/half/quartered cut ... read more
Alligator? Crocodile? Yumm...
Seafood!
Not sure what any of this is...




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