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nick-taylor
April 8th, 2009, 04:44 PM
Green Grey Guilin

Located in Guangxi provence on the Li River, Guilin is a case study of a naturally beautiful environment tainted by unrelenting expansion of industry and urban environments with little consideration for the beauty that brings people there.

The trip didn't get off to a great start as we had to cross the HK-SAR/China border to Shenzhen airport for our flight to Guilin, but at least the hot dog at the airport was interesting...

In Guilin, the first thing you notice is that it is a large and dense urban environment without a real centre which makes it confusing to navigate. Another problem with the city is that you get the distinct impression that everything was built in the last 20 years, ensuring that each district (if you could label them such) lacked unique identities both on the architectural and cultural front.

Pollution is a major issue, blighting the hills surrounding the urban centre, however it isn't anywhere near as poor as Shenzhen which is possibly the biggest mistake in human history. If you like a diverse culinary scene, Guilin is not a high priority

Avoid:
- The 'scenic' (unless the crew laced our food with sleeping pills) river cruise where pretty much everyone on the boat was asleep after an hour and a half
- Yangshuo which is about as quaint and historic as Disneyland
- Any roads outside the urban area. The quality of the roads in Guilin are pretty reasonable, but the driving is worse than in Africa - e.g.: the overtaking of a packed bus that is itself overtaking a suspect fuel tanker, which is itself overtaking a tractor....on a road that is barely a dual carriageway.
- The lakes cruise - worst possible way to get people engaged in Guilin

Visit:
- The caves which are well presented
- Terrace fields - we opted for River cruise, big mistake.
- The coffee shop on Linjiang Lu (from the city centre, cross Jiefang Bridge and go left), where nobody knows how to make a cup of coffee (even the owner who was Canadian of Guilin extract)!
- Some random cable car up a hill, with the optional (but real reason of going) slide down the hill - better than any ride I've been on
- A Shenzhen hot dog (picture 1)

China, while a developing nation makes a very poor effort compared to countries with an even less developed (or smaller) economy in presenting the country as a place to visit. Someone once mentioned to me that visiting China is probably similar to visiting Britain during the Industrial Revolution, or the US in the early 20th century. If so, I would argue that those places must have been amongst the most boring and depressing places to be despite the explosion in creativity and energy.


Next: Hong Kong + Tokyo - the holiday actually begins.



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30 - Captain Nick 'Nelson' Taylor at the helm
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brianac
April 9th, 2009, 06:05 AM
Thanks for the photographs Nick.

Excellent.

zupermaus
April 11th, 2009, 07:18 AM
love this shot, and thanx for the tips - one day I'll go down that slide I'm sure.

http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/5020/img5450.jpg

ps after all this time, we almost got to know what you look like

ablarc
April 12th, 2009, 05:07 PM
Gosh nick, that was an absolutely thrilling set of photographs!

What an exotic place!

Were you there purely for pleasure, or was there also some business involved?

nick-taylor
April 13th, 2009, 12:23 PM
Gosh nick, that was an absolutely thrilling set of photographs!

What an exotic place!

Were you there purely for pleasure, or was there also some business involved?Pleasure. I'm still trying to sort out the pictures from Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Will hopefully get those done before I go on my next trip, as I'm planning on taking a month-long trip to SE Asia (got to work on the specifics - but Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam) in the summer.

Gradually running out of places to visit!




Edit - Quick shot of Hong Kong. ;)


http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/275/img4850v.jpg (http://img13.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img4850v.jpg)

ailiaozhuren
April 25th, 2009, 11:01 PM
a really beautiful place.though i am a chinese,i have not been to there.i hope someday i can travel to it.