Guilin in China is famed for its picturesque landscapes. According to a popular Chinese saying (“桂林山水甲天下”) which means Guilin Mountain and river scenery rank as the best in the world. You have to see it for yourself to believe. This is the place to go if you just want to get away from busy city life and just indulge in the wonders of nature.
To appreciate the beauty of the place, a cruise along the Li River is a top must do. The slow boat ride coupled with all-round beautiful scenery is just so relaxing and breathtaking. With such beautiful postcard scenery at every turn, the experience is like cruising through an art gallery.
Besides the boat ride, there are also limestone caves to visit. It’s amazing to see the stalactites and stalagmites formations still in good condition even after millions of years. In the cave, use your vivid imagination to figure out the art within. If you are imaginative enough, you can see shapes of different birds and animals. Can you spot them?
Today, a lot of the ethnic minority races still live in the villages near the mountainous region. Some of these villages are open for visitors and you are highly encouraged to participate in their song and dance routine. I visited the Zhuang and Yao minority village at Longshen County and had so much fun. One of the most unforgettable experience was the “butt pinching tradition” by the Yao ladies. According to the Yao culture, if a woman fancies a man, she will pinch his butt as a display of friendship. (vice versa is prohibited!) This open display of affection is hilarious and all the guys had their butt pinched (at least once).
For panda lovers, I suggest a visit to the Guilin Seven Star Park to say hello to the giant pandas (Fengyi and Meixin). If you are lucky, the pandas might walk very close to the barrier and strike a playful pose. Just beside the giant panda enclosure is the red panda enclosure. Unlike their back-and-white relatives, these little creatures are reddish brown and have a long furry tail. Prior to the visit, I did not expect to see these cute pandas, this little surprise really made the trip even more memorable.