Monday, November 28, 2011


First, let me apologize for being a weekend behind on my posts. Our friend from Atlanta came to Shanghai for a week and things were busy, busy, busy. We were meeting him out every night for dinner and drinks and I was spending my days running around like a maniac trying to get all our Christmas shopping done so I could send it home with him. He took about 55 kilos of our stuff home with him in two huge suitcases and I seriously couldn’t be more grateful! I love you, JAT!!!

This was a HUGE part of us being able to travel during home leave, but I’ll talk about that later.

Today is all about our time in Guilin two weekends ago…

Friday went as most of our Fridays do…pack—> check out of hotel—> taxi to airport—> check-in for flight—> dinner in airport—> flight—>taxi to hotel—> check-in at hotel—> bed. Yeah, Fridays aren’t the most fun day of the week, but the effort usually pays off. It certainly did this weekend.

Saturday morning we met up with our tour guide, Jeff, who was by far the best guide we’ve had in China. His English was pretty good and he made himself giggle like every five minutes with his corny little jokes. I like people who crack themselves up.

We had a long drive out to the Longji rice terraces from Guilin and a very long hike ahead of us once we got out of the van. It took us an hour of hiking up through the tiny villages to get to the best view of the terraces, but we really enjoyed getting a glimpse into what life is like in rural China and the views along the way were just as impressive…







Winter is the least picturesque time to visit the terraces, but we were still in awe of their beauty.

The area is also home to a number of minorities that all live together, but follow their own traditions. Yao people believe a woman’s beauty is in their hair and use to only show it to their husbands…


They cut it and save the old hair to help them create this style…


They use different knots in the front to indicate if they are single, married, or married with children.

The Zhuang women wear printed towels or fabric around their hair…


I mean, how lovely is this woman? She was weaving sandals and I have no doubt that each time I look at the pair we bought from her, I will recall this sweet smiling face.

After taking a million photos, we headed back down into the village for a much needed meal. Lunch was really delicious and we got to eat outside and enjoy the views and relatively fresh air. I promise to catch up with the food blog and tell you all about it soon!

After lunch we made our way to the bottom of the village and made a quick stop at a pearl place before arriving at the hotel. We had about 20 minutes to freshen up before getting back in the van so we could drive out to Guilin’s sister city, Langshuo. It was another hour and half drive to see the Impression Liu Sanjie show, but again, the effort was totally worth it.

The show was created by the guy who did the Beijing Olympics’ opening act and is absolutely in-flippin-credible. The “theater” is an outdoor space using the actual mountains and river as the backdrop and stage. I can’t imagine there is anything like it in the world. Hundreds of people, boats, torches, singers, cows, lit-up costumes- my photos can’t begin to do it justice…






It was literally jaw-dropping.

We arrived really late after the show and long ride back to Guilin. We had just enough energy to eat some dinner and then fell into bed before our early wake-up call for our Li River cruise.

This, this is why you come to Guilin…







We had perfect weather, gorgeous scenery and a great group of people to spend the day with, especially because our dear friend from Atlanta had finally made it to China! You can’t really ask for more.

It was a packed weekend with absolutely no down time, but so worth the exhaustion. Aside from the pandas (because really, nothing will ever be better than all those baby pandas!), this has been our favorite weekend in China.

Coming soon…Seoul!

Pics from the weekend…

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