Day 3 – 8th January 2009, Friday
We would be making our way back to Guilin town today. Breakfast this morning consist of soya milk, yao char kuai, fried noodles and dumplings, the usual. How I miss nasi lemak! It was still very cold that Friday morning. It’s amusing to see the people in Yangshuo making fires along the roads with a few of them huddled together over the fire burning from sticks and plank of woods!
View at Shangri-La
After breakfast, we went to a place they called Shangri-La. It’s a place where we get to see people from all tribes in Guilin in their “natural” habitat. I still feel it’s man made and very, very fake. However, some of the places looked quite nice, especially the withered trees in winter.
Some tribe sitting around a fire with jakun tourists looked on
Here, they have all kinds of activities for tourists to participate in. We also get to sample their native plum wine. Both May and I missed the drinks because we bypassed a sea of people drinking more than a cup. They have sale of all things embroidery – from a picture to small little balls, clothes and little knick knacks. The colorful embroidery were very much welcomed as they added vibrancy and life to the otherwise pale winter.
After that, we went to have our feet massage at Bao Shu Tang. That’s where we could get the famous Bai Fu Ling ointment at 250 renmenbi. My mom swore by this. She said it’s good for her aching joints and muscles, so I bought another tub for her. During the feet massage, the curious interns from Hainan Island asked if we had been to Yangshuo. We said we did. The two boys requested to see some pictures. So May showed them her video. It was kinda sad as these children haven’t been anywhere in China apart from their hometowns and now, in Guilin to work. Times are hard and these people work extra hard. That’s why TIME Magazine honored the Chinese workers in their “People of the Year” award.
We were famished by the time the foot massage finished. After lunch, we went to Fubo Hill. It was a well manicured garden with a small pagoda perched on top of a rocky mountain. Under the rocky mountain, there is a cave with inscriptions. There were also carvings of holy Buddha figurines in the cave that, the guide told us not to take pictures. I didn’t want to risk it so I didn’t.
A Garden in Fubo Hill
To my surprise, they even have a shop in the garden; the jade shop. The owner claimed that he had made a lot of money that day and told us, he said he would not talk about business and claimed that he’s from Melaka, studied in the US since he was 7 and graduated from MIT. From the way he spoke, I don’t think he’s telling the truth. He pronounced “glass” as “grass”. Hahahah! However, everyone was sold by his charm and most of us bought some horoscope jade as “amulet” as protection. Ladies are such suckers for charming personality!
By the end of the visit to the jade shop, most of the people in the group were somewhat pissed with the amount of time spent at designated shops. We missed some of the important landmarks within the compound such as the statue of goddess of mercy on top of the cave. The Klangites were furious and wanted to file a complaint against the tour guide for time mismanagement. I guess they didn’t realize that most trips to China are considerably cheap as the hotels and food have been subsidized by these novelty shops and it’s the tour guide’s duty to ensure that, all these shops which sponsored the trip are visited for at least an hour each!
It was then, I received 2 smses from home. It’s sad to know the state Malaysia is in right now. High court’s decision is no longer respected and acts of barbaric terrorism took place. The smses acted as an ice breaker. Most of us who didn’t really speak to each other throughout the trip began to give their two cents worth. I dreaded Guilin’s weather. I dreaded going home even more now to a place where hooligans’ rule. God save Malaysia. I can’t wait for the next election! Please people! Get registered! Change your address if you are not voting from home unless you prefer to fly back to respective hometowns to vote! Stop complaining things are not done right when you don’t even bother to vote at the first place!
Night view of the pagoda around Banyan & Cedar Lake
After dinner, we were off to Zhenyang street, where the flea market is. Here, you could get all sorts of things. I think it’s a great place to shop for winter apparels. Everything was somewhat cheap but you could still bargain it up to your preferred price. I wished that we could have more time to buy things.
Before going back to the hotel, the tour guide took us around the Banyan & Cedar Lake again to get the night view. It was rather breath taking. However, the weather was too cold that the four of us decided to stay put in the bus and enjoyed the night view from the bus!
This concludes my very short trip to Guilin. I guess it would be better if we could get around Guilin on our own and spend more time admiring the beauty of this place, rather than spending time at those novelty shops with a bunch of loud hooligans. Also, the tour guide is a dumb prick for rudely waking us up and expect us to get down the bus within 30 seconds after we stirred from our sleep. My eyes couldn’t even adjust before I clumsily walked down the bus!
Perhaps, it’s better to visit this place during spring! The winter in January was too cold for me that it even dampens my mood to shop!
For more pictures, please check it out here.
PS. We met this cute little girl on our way back to Kuala Lumpur. The mother was such a dumbass for not buying a seat and almost ended sitting in between May and I before I glared at the air stewardess to let the mom and daughter to sit in front of us. There were like 30 empty seats in front of us and Air Asia had to slot two of them in between us!
Also, the Klang hooligans tried to make themselves comfortable by sitting on the hot seats in front without paying and totally ignored the announcement by the Chief Stewardess to follow the designated seats. Memang BTC! They eventually moved back because they were asked to buzz off. Haha! Apart from the annoying hooligans, the flight back on AK103, 9th January 2010 was a pleasant one . The Chief Stewardess is very attentive. When I ordered Ipoh White Coffee, she actually gave me an extra cup of water because she said, it’s too sweet and I might need to add water! Bravo to this Chief Stewardess!
Oh yeah.. I totally forgot to write about Mr Fuyong Tan. We gave him this nickname because during our meals, he asked for a menu to add on some dishes and we all thought he’s going to order something exotic.. since we are in Guilin… but he ended ordering fuyong tan! LOL! Can’t blame him though as he has a sensitive stomach. Anyway, this Mr Fuyong Tan was in Guilin with his new bride for their honeymoon! I guess it’s best to have honey moon here since there’s nothing much to do at night. LOL!