2 October 2009

Guilin is a very pretty city

The reason for going to Guilin for a couple of days was to see the natural wonders but the city itself proved to be quite an attraction too.

The spectacular limestone karsts that we saw on the Li river cruise intrude on the city two and we were taken up one.

This was a less grand climb than most of the others we were taken on during the tour as the geography dictated that the walk had to be narrow and steep but it was still rewarding.

It was also challenging because it was over 30c with bright sunshine.

Other rewards came at the top where the narrow display platform included an ice cream vendor which we took swift advantage of before enjoying the view.

The water, trees and low-rise buildings that we could see were a stark contrast to most of the other cities that we looked down on and they hinted at the beauty that we would see at street level.

Taking an alternative route down we came across a small bird enclosure that had been allowed to fall into some neglect but provided some interest through its small collection of colourful exotic birds that had an area around the size of two tennis courts to wander through.

Guilin is very hot in Summer so the locals tend to come out and play in the evenings.

Recognising this, the local authorities have built a nice place for them to play in.

These pagodas, and the surrounding park, are new but clearly very traditional in design.

The lighting was sumptuous yet subtle and was joined by a few other lit buildings that combined to make the down-town area very attractive.

It was also very busy with many people enjoying the lights, the water, the restaurants and walking along the side of the river.

In daylight, the walkway along the river could be appreciated for its decoration and design.

These steps lead down to the river from the road outside our hotel where they form a small circle that has no purpose other than to be attractive.

Similarly the fish shaped seats added a touch of welcome humour as well as decoration.

Our time was limited but it was just enough to do a circular tour of around 2km crossing the river twice on the two nearest bridges.

This short walk and the shorter one in the lights the night before were enough for Guilin to make quite an impression on me and I would love to have the opportunity to go back there.

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