A Tale Of Two Cities.
Guilin And Yangshuo.

Meneksa is having a birthday. Gram sends love and best wishes. XX.

Guilin is in the top rank of places to visit in China, renowned for its weird karst (limestone) scenery and its Discovery Channel cormorant fishermen. Sixty kilometers down the road is its relatively tiny neighbour Yangshuo, renowned amongst backpackers for its laid-back atmosphere, accessible countryside, and endless eateries and Internet cafes.

Our schedule showed a 2 night stay in Guilin, but we managed to make it 5 nights and the best part of 6 days in Guilin and Yangshuo together! Originally this was where we'd meet up with our French co-travellers but their serious accident (no injuries but severe damage to the Bertrand's van) put paid to that. So we waited instead for news of their hoped-for repair and their plans following what was always going to be a long delay. In the end, we left without meeting them but with the good news that they were on the road again and heading speedily south.

Guilin and Yangshuo was an important stop for Carl whose second 30 day visa ran out just as we arrived. An initial refusal to issue a third was successfully appealed by China Swan but this meant Carl missed the Li River boat trip enjoyed by the rest of us on day 2 and so took it on day 3, joining the group in Yangshuo later that day. The news that the French were on the road arrived late on day 5 and prompted Carl to decide to stay on in Guilin to meet them. So on day 6 we all returned to Guilin and bade a sad farewell to our Canadian engineer, a very popular, interesting, amusing and resourceful travelling companion.

So to the highlights of our lengthy Guilin and Yangshuo sojourn, and the star performers who made our stay a pleasure.

  • Everyone does the Li River boat trip which is a lovely 4 hour cruise from near Guilin to Yangshuo with around 3 hours total coach travel to and from the boat. But not everyone gets it for 250 Yuan! The standard foreigners' price is 450 and we thank Peter Lee for arranging for us to be honorary Chinese for a day.
  • We found a fine night stop in Guilin at the Gui Shan (Jasper) Hotel (Chuanshan Road, Phone: 0773 5813388) (N25.27087 E110.29800). Assistant Manager Amy Liu was our friendly and super-co-operative contact. The tourist bus station was our equally good Yangshuo stop (N24.77817 E110.48046).
  • Yangshuo is a compact town with lots of character and lots to do. Recommended. The shopping's particularly good but do bargain hard, it's not uncommon to get an item for a third of the initial offer price. Cherry aka Ms. Jian (Phone: 13197638165 or ask for her near the regular bus station) helped us a lot and arranged a countryside minibus tour for us on day 4. This was both enjoyable and great value (50 Yuan a head including lunch).
  • The Stone Roses bar and restaurant on Yangshuo's unmissable West Street was good enough for three of our group to eat there on three consecutive nights. Recommendation indeed! The menu is varied and the food is very good (Carl says the Chinese food is the best he's had in China), the ambience terrific and the waitresses wonderful.
Les Brook.

Home - This page last changed on 2002-09-18