Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Snippets of Guilin, China: Day Three

I know I have stalled my Guilin Honeymoon story for the longest time. Somehow, I just had too much photos, places and stories to remember from my Guilin trip. Hence, I have become a little bit lazy to write about it because I need to think again when writing about the trip. Anyway, since I have determined to write about the trip, I will complete these Guilin series one by one as planned. Slowly but sure.

After we visited the Merryland Theme Park in Xing'An County, on the next day we rode the coach again for about two hours to get to Yangshuo County.

Monday, 19 September 2011

7.30am Checked out and had breakfast at one of the restaurants at Merryland Resort.

Checking out the souvenir shop at the Merryland Resort.

My husband and I in front of the five-star Merryland Resort.

8.30am Made a move to Yangshuo County by coach.

10.30am Visited the #3 Scenic Spot Destination in Guilin, Liu San Jie (刘三姐) Grand View Garden in Yangshuo County. We were scheduled to watch a legendary Zhang Yimou's Liu San Jie folklore performance that night, so our tour guide brought us to this place to snap some photos of the garden's scenery, buy some souvenirs and enjoy a smaller-scale preliminary Liu San Jie performance at this garden.

Liu San Jie Garden View Garden.

My God! These people really can dance and sing so well.

A part from performance at Liu San Jie Garden View Garden.

A part from performance at Liu San Jie Garden View Garden.

 My husband and the beautiful scenery of Liu San Jie Grand View Garden.

On our way to Liu Sanjie Grand View Garden, our tour guide told us a long history of Yao people (瑶族) and their interesting culture in the past. Yao Tribe is the second largest population after Zhuang ethnic group (壮族) in Guangxi region. I'm not too sure about now, but according to our tour guide's explanation, Yao society was matriarch. Therefore, after marriage, a man would live with the woman's family. Women were the bread winner and men would stay at home to take care of the house and children. In the past, if there was a baby girl born, her family would plant a lot of sha trees, teas, sticky rice and nuts around the family's house. They would cut the trees when the girl turned 18 years old as she would be ready for marriage by then. The wood would be used to build a house for the girl to have intercourse with men. Once she got pregnant, she would have to marry the man who impregnated her. Following that, her family would need to harvest the teas, sticky rice and nuts for her wedding celebrations. Interesting, huh? Given the absence of DNA tests back then, I bet it was quite difficult to identify the man who fathered the baby that the girl carried.

A display at the Liu San Jie Grand View Garden: 
Typical Yao People's Show House  in the olden days.

On top of the above interesting stories, our tour guide also shared with us the main criteria that were used to judge beautiful women among the Yao ethnic group in the past. Beautiful women, then, must have:

  • Big butt - a woman with big bum was said to be able to give birth easier
  • Big feet - big feet signified strong woman as she would need to walk/climb the mountains quite often
  • Big mouth - not sure signified what.
  • Small fingers - small fingers would help them sew textiles/knit easily   

12.30pm Lunch

2.00pm River Cruise and sightseeing at Shangri-La Guilin the #4 Scenic Spot Destination in Guilin. The brief river cruise here offers a scenery of the daily life and village of local people who reside surrounds the river. They also have a beautiful park, cultural show houses, handicraft shop and paddy fields by the river.

My husband ready to ride one of the boats for the river cruise.

The cave that we had to go through to see the local village by the river.

Fisherman rowing his bamboo boat and some typical local houses in the village. 

Another scenery of how the local people find their food.

Enjoying the welcome drink after the river cruise: A cup of sticky rice wine. 

 A demonstration of how people in Guangxi traditionally make threads.

  A demonstration of how people in Guangxi knit their traditional cloths.

Me being a busy body at the cultural house: 
Posing with one of the knitting machines.

The beautiful scenery of this Shangri-La Guilin.

4.00pm Visited a Bama (巴马) Stones Gallery

This particular itinerary definitely never came across into my mind before. It was neither written in the official tour itinerary. We were taken to a gallery or more like an exclusive shop in Yangshuo were all the tour participants listened to a 30-minutes presentation about Bama (巴马) County in Guangxi. This county is famous of its centenarian populations. The presenter explained about the history of this Bama County and the causes of long life expectancy there. It is believed that the unpolluted natural environment and healthy lifestyle that the residents adopt in Bama County promote the life longevity of the local people there.

A poster showing of the centenarians' photos in Bama County.

After we were done with the presentation, we had a brief tour at their gallery which sells the so-called Bama healing (meteoric) stones, which produce negative ion effects to those who hold them. The stones sold have been transformed into gems, accessories or house decorations. I personally think those stones might be just scam with certificates but some tour members did buy them. Albeit these stones ain't bling-bling; they're not cheap stones, folks!

Me, holding the unprocessed famous Bama healing stone.

6.00pm Dinner at the hotel's restaurant

7.00pm Caught Zhang Yi Mou's The Impression of Liu Sanjie (印象刘三姐), #5 Scenic Spot Destination in Guilin.

This is probably one of the most interesting attractions of Guilin that I had look forward to see when I first saw the tour itinerary from the travel agent office (although my husband and I had to pay separately for enjoying this performance).

My husband and I: Ready to catch a one-and-a-half hour 
magical performance of  the Impression of Liu Sanjie.

The Impression of Liu Sanjie is an internationally acclaimed large-scale opera which uses Li River and Mountains as the stage natural backdrop. This opera is about the famous singer in the legend of Zhuang ethnic group (壮族). The whole village who are farmers or fishermen during the day take part at this major performance by night. This performance were indeed so breath-taking that I felt so lucky to catch this performance live. I also found that Liu Sanjie's old folk song is really enchanting. This said, these days, I occasionally hum and sing Liu Sanjie's song (with my own random Mandarin lyrics) until my husband gets really annoyed and asks me call it quit for the day.

 There must be a strong reason why people all around the world 
come all the way to Guilin to see this performance.

The Red Impressions: Fishermen rowing their bamboo boats in columns. 
They used incredibly long red clothes upon the Li River's water to give this red lighting effect. 

The Silver Impression: Girls singing and dancing in shimmering silver and golden dresses 
and gave mysterious effects to the show.

The Golden Impression: Some fishermen rowing their bamboo boats 
under the half-moon silhouette.

9.40pm Took a night stroll at  #6 Scenic Spot Destination in Guilin, the infamous Yangshuo West Street.

The West Street is one of the oldest streets in Yangshuo and flooded with people even during normal week days. It is also regarded as the place where western and eastern cultures meet in China, thus, this place is also nicknamed as the "Foreign Language Corner".

We ate a KFC burger for supper. I could not remember the name of this burger. 
This KFC restaurant of Yangshuo's West Street ran out of vegetables that night 
so our burger was really plain.

To me, this area is more like Malacca's Jonker Street sans the clubbing scenes. Yes, the West Street is like the pub and night club area in Yangshuo. Youngsters in Yangshuo party hard even on Monday night! By the way, although this street offered an array of interesting shops selling local handicraft, paintings, food, bags, clothes, etc. - my husband and I didn't buy a thing simply because we didn't know what to shop from this street. I guess we both were just too tired after a long day of sightseeing in Yangshuo.

Me in the middle of the super crowded Yangshuo's Western Street.

11.00pm Time for bed. Zzz.

As usual, for this post's closing, here's the photo of the food that we got to enjoy on our third day in Guilin.

Day 3's food we ate in Guilin.

More Guilin posts to come! Be patient.

1 comment:

  1. Guilin has always been in my wishlist of places to visit.. Hopefully I can visit it in the future.. Nice post & pics btw :)


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