Thursday, November 4, 2010

China Postcard Day 15 Guilin Around the Hotel Part 2 of 2

We continue with Day 15 of our China trip in Guilin today! There was ample time before night fall so we decided to proceed along Binjiang Road towards Elephant Trunk Hill.

Apart from hauling two-wheelers, we noticed a couple of interesting characters, one of them an elderly man pictured below. His face a disinterested expression, his clothes a pale yellow t-shirt that looked 3 sizes too big, old jeans with rolled up cuffs to accommodate his small figure. A bamboo stick stretched across both shoulders carried his belongings in big white bags. The seemingly heavy load swayed side to side as he slowly stepped towards us. I wondered where he was headed, was he a laborer or a scavenger?A little ways down the street, another fellow swiftly passed by. Staring ahead oblivious to his surroundings, he carried a fishing pole in one hand, a badminton racquet and a wooden stool in another. It was obvious he had indulged in recreational activities all afternoon, now on his way home for dinner.
A clearing in the trees directed our gaze onto the Li River, a few locals frequented the path next to the water. Caught on camera below, a father and his daughter ran at a playful pace while the mother called out as she steadily caught up.
Voices from across the river grew louder, a group of young men seated on the rocks were visiting amongst themselves.
From this view, a close observation noted the arms of the two friends at the top of the boulders. It looked like they were comparing the size of their catch, their chatter became more and more boisterous eventually ending in laughter.
The sun was getting low, the surrounding light got darker, we continued on the same path.
At the end of the sidewalk the stone fence gave way to a flight of steps that led us to the water.
The reflection of the buildings was so clear we stood and admired its tranquility for a few moments.
There was people fishing nearby, it seemed this was a popular past time. A lone man in the red shirt stood next to the squatting couple, she was gossiping on her cell phone.
After a few minutes, the pair left empty handed but the red shirt man persisted with his angling. We left the area too and crossed the bridge in search of dinner. We soon found ourselves in a quiet residential neighborhood, I thought we were lost but David urged us to move on and we wandered into a hotel with a restaurant. The manager recommended some local dishes, soup with cucumber, taro and squash, steamed chicken on lotus leaf, and spinach leaves stir fried with garlic. We ate heartily as did other customers. Served with all you can eat rice, the bill came to a total of 79 RMB (about $11 Canadian).

Tummies filled with delicious food we headed back to our hotel. It was already dark, numerous locals were out strolling by the river, some were exercising on machines just like the ones in Xian. On the bridge several street venders were selling knotted crafts, more was seen at the night market on Zhongshan Road. We found a bakery near the hotel and bought some buns for next day's breakfast. A quick wash up and off to bed.

Next week our China adventure continues as we go on tour to explore more of Guilin!

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