Guilin to Xian
18.09.2011 - 21.09.2011 30 °C
Am sitting on the 10th floor of our hotel overlooking the busy streets of Xian - a small city of a mere 7 million when compared to Chongqing which has a population of 32 million souls. Our last day travelling on the Yangtze River was an eye opener with the hundreds of bridges and multiple high rise blocks of appartments which come totally unfitted to those who purchase them. These are found throughout the cities of China whether a free public housing, compensation for displaced farmers or simply to cope with the population demands of an increasing urban population. our last night on board Victoria Jenna was a crew cabaret which we thoroughly enjoyed beacause of the lovely costumes from different regions and their dances. What a versatile crew waiting skills, singing and dancing, face changing and musical skills.
Next day after a brief flight we arrived at Guilin in the south of the country famous for its Hillls which are known as limestone karsts and which decorate many painitings and ink drawings and calligraphy. We started of our touring by visiting the Reed Flute cave which features the usual formations with somewhat garish lighting and enormous spaces with reflecting pools. It was surprisingly cool and very enjoyable. Then we moved on to the South China Pearl Company where we had the opportunity to shop for Freshwater Pearls.
The next highlight of this trip of many highlights was the Li River trip. The scenery famous in so much Chiniese Culture is extraordinarily beautiful and we spent the 4 hour journey along the river on the top deck not wanting to miss a moment. Valley after valley and Karsts galore opened up around every corner of the river. Small and large vessels jostle each other for space in the shallow waters as we drift along waving to the other tourists on boats and on the shore. Our hotels have been very comfortable and the food plentiful and delicious. That evening we went with our guide Frank for a walk along the lake to view the multicoloured pavilions and the 7 year old twin Pagodas - one Yin the other Yang.
Yesterday we arrived in Xian and started off with Tang Dynasty welcome to the city of Xian (Chang'an) complete with a Key to the City and official passport handed to us after dancing girls and soldiers and an imperial representative greeted us. Then we took a walk on the ancient city wall which nowadays stretches 16 km around the centre of the city of Xian. Last night one of the highlights of the trip so far - a Tang Dynasty show complete with wonderful musicians, singers and dancers, acrobats and wonderful choreography. A pleasant meal proceeded the show which lasted a blissful hour.
This morning yet another must see for China Travellers - the Entombed Warriors. Even though we have seen the videos and pictures nothing matches the ability to see the 3 pits and their contents. What an amazing job China and her people have done in finding and preserving this cultural and National treasure. We returned to our hotel for the best buffet lunch we have had so far and soon we will go out again to see more of the sights of Xian and to enjoy more culinary delights.