The evening we arrived in Guilin, our hostel was hosting a dumpling party. The hostel staff showed us all how to make the dumplings from scratch. Our group made and then ate them. We had a wonderful time and the dumplings were tasty! We ate dinner next to a friendly French family of 6. They were just beginning their 2.5 month trip!
The next day we were scheduled to take a bamboo boat down the Li river to view the scenery. However, monsoon season finally caught up to us, and the tour was canceled due to heavy rains and high water level in the river. We were disappointed, but laughed it off; it’s not a real trip to Asia if you don’t get caught in a monsoon!
We ate a wonderful brunch at the hostel. They even had avocado toast-Megan was thrilled.
We then went for a walk along the Li river to get to Folded Brocade Hill (DieCai Hill), a city park. We climbed a lot of steps to get to the top of the hill, but the view was worth it! We could see numerous karsts enveloped in fog, which is why this region is famous. The dark green foliage on the karsts as the rain and fog roll through is idyllic. We thoroughly enjoyed the view and it was nice to see the karsts from a different point of view than the water.
We found a cave on the way up the hill. It was filled with Buddha carvings and steles. We enjoyed seeing the art and history outside of the walls of a museum.
Later in the evening we took a river cruise of the four lakes. This was recommended by our hostel when our first trip was canceled and it was a great recommendation! The boat tours are exclusively given in Mandarin so we were unable to enjoy the audio portion, but it was unique to see the lakes as the surrounding scenery was lit up. We started with a view of the Moon Pagoda and Sun Pagoda. This was our favorite part of the ride as they are stunning when lit up with their reflections on the water.
The rest of the tour involved a lot of bridges and buildings with colorful lights on them.
This was the red pagoda we saw earlier from the top of the hill.
There was a traditional music/dance show that was viewed from the boats, and traditional Chinese fisherman using birds to catch fish. The fisherman were part of the “show” but it was still interesting to see.
The ride had a few Disney-ride moments, but it was enjoyable to see the lights.
After the boat ride, we stopped off for dinner and tried a flaming shot: scotch zombie. We had seen Chinese customers ordering flaming drinks a few times and were interested in trying it. It was fun to try, but neither of us loved the drink itself. Somethings are just about the experience though! Chris like that the tables had wireless call buttons for the server, so you didn’t have to wave your arm around and try to make eye contact to get assistance.