Sunday, July 10, 2011

Southern China: A place where China morphs into South East Asia. Guilin and Guanzhou.

Guilin's Skyline.
We rode around the 4 lakes area but it was like 98 degrees with some crazy humidity so we took a brief break to enjoy the water front and grab a drink. 

The main strip.

A park with the Sun and Moon Pagoda in the back ground.
Wow.  Of all the cities I've been to in China, I definitely like Guilin the most.  It's pretty small when compared to the other major cities of China but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in sheer aesthetic beauty.  Guilin is a small scenic town located next to the famous Li river.  Now this name may not mean much to the western tourist but the Li river has been inspiring Chinese poets, painters, and philosophers for thousands of years.  It's likeness has been committed to pen and paper and etched across countless paintings for generations.  The Li river is truly a beautiful site.  It's lime green waters flow past magnificent karstic formations.  Elegant charming temples can be found perched precariously on verdant green mountains.  Truly awe inspiring.

Local fisherman.

Four Lakes Area.

We took a wrong turn somewhere while biking and ended up somewhere in the country side.

The Li River.

The Li River again.

The Li River with the Flower Bridge.

The town itself is clean and well kept.  The whole area has a lush tropical feel that reminds me much more of South East Asian than it does of China.  And the best thing about Guilin are the locals.  They are much MUCH friendlier than those we've encountered in other parts of China.  It's unfortunate that we didn't have more time to explore the surrounding area but this is definitely another part of China that I have to come back too. 
Guilin's famous rice noodles.  A chicken based stock with young bamboo, peanuts, scallions, soy sprouts, and small bits of roasted pork.

Rice with sauteed onions, jalapeno's, green bell peppers, and beef.  There's also pickled mustard greens in there.  A delicious meal.

Some locals trying to beat the heat.

Some more hot pot.  Lamb and beef along with pork and fish meat balls.  Green vegetables and a spicy dipping sauce.  Much tastier than the Sichuan style hot pot.  Also much less oily.

A temple nestled among one of the many lime stone formations.

Flower bridge.

Rice noodles with braised pork and greens.
After Guilin me and Chantra headed for our last stop in mainland China, Guangzhou or as it's more commonly known, Canton.  Home to the Cantonese people and the famous cuisine.  Again the heat here is oppressive but at least the city is much cleaner than say Beijing or Shanghai.  There isn't much to do in Guangzhou but it's a nice stop over location before you head off into Hong Kong.  My father's family is from a town very close to Guangzhou called Dongguan.  Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit.  The people here are also very friendly and it seems that the closer we get to Hong Kong the more people speak English.  It was far easier to get around Guangzhou than it was in any other city.  Well here are a couple pictures.  Next stop Hong Kong.
Some old folks playing traditional Chinese music at 7 star park.

Some old ladies staying fit while practicing their Wushu at 7 star park. 

Same ladies.  This time they're using fans instead of swords.  Very graceful considering their age.

More old folks singing.  Pretty cool that they're still so active.

The Pearl River near sunset.

The Pearl River after sunset.

Braised pork short ribs with wasabi and stir fried clams with bitter melon and black bean sauce.  Delicious.

The Guangzhou skyline from our hotel room on the 22nd floor.

Is it better in black and white or color?

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