Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day Seven - From Guilin to Hezhou [Part of the 8 Days 7 Nights Scenic Guilin + Longji Terraced Fields Tour Package (GUARANTEED No Shopping Stop)]

I didn't get to show all of you the swimming pool at Sheraton Guilin (喜来登) the day before; so here it is. Given the cooler temperature, sane and unhealthy individuals like i would prefer to exercise in a sheltered area. 

Like the hotel's pretty comprehensive gymnasium! Honestly, after this trip to Guilin, it dawned on me that my body would benefit a lot from having a gym membership. Thankfully for my wallet, i am too lazy to travel to a gym and prefer to exercise at home.

Breakfast time! 

This cheese omelette was so delicious; i tried making the same thing at home today and failed miserably! Maybe i should add in more shredded cheddar and be a lot more mindful on the time the pan stayed on the stove.

Final look at the scenery outside our hotel room at Sheraton before we checked out and proceeded to the next leg of our journey; Hezhou!

Towering Mulong Tower as seen from the coach; the tower was part of the Mulong Lake Scenic Area, a purpose built attraction with a show that ASEAN citizens can avoid. Take the time and explore the nature surroundings instead. For more photos, click here

With the rain that started pelting after exiting from Mulong Lake, a few tour mates started asking the driver to open up the luggage compartment so that they can finally make use of their sweaters! 

Another scenic area; the seven star scenic area of Guilin that's not to be confused with the star scenic area at Zhaoqing. For more photos, click here

As this is a guaranteed no shopping stop tour package, i managed to secure the help of our guide to purchase BaoFuLing, a famous cream that's superb for burns, eczema etc, from Bao Shu Tang medicinal hall. My understanding is that the price is standardised throughout China and they don't distribute outside the country. I have seen a kiosk in Malaysia KSL mall that supposedly sells the cream but that's the old packaging and in case you are not aware, there are tonnes of fakes around.

It's not even 11am and we had arrived at the restaurant for, you read right, lunch!

So early were we that there's no other customer! I think the guide didn't expect us to go through the two attractions so quickly but there's seriously no choice when faced with wet weather. 

As mentioned before, our tour group of 16 or 17 had to be divided into two separate tables during meal time and since the other group wasn't too keen on drinking, they had a tendency to pass us their bottles of Chinese beer! Actually quite shiok to drink beer on cold weather.

Our meal as above; nothing really brought up any special memory although i admit it had been more than 6 months since my trip and i am still blogging about it!

Driving out of Guilin; it was generally a gloomy feeling as the impressive sights of connecting karts hills slowly went out of view. Guess dad felt the same way and he continued to give his rave reviews of Guilin till this date. 

Yangshuo!? Weren't we there a few days ago? There's a reason; Guilin was in fact the loop for our coach ride and at this moment, we were on the return trip and would eventually reach Guangzhou, our final destination to take the plane. 

More photographs showing the signature scenery of our trip although they were more on an individual, per parcel basis rather than the connecting ones we saw earlier. 

The never-ending road. 

Hills dotted with trees bearing orange-coloured fruits can only mean one thing; we are near to Gongcheng, the city of persimmons! 

For a moment, i thought we would be making a pit stop at the city and got all excited as i wanted to buy more of their famous dried yet juicy persimmons for home!

Sadly, the coach ignored the exit without a care for my feeling and proceeded to the next city on our itinerary; Hezhou which is still within Guangxi province and has a sizeable Hakka community.

With clouds that heavily enveloped the hilltops, i was glued to the natural painting by mother nature although pictures didn't really do it any justice. I keep forgetting both my phone and camera have a video function!

Stopover for a toilet break and this reminded me of a gory movie scene where the chains for the logs broke when the lorry was driving at a high speed and the large pieces of wood shot through the windscreens of surrounding cars, killing numerous. 

On a happier note, i was blessed with this amazing view a few meters away from the lorry. Maybe because we were stationary and outside the coach, i can intimately feel the breeze, smell the plants and trees and see the crops dancing. A truly unforgettable experience.  

Arriving at Hezhou toll station. As Singapore is so small, i could never quite get the concept of toll stations and should seriously consider driving to Ipoh or Cameron Highlands for a better understanding. 

Big crowd outside this Zhou Liu Fu Jewelry store; this brand is unrelated to the more famous Chow Tai Fook (Zhou Da Fu) which has 2,000 outlets in China! 

Boring stopover at Hezhou Lingfeng Square. Needless to say, this paled in comparison to the excitement we had in the past few days! 

Transportation of cardboard boxes that drew similarity to the lorry with wood i shared earlier; one key difference, the damage caused by flying cardboard boxes would not likely be fatal.

Proceeded to Gupo Mountain National Forest Park; a place super rich with negative oxygen ions and was counted as one of the key highlights of our China journey! For more pictures and information, click here

Back to Hezhou city for dinner! Yes, there was another wedding and our guide told us that in China, people generally don't marry for love or to have kids. They marry only when the lady is pregnant!

Our dinner. 

The hotel where we had dinner; our guide actually quite bad. As written earlier about getting married, he said we would know if the lady is pregnant. Their custom is to have the couple standing outside to welcome their guests and if the bride is with child, she would be seated. In this case, the bride was standing but he insisted she was pregnant and got his confirmation from the restaurant manager! 

Hezhou-Zhenglin Hotel (贺州正菱大酒店) - our last accommodation in China. As you can see, prices are not cheap and the location wasn't even in a busy district.

Room was rather spacious though.  


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