Sunday, January 17, 2016

Checking Out The Pavilion / Pagoda (卧云亭) on the Peak of Xilang Hill (西郎山) within Yangshuo Park @ Yangshuo [China]

I resolved to check out the pagoda (with the red ball) on top of this short peak near our hotel in Yangshuo and opportunity came knocking on the second day when we had about two hours of free time! 

To be honest, i am quite a good navigator (map reading is a breeze most of the times) and managed to pinpoint the location to within the compound of Yangshuo Park. 

My bearings got confused as i entered; the hill appeared from the above photo to be out of the park! Damn, a decision has to be made somewhat and i figured we just needed to make a slight detour if i were wrong. 

Like many parks in China, there's always a monument, memorial somewhere and this statue was named the light of the minorities with an obelisk at the back to honour the revolution. 

It was Tuesday afternoon and the park was relatively crowded with park goers of an older generation. You don't see this kind of scene in Singapore as we are encouraged to work even when we are old. The culture has set in to such an extent that we have a fear that our health and mind would deteriorate once we stop working. Plus, the weather would be too hot and humid. 

For those lucky enough to retire without a care, most of them would spend their times gambling at void decks! This was at least similar to the little red dot!

Found the pathway going up! 

Note the cave on the side; i am a curious cat even though i hope it doesn't kill me. Not after catching shows like Descent which scarred me for life! I did peek in and it was essentially just a hole; dark and nothing else of interest.

It was barely two minutes since my ascent and i have already arrived at the peak?! That's easy! 

No way of course! Another staircase fused to the side of the cliff on the right shall lead us upward. As we wanted to make the climb as relaxing as possible (given my dad's age and my lack of stamina), we stopped for a while to take in the scenery.

Like this! Pretty right!?

The pavilion was two-tiered; similar to the one at Green Lotus Peak. Please don't ask me the name of the pavilion; i can only recognise the first and last Chinese character.  

Dad was just pleased that he agreed to embark on the "satisfy Cavin's curiousity" expedition. His adventurous streak was seldom seen as we usually travel with my mom who is less willing to sweat and walk under the sun. 

Second level of the pavilion which shall provide a slightly elevated view with lesser obstruction from the tree branches. Okay, not really. The branches were such irritation although they provide a natural "frame" to the photos, as below. 

Without dad in it and with dad in it.

Unobstructed view! There are two key places in the above photo; both of which i have shared before in the blog. First up was Green Lotus Peak; the hill on the left. The must-go West Street was hidden somewhere in the middle section of the photo! 

Going up again!

My standard in Chinese was to be tested again; sometimes, i can identify the characters yet without any understanding of what they mean when you put them together! 上窮碧落, according to google searches, it is a section of a poem dating to the Tang dynasty! 

The steps were a lot uneven in height from this point onward and i can attest to my thighs' soreness a couple of days after this climb. 

Opposite side from Green Lotus Peak; due to the setting sun, the photo turned out to be misty and in a way less clear. I could have adjusted my camera settings to beautify it but i am keener to get up to the top! 

Natural stone sculptures placed in many artificial gardens; by the way, this hill is known as Xilang Hill and there was supposed to be a rock that looked like a standing man facing the west. 

Dad again; you are right in assuming the danger level. I was literally freaked out given my fear for height and respected my dad for his seemingly lack of fear! I am ashamed!!

This was it; i can see the red "ball" topping the pagoda! 

Originally thought to be a pagoda belonging to a temple, it was in fact another pavilion known as 卧云亭; translated to crouching under the cloud pavilion.

Two more photographs for your viewing pleasure; the architecture was strangely not our conventional Chinese pavilion style, hence our initial assumption that it was a temple. 

A couple was inside and they didn't seem happy to have our company. 

Graffiti everywhere; a sore to the eyes but i guess that's what happen when one wants to stake their presence. Most likely teenagers as i was one before! 

View was stunning and made the climb seriously worth it!! It was like the highlight of my entire Guilin trip as this was unplanned and even our tour guide had yet to attempt a climb! 

A large piece of land was cleared for future developments; i honestly hope it wouldn't be a modern shopping centre which would have change the landscape drastically!  

From the above picture, you can also catch sight of the Li River. Known in Hanyu Pinyin as Lijiang, this shouldn't be confused with the picturesque town of the same name in Yunnan province. 

Panoramas - in the past, i would use my DSLR to shoot a few photos and then stitch them up on Photoshop; a cumbersome method. Nowadays, iPhone has a panorama mode which makes things a lot easier! 

Toy mode using my Olympus camera; yes lah, i use three cameras in total. My Nikon D7100 DSLR camera, iPhone camera and Olympus camera which has very interesting modes. 

Time to climb down as the couple was basically glued to the stone seats and i can see from their expression that they couldn't wait for us to leave! 

Going up was easier than going down! 

At some junctures, useless me had to resort to sitting on my butt and slowly making my way down. That's unusual for a hyperactive person but i am so afraid i would accidentally trip and roll down the hill! 

We were fortunate that there wasn't any rain as wet weather would increase the risk of us slipping. Some of the stones making up the steps were smooth even when there wasn't any water. 

Our guide shared that a group of tourists succeeded in the same climb up the pavilion as us but a few didn't dare to climb down and eventually had to call for help! The news was on television; so embarrassing if it' me!! 

My dad was amused of my fear - i had to grab whatever fixed item (railings etc) along the way to stabilise my climb down. To be safe, i even shake them a few times to ensure their stability before putting extra weight to guide me down.

Reached the ground floor! Yeah, i survived!! 

To guide those who would be making their way to the pagoda / pavilion, just note that it would be round the corner from the kid's amusement park in Yangshuo park. 

I love pigs!! Enjoy their meat too! 

We missed the season for osmanthus blossoms by a few days. A week ago, the place was filled with its sweet fragrance and the sign here was placed to serve as a warning to those flower-pluckers.

Out of Yangshuo Park - in all, we spent only about 40 minutes climbing up and down Xilang Hill. 


Within Yangshuo Park,
Yangshuo Town, Guangxi Province,

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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