Higherland Inn

Higherland Inn

I returned to struggle again with the mountain, and the mountain won. I’m just back from three amazing days staying at the wonderful Higherland Inn on the side of the Cang Shan. The Inn is run by Li Ping (sp?), who could not be nicer or more helpful. It’s peaceful up there, and beautiful. It’s cozy and the food is great. I wanted to live there, but all good things must come to an end. 

Temples in Dali

Dali

Yesterday, I viewed the three pagodas outside of Dali. According to the Lonely Planet, these pagodas are “among the oldest standing structures in southwestern China.” Also according to the LP, they are free, but in fact, they are walled in and cost Y121 – Y62 if you have an old student ID (which I do). The pagodas are at the bottom of the park, and behind them is a never-ending series of temples with stairs behind leading to yet another temple, like those Russian stacking dolls. I hadn’t gone far when I was abducted by some monks and bundled into…

clothes

Yangshuo to Dali

At 6:o0 a.m this past Thursday, I stumbled down the stairs at Lisa’s Cafe and Hostel and found all the doors locked and barred. I had to catch the 6:30 express bus to Guilin, or I would miss my 8:50 sleeper train to Kunming, so when I found myself locked in, I panicked and ran all around the hostel, rattling doorknobs.

riding out

Yangshuo…Still

I have turned into the world’s laziest tourist. I have seriously done nothing for four days. Well, that’s not true. I’ve been hanging out at a lot of cafes with many Swedes, Slovaks, Brits, Israelis, Danes and so forth. And eating a lot of overpriced noodles and pancakes. And I bought a pair of wrap-around pants. 

Li River cruise

Yangshuo

Saturday I took my Li River cruise. Before we got on the boat, we had to take a bus to the loading place and once we arrived, the bus unloaded into an absolute swarm of Chinese tourists (sprinkled with Westerners) and I promptly lost sight of everyone in my group.

Guilin

Guilin

I say Guilin is Gatlinburg-esque, because it’s a very touristy town in the middle of gorgeous mountains. The similarity ends there, however. Guilin is also on the Li River, which winds through the city, puddling into many lakes surrounded on all sides by landscaped parks. The parks and the river are lit at night with colored lights everywhere, and in the mornings, mist hangs over the huge, blobbish mountains that surround the city, and it’s lovely really. Except for all the tourists.  

Zhaoqing

Zhaoqing and On

Sorry it’s been so long since my last dispatch, but I’ve been busy getting schooled. My first official travel adventure began on the bus to Zhaoqing. The only passengers on the bus were me, and a very pretty girl named Jay, who is home on holiday from the University of Birmingham in England and lives in Zhaoqing.