Saturday, March 05, 2016

Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (正阳步行街) of Guilin City @ Guangxi Province [China]

Shopping is top on the list for any shopaholics and it's obviously fitting for any tour agents to include the activity in a sprawling city known for its scenery and history.

Without the commissioned shopping element for this "guaranteed no shopping stop" tour package, we had ample time in the next two days of stay in Guilin to check out the street.

Photos were taken over two nights and sorted in a mish-mash manner in this post. Hence, i might not really recall the exact location that they were shot!

First thing to note - it was purposely built and completed in year 2000. Given it is a recent development, amenities are pretty modern and even the distance is intentionally set for auspiciousness.

Length - 666 meters which was said to be the luckiest number in Chinese culture; personally, i thought it would be the prosperous sounding 888. Hmmmmm....

Anyway, be prepared for more photos, less words in this post as the commercial street didn't quite appeal to me; there were many retail & dining outlets though.

Thankfully i can read Chinese characters and chuckle at the humour by the names of some of the shops. The Chinese can be so creative in coming out with good names!

A shopping centre along the street with shops that had mostly closed. My daytime was filled with activities and i didn't have the opportunity to visit the street in the daytime and enjoy its bustle.

A few historical legacies remain and one appeared to be the 17.5-meter bell tower in the middle of the overlaid thousand-year*old street.

Candied haws - one of the items i always wanted to try when i was young and it turned out to be quite a disappointment when i finally did so.

Makeshift stalls dotted the side lanes of the main street and it's usually this kind of stalls that appealed to me with their more up-to-date wares.

Like this massage device that could easily help to soothe the pain and sores from the hard to reach parts of your body; the back of our neck and back!

A great pity that all meals were covered in the tour package as my tummy couldn't add in more calories in spite of the much cheaper prices compared to Singapore! I did manage to squeeze in a serving of stinky tofu though. :P

It didn't help that i stumbled onto a lane known as the food street! It was only on my last day that i realised the makan street was right behind our hotel; Sheraton Guilin.

Mind boggling amount of food! Business was quite dismal maybe because it was a Wednesday and on the next day when i visited again, it was raining cats and dogs!

As you can see from the wet flooring!

The sporadic showers didn't deter me from making full use of my last night in Guilin. Furthermore, i had to source for souvenirs (snacks etc) to bring back to Singapore!

Maybe a few gaudy looking artifacts for my new house too.

Aside from Guilin vermicelli, chilli is another well known local specialty. However, we have no lack of chilli products in Singapore and for that, our tour guide thought we can give it a miss. I am guessing he likes Singapore chilli better. 

Like any deserving tourist belt in China, there's bound to be a number of shops selling local foodstuffs and you can find quite a few along Zhengyang pedestrian street. With so many to choose from, my criteria consisted of the following; availability of sampling and number of customers in the shop.

A few attempted to pull in customers by having a "live" show showcasing the freshness of their products; to enhance the show, add in the nutty aroma and the sound of pounding in the making of hammer crispies! 

Have the bystanders joined in the fun and you are sure to attract quite a crowd! Note that you shouldn't be hammering the crispies after they have cooled; a customer was berated for doing so as his action would crack them! 

Guilin is also famous for their Guilin Cake even though i am no fan of it; the cake is in Chinese pastry form and has a texture that flakes into powdery form. 

Another food street but this one draws a very unique crowd.

Especially for those into wild and exotic meat; you can find snakes, peasants, turtles just to name a few. I didn't even dare to venture inside in case i see dogs and cats too! Nowadays, these restaurants tend to downplay what they sell; nevertheless, you can ask if you are keen.

These rows of shops appeared to be more permanent and they do have some kind of awning for one to continue shopping should the rain come. 

A lot of cultural knick-knacks and souvenirs - i used to purchase a lot of these for friends and colleagues but it eventually dawned on me that they accept them out of courtesy. Put it this way, i would prefer my friends and family to enjoy their trip rather than thinking what to buy for me. Holidaying should rightfully be for relaxation! 

Reaching the end of Zhengyang Pedestrian Street.

The two glowing pagodas attracted my attention though; known as the sun and moon twin pagodas, they were a beauty to behold! I would come out with a separate post on them! :) 

Walked back to the walking street again.

This time, the instructions came from my dad and that's rare because he hates shopping; turned out he wanted to buy some stuff for his friends. That's another rarity by the way! Haha.


Guilin City

As above.

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