Beguiling Guilin – Day 1

Bamboo rafts on Li River

Bamboo rafts on Li River

Yep, I’m finally back from Guilin and Qingdao, after 9 days of great scenery and interesting experiences! (: You can view our exact travel itinerary, updated after our trip, here on Tripit.

On the overall, it has been quite a success – Tiantian and I stuck to most of our plans and lady luck definitely shone on us during certain parts of our travel. As it was a free & easy tour, we didn’t feel the rush as tour groups would. The only drawback is that I fell slightly ill after touring Guilin, of which my cough and flu is still persisting… :(

Without further ado, enjoy the following travelogue that I will be writing over the next few weeks~


After a transfer to domestic flight at Guangzhou (广州) International Airport, I arrived in Guilin (桂林) Airport at about 2.30pm, happy to see Tiantian waiting outside for me. :D A taxi driver offered us to fetch us to the city for a flat rate of RMB 40 (the taxi meter counted RMB 60 by the end of the ride), which we happily accepted, and arrived soon enough in the city to catch a private charter bus to Yangshuo (阳朔), a county where most attractions in Guilin are located.

Beside Li River

Beside Li River

Yangshuo (阳朔)

What impressed me the most upon arriving in Yangshuo was how the iconic karst mountains surrounded the small town. You can spot a mountain looming in front of you at almost every corner, and in the night where the spotlights are on, the mountains look pretty majestic.

After a short walk, we managed to locate our inn, Riverview Hotel (望江楼) , which apparently has many western customers. Though not fantastic, our room was decent and clean, with a balcony that faced the Li River (漓江) partially. And only for RMB 150 per night!

Streets of Yangshuo

Streets of Yangshuo

Typical Yangshuo view with mountains as the backdrop

Typical Yangshuo view with mountains as the backdrop

Dinner

To start off our hunt for famous local cuisines, we had dinner at Xiedajie (谢大姐) where we tried the famous Yangshuo Beer Fish (啤酒鱼) and Guilin Snails (田螺酿). The fish was indeed fresh, though I can’t really taste the beer flavour. The snails aren’t escargots, but definitely meaty and juicy, with a tinge of spiciness that the sauce brings. We left the restaurant bloated and contented, especially after a long day of flights and bus trips.

Yangshuo's Beer Fish

Yangshuo

Guilin Snails

Guilin Snails

Xiedajie restaurant

Xiedajie restaurant

West Street (西街)

As the night sets in, we took a short walk around Yangshuo’s West Street (西街), dotted with pubs and western restaurants that are frequented by the Westerners. It gets extremely crowded in the night as we have seen, but a good place to experience the fusion of both Chinese and Western culture.

West Street

West Street

Rows of cafes and bars

Rows of cafes and bars

Impression Liu Sanjie (印象刘三姐)

Our last activity for the night was watching Impression Liu Sanjie (印象刘三姐), a musical performed outdoors on the river, directed by Zhang Yimou. With Li River and misty hills as its backdrop, a huge cast of 600 people in traditional costumes and great lighting effects, it was the most impressive performance I’ve ever seen.

Introduction of Impression Liu Sanjie

Introduction of Impression Liu Sanjie

Fire torches

Fire torches

The show is divided into 5 main chapters, each symbolising different aspects of the daily lives of the natives living near Li River. Besides, the show is filled with beautiful classical songs that some of us might be familiar with. The tickets are quite expensive (about RMB 200 for a good seat), but I dare say this is a must-watch if you are looking for an extraordinary theatre performance. (:

First Chapter: Red Impression - Folk Songs

First Chapter: Red Impression - Folk Songs

Fishermen rowing their bamboo rafts in a column

Fishermen rowing their bamboo rafts in a column

Second Chapter: Green Impression - Garden

Second Chapter: Green Impression - Garden

A row of young girls singing traditional songs

A row of young girls singing traditional songs

Third Chapter: Golden Impression - Fishing Lights

Third Chapter: Golden Impression - Fishing Lights

Fourth Chapter: Blue Impression - Love Songs

Fourth Chapter: Blue Impression - Love Songs

Liu Sanjie

Liu Sanjie

Last Chaper: Silvery Impression - Performance Grand Ceremony

Last Chaper: Silvery Impression - Performance Grand Ceremony

Our first and short day in Yangshuo ended here, as we returned to our inn to have a good rest before cruising down the Li River the next day!

This is part of the “Beguiling Guilin” travelogue:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

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  • http://tiantianli.tumblr.com Tiantian

    Wow didn't know you like 刘三姐 so much. You wanna be 阿黑哥? :P show our small boat leh hehe.

    • http://www.aaronng.net Aaron

      Haha, I think it is quite grand mah.. Don't you think so? (:

      I don't have a good camera.. :(

  • Louis

    Snails!!!! Yummy :)

    • http://www.aaronng.net Aaron

      Can rarely find any snails dishes in Singapore :X

  • Jonathan Tay

    Have!! Italian restaurant at Bukit Timah. That one was nice. Haha.

    • http://www.aaronng.net Aaron

      Really? Let's go there to try someday (:

  • http://Website Lee KT

    Beautiful photos and detailed write ups on your website. Well Done…Very informative especially when i am visting Guilin next month.

    • Aaron

      Thanks! Do let me know if you need any suggestions for your trip (: