Archive for the ‘Guilin Travel’ Category

Stroll around Shan Lake and Rong Lake in Guilin

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
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Key Words: Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, Ronghu Lake ( Banyan Lake ) and Shanhu Lake ( Fir Lake )

Plan your Guilin tour? The bustling city of Guilin is dotted with pinnacled karst peaks and crisscrossed by so-called “Four Lakes and Two Rivers” – Rong Lake (榕湖), Shan Lake (杉湖), Gui Lake ( 桂湖) and Mulong Lake (木龙湖) as well as Li River (漓江)and Taohua River (桃花江).  Some of the sights can be neglected due to the exorbitant entrance tickets or the hordes of domestic tourists.

Walking around Rong Lake (Banyan Lake)  榕湖 and Shan Lake (Chinese Fir Lake)  杉湖 is a smart choice to dive into the natural beauty and mix with the locals. The two lakes are free for people to stroll around their banks. The only remaining old gate ( South Gate ) to the city wall dating back to Song Dynasty ( 960 -1279 ) stands on the northern bank of Rong Lake.

Rong Lake 榕湖 (Banyan Lake)
Rong Lake 榕湖 used to be the moat of the Guilin ancient city in Song Dynasty and later in Ming Dynasty it was expanded into a pretty lake. The west side the lake was named Rong Lake (Banyan Lake) after the old Banyan tree nearby and the east side of the lake was named Shan Lake after the Chinese fir trees around the lake, hence the Rong Lake (Banyan Lake) and Shan Lake (Chinese Fir Lake ).

The ancient South Gate

The ancient South Gate

Rong Lake

Rong Lake

the marble archway bridge Rong Lake

the marble archway bridge Rong Lake

The only remaining old gate ( South Gate ) to the city wall dating back to Song Dynasty ( 960 -1279 ) stands on the northern bank of Rong Lake. Now the area around Rong Lake 榕湖 is a lively place with much activity which allows you to watch locals singing, dancing, practicing Taiji and calligraphy. The marble stone zigzagging bridge connects the lake and the marble archway bridge spans the lake, typical of a classical gardening and a good place to stroll around. The night view of the lake is stunning with lights on.

Shan Lake 杉湖 (Chinese Fir Lake)
Shan Lake 杉湖 is on the east side of Rong Lake and connected with Li River. The Sun Tower and the Moon Tower are the highlight of the lake. Especially, the two towers will be illuminated charmingly at night. The higher Sun Pagoda is connected by an underwater tunnel to the  seven-story octagonal pagoda.

Sun Pagoda and Moon Pagoda at Shan Lake

Sun Pagoda and Moon Pagoda at Shan Lake

Boating on Shan Lake

Boating on Shan Lake

Zhengyang Pedestrian Street正阳步行街
Zhengyang Pedestrian Street is on the northern bank of Shan Lake by the right side of Lijiang Waterfall Hotel. After strolling the two lakes, you may have a leisure walk along the only walking street in Guilin – Zhengyang Pedestrian Street. The over-600 meter street is full of stores, restaurants, bars. You will have the chance to see the local products and souvenirs.

Zhengyang Pedestrian Street

Zhengyang Pedestrian Street

Zhengyang Pedestrian Street

Zhengyang Pedestrian Street

Any questions,  just drop a line.

Yangshuo West Street

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
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If you are planning your Li River Cruise on your Guilin tour, your boat will bring you to Yangshuo. No matter where you stay or travel in Yangshuo, you will find yourself ending up here in the West Street (Xi Jie) 西街, a 500-meter vibrant street roughly starting from Yangshuo Dock 阳朔码头 where you disembark from your boat to Pantao Road (蟠桃路), a northeast – southwest street.

This renovated old street has a a carnival feel, full of bars, souvenirs stands, restaurants, shops. Though the commercialization has cheapened its allure a bit, it is still an interesting place for people watching, drinking, eating and shopping. You will find a lot of street food, and souvenirs ranging from tacky gadgets to nice Miao embroidery.

The West Street has sideways and parallel streets too with a lot of restaurants from Hong Kong, to Italian and German cuisines. It is very much atmospheric at night to come here for dinner or drinking. It is very crowded, so guard your money. For a leisurely stroll, come here during the day.

Follow me to have a feel of the hustle and bustle street, a world difference from Yangshuo’s peaceful countryside.

The southwest entrance to the West Street starting from Pantao Road and KFC.

The southwest entrance to the West Street

The southwest entrance to the West Street

The outside dining places in front of the street restaurants.

The outside dining places in front of the street restaurants.

The outside dining places in front of the street restaurants.

The beer fish is the local flavor and you can see almost all the street restaurants offer the dish.

The beer fish is the local flavor

The beer fish is the local flavor

Even lobsters from Taiwan!

Even lobsters from Taiwan

Even lobsters from Taiwan

Some spaces in the middle of the West Street are occupied by vendors and this vendor sells selfie stick.

Some spaces in the middle of the West Street are occupied by vendors

Some spaces in the middle of the West Street are occupied by vendors

A paradise for adults and a hell for babies and small kids. You see the kind covering ears.

A paradise for adults and a hell for babies and small kids

A paradise for adults and a hell for babies and small kids

The West Street is almost fully packed with passengers.

The West Street is almost fully packed with passengers

The West Street is almost fully packed with passengers

Oh, everyone is bunched together shoulder to shoulder with a bit difficulty walking along the crowded street.

everyone is bunched together shoulder to shoulder

everyone is bunched together shoulder to shoulder

A store sells Guilin’s local products like pickled red chili, fermented bean curd, Sanhua wine, osmanthus cakes, osmanthus candies and more.

Guilin's local products

Guilin’s local products

The making of the local osmanthus paste

The making of the local osmanthus paste

The making of the local osmanthus paste

A German bar restaurant

A German bar restaurant

A German bar restaurant

A side lane is full of bars and restaurants.

A side lane is full of bars and restaurants.

A side lane is full of bars and restaurants.

More bars and restaurants.

More bars and restaurants

More bars and restaurants

A side way teemed with vendors selling souvenirs and local products.

A side way teemed with vendors selling souvenirs and local products.

A side way teemed with vendors selling souvenirs and local products.

A quiet back lane has a nice Chinese restaurant with live music.

A quiet back lane has a nice Chinese restaurant with live music.

A quiet back lane has a nice Chinese restaurant with live music.

tacky gadgets and souvenirs.

tricky gadgets and souvenirs.

tricky gadgets and souvenirs.

Any questions, just drop a line.

Cruising on Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
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Cruising on Li River is the top thing to do during your Guilin tour. The 83-km long Li River from  Guilin resembles a jade ribbon flanked by idyllic paddy fields and green forested hills, and dotted with pinnacled peaks, yellow shoals, bamboo groves, odd-shaped crags, deep pools and flying waterfalls. Li River is full of surprises which will ignite your imagination to fully appreciate the bestowed beauty.

Book a cruise ticket through the tourist desk at your hotel with a return transfer back to Guilin from Yangshuo. Or you may taxi from your hotel in Guilin to Zhujiang Dock (竹江码头) where most of the cruise boats leave for Yangshuo on a 4-hour cruise including lunch on board. Zhujiang Dock (竹江码头) is about 30km east of Guilin city center with taxi fare around 100 yuan. You can buy your boating ticket on the spot at the ticketing office at the dock.

Luxurious Air-conditioned Boats
High Season ( April – November): 270 yuan;
Low Season (December – March): 240 yuan

Super Luxurious Air-conditioned Boats:
High Season ( April – November): 450 yuan;
Low Season (December – March): 380 yuan

Note:
1. Most boats leave at 9:00 am, 9:30 am and 10:00 am, so try to get up early to catch the boats.
2. The lunch on board is very basic and you are advised to bring some snacks.
3. If you travel independently, you need to take bus from Yangshuo North Bus Station back to Guilin after your cruise and a short trip to Yangshuo.

Now, follow me to have a glimpse of the picturesque Li River.

Zhujiang Dock ( 30 km to the east of Gulin city center )

Zhujiang Dock

Zhujiang Dock

On a 4-hour boat trip from Guilin Zhujiang Dock to Yangshuo.

4-hour boat trip from Guilin Zhujiang Dock to Yangshuo

4-hour boat trip from Guilin Zhujiang Dock to Yangshuo

Fruit vendors paddle rickety bamboo rafts right up along the boats and try to sell fruits.

Fruit vendors paddle rickety bamboo rafts

Fruit vendors paddle rickety bamboo rafts

Li River is flanked by pinnacled peaks of the forested undulating hills.

Li River is flanked by pinnacled peaks

Li River is flanked by pinnacled peaks

Passing by the steep cliffs and idyllic villages.

Passing by the steep cliffs and idyllic villages

Passing by the steep cliffs and idyllic villages

We see the scenery and we are also in the scenery.

We see the scenery and we are also in the scenery

We see the scenery and we are also in the scenery

We are passing by Yangdi Town ( Village). The watercourse from Yangdi to Xingping is the centerpiece of the Li River.

passing by Yangdi Town ( Village)

passing by Yangdi Town ( Village)

Many tourists take the motorized bamboo rafts from Yangdi floating on the most beautiful section of the Li River.

 motorized bamboo rafts

motorized bamboo rafts

Continue on the 4-hour boat trip.

Continue on the 4-hour boat trip

Continue on the 4-hour boat trip

Our boat is passing by the attractions known as “Yellow Cloth Shoal” and “The Painted Hill of Nine Horses”.

"Yellow Cloth Shoal" and "The Painted Hill of Nine Horses"

“Yellow Cloth Shoal” and “The Painted Hill of Nine Horses”

We are approaching Yangshuo.

We are approaching Yangshuo.

We are approaching Yangshuo.

Here we are at Yangshuo Dock.

Here we are at Yangshuo Dock

Here we are at Yangshuo Dock

A busy dock,  leads toward the West Street teemed with bars and restaurants.

A busy dock

A busy dock

 

Tip:  Hassle-free Guilin Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself bus route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Guilin:

Guilin City Tour from US$69 p/p
Guilin Li River Cruising Tour from US$95 p/p
Guilin Longsheng Guilin Day Tour from US$109 p/p

Guilin Yangshuo 3 Day Tour from US$229 p/p
Guilin Yangshuo Daxu Town 4 Day Tour from US$305 p/p
Guilin Longji Rice Terraces Yangshuo 4 Day Tour from US$369 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Things to do Guilin
How to Visit Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge
Li River Cruise
Daxu Ancient Town

Visit Huangyao Ancient Town from Yangshuo or Guilin
How to Visit Xingping
Impression Liu Sanjie Mega Performance in Yangshuo
Biking through Shili Scenery Gallery in Yangshuo

Any questions, just drop a line.