Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rong Lake (榕湖) and Ancient Southern Gate (古南门) of the Two Rivers and Four Lakes Scenic Area (兩江四湖) @ Guilin [China]

Two Rivers and Four Lakes Scenic Area - looking at the map placed right outside a tourism office, i could never have imagined that its coverage was so wide! 

Stretching over 2.5 kilometers across vertically and about 1.5 kilometers horizontally, our guide only brought us to check out one small section of the Rong Lake with two particular attractions.  

Before then, the scenic lake! 

And a boat to complete the picture. From the look of it, it's likely a permanent decorative item to beautify the surrounding as the material used seemed to be stone rather than wood! 


One of the two attractions was the thousand-year-old banyan tree

The other was a short segment of a wall that came with an ancient gate known simply as the southern gate said to be over a thousand years old. 

It used to be part of a much longer wall bordering the city but as of now, the only protection it offers is for the building right within and nothing more. 

Front view of the gate which has stood strong and steady; undeterred by the weather and the numerous political upheavals over the past century. 

Fire almost burnt it down once and the marks remained clear for everyone to see. Some would argue for a paint job to improve the visual appeal although i would prefer to leave the burnt marks alone; masking over imperfections is a sad attempt to cover the reality. 

Even weeds grew freely from the crevices of the big pieces of boulders that made up the wall even though i believe they were routinely trimmed to avoid a situation where you can only see the weeds!

Ever the curious cat, i couldn't resist peeking in when i realised one of the side doors was left unlocked! Nothing much and i did notice the "no entry" sign. 

Taking a group photo right in front of the ancient gate; according to our guide, Shen Fei, this was part of his key performance indicators (KPI)! A photographer from a nearby shop would take the picture and you can buy the printout with a paper frame for a nominal fee. 

Twenty minutes free time for us to explore the surroundings. Mixed feelings from both my dad and i since it's definitely not long enough for us to cover the entire lake! 

Ancient banyan twin bridges (古榕双桥)

Not sure if they were indeed ancient but their elevation means better photos! This side was where we came from with the stone boat i mentioned earlier residing next to the pavilion. 

Beidou Bridge (北斗桥) leading to the Mid-Lake Island.

Doubt the fish feed were for free although i didn't exactly notice any staff manning the basket at the start of Beitou Bridge. 

Took a few pictures before we decided to call it a day and returned to the Ancient Gate. With less than ten minutes to go, it's neither here nor there and i didn't want to stink up my tee with my perspiration. 

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Location
At Guilin City,
Guangxi Province, China

Additional Information
The scenic area was apparently quite popular with the locals and one group was seen taking wedding photographs. As you can probably attest from the attire, the weather wasn't cold.

Area in front of the Ancient Southern Gate was said to be a hot spot for pickpockets! We didn't encounter any as it was a lazy Wednesday afternoon with hardly anyone! 


Do check out the posting for the summarised itinerary of Chan Brother's tour package (guaranteed no shopping stops) to Guilin; it would give you a better overview of my trip. :)

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