Thursday, August 04, 2005

Guilin: Super Linda!!!

It’s a Thursday afternoon and I’m sitting out on a patio drinking a Tsingdao and writing my update. With limited internet access, I’m doing my update on my laptop and will post it later once I have internet access again.

Guilin is an amazing city. Take all of the best shops, bars, cafes, stores and restaurants of Beijing - toss in a little local flavour – squish them all into one small city, mix in a whole bunch of limestone mountains, a few lakes and a river and you’ve got Guilin. Instead of having the mosquitoes buzzing around - it’s butterflies…instead of having apartment buildings towering over the skyline – it’s mountains…instead of having everyone rushing to get somewhere or just creating chaos on the streets – people live a peaceful life, not running, not rushing, just enjoying everyday as it comes. This is a city flooded with tourist groups, while solo backpackers often head to a town south of Guilin called Yangshou.

I have woken up each morning asking myself, ‘So what would I like to do today?’…maybe climb a mountain…maybe visit another town…maybe ride a bike…today, as it is my last day in Guilin and I have already seen all of the big sites – I have opted for relaxing on a patio J.

To recap this trip, I have climbed two peaks in the city (Die Cai and Solitary Beauty) to watch the sunset two consecutive nights…floated down the Li River on a river cruise boat from Guilin to Yangshou…discovered life outside of the touristy area by exploring the back streets of Guilin at night…explored the Reed Flute Caves where inside huge limestone mountains are natural stalagmites and stalactites that have formed over thousands of years…ordered various odd snacks from street vendors around the city (my favourite being Red Nose Noodles)…attended a tea and local delicacy tasting (my favourite of which is rose pedals! Soooo yummy!)…met various random backpackers from the UK, Germany and France.

Sitting here on this patio and enjoying the people passing by (and regular ‘laowai’ stares) and thinking that I will be back in Beijing tonight is sad, but I’m looking forward to getting back to the ‘Big City’. This will be my last weekend in Beijing and I really have mixed feelings right now. Extremely excited to get home and catch up with everyone, but knowing that I already miss this country doesn’t bode well for an easy departure.

Special Note: I would like to send my thanks out to the Edmonton Oilers, who I hear have just gotten ahold of Peca and Pronger. Nice additions to the team J

Newest Additions to the DVD Collection: Season Four of 24, Season One of Lost, Monster, Europe Trip, The Aviator, Spiderman 2, Fight Club, Spanglish, Ghandi and The Gods Must Be Crazy.