July 2014 – Guilin

This was the awe-inspiring view from my hotel room – typical Guilin, where the numerous mountains surrounding the area unexpectedly blend seamlessly with the growing amount of houses and buildings cropping up. Wait, Guilin? Yup, I was back in the beautiful city last July, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Snaps from when we walked around parts of the city. The main reason why I never tire of travelling to a place I’ve been before is because there’s always something new to see, always a new perspective to shoot photos from.

Take this place, for instance. This was the same place we went to in the latter part of this post, where it had a beautiful pagoda-like structure and all. We couldn’t go in this time because we weren’t willing to pay the entrance fee, so we just hung around outside the area (note: bring lots of insect repellent, the mosquitoes are vicious) and took pictures.

Look at all those fruits! If there’s one thing every person I’ve been with loves in China, it’s the fruits. Every person except me goes crazy whenever they see fruit stands brimming with produce like these.
A trip that I don’t have any previous recollection of is the long highway trip going to Yangshuo, the place in Guilin where all the scenic mountains are. This time, we took a road trip of sorts for the media people with us who wanted to take videos of all the scenery. Behold the highways of China – always so scenic and clean.
They wanted a taste of the old China, which is what we got – rustic houses and communities which blended in more seamlessly with the mountains in the background and the bright sunshine.
During this time, one of the media people gave me her GoPro to try out. (Thanks a bunch for the trust, Peggy!) This was where I legit fell in love with it and saw that it’s not just another selfie camera. (Yes, thanks to a lot of GoPro users in Facebook, I formed that grave misconception of the GoPro.) Getting one soon!
Our hunt for photos took us further into the heart of the old villages, where we got a more-in-depth-than-usual glimpse at their everyday lives. Simple, but contented.
It was a hot day, but I didn’t expect not to feel the usual frisson of annoyance. I certainly didn’t expect to be so amused and entertained by ducks, boatmen and women, and random corny jokes stuck unto cars.
After staring at the locals (and them staring back at us) some more, we were ushered to two metal boats to take what was described as a peaceful, scenic boat ride. I kind of knew trouble was coming, especially that we couldn’t really understand their dialect, and it was the heat of the afternoon sun bearing down on us at that time. Yup, if you didn’t know it yet, NEVER take a boat ride in the high heat of the afternoon sun; you’re practically begging for a heat stroke.
I must say: Peaceful? Yes. Comfortable to the smallest degree? No. In all honesty, unless you haven’t seen water lilies (which was the highlight of this trip) in your whole lifetime and are dying to see one, don’t go.
A decent lunch and cool watermelon saved our asses from further heat strokes.
Needless to say, the transition from old to new, modernized China was quite jarring. Our next stop in this whirlwind trip was a visit to Okla Coffee Music Bar, a sports bar (nowhere to be seen in its name!) for chitchat with the owner. It was still World Cup season at that time, so the place was decked quite appropriately for a night of football watching and snack munching.
Even without all the World Cup paraphernalia, there is a lot to be appreciated about the interior design of the place. I love its vintage-y feel; I’d like to call it a very “Instagrammable” place, the likes of which you could just snap a random corner of this bar, and it’d look awesome on Instagram. That kind.
The moment we plopped down on their fluffy sofas, they served us iced lemon water. After that cruel afternoon boat ride, what’s not to love? Thanks, Okla, you’ve officially made your mark!

Details, details and more details:
Pretty, isn’t it?

Our last dinner in Guilin was made extra special by the labor of love from our hosts, who decided to make dumplings entirely from scratch for us. As they say, love tastes the sweetest. 🙂



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