After a long period of not doing much, we took a (much needed) break to the Guangxi province of China to see rice paddies and Karst Mountains.
Most people refer to this area as “Guilin”, which is the major town in the area, even though said landscapes are located 100km away from this city.
Guilin itself is ugly and so polluted I felt like I had my head in an exhaust pipe. Luckily we only transited via this town.
After a 3 hour bus ride and a steep drive up the mountain we arrived at Ping’An village where the air was fresh and crisp.
The village is full of wooden houses, chickens wondering around and villagers selling artifacts to tourists.
The area is famed for its rice paddies, meals cooked inside bamboo trunks and the Yao tribe of women with extremely long hair.
The weather was decent so we immediately started hiking and playing around with our cameras.
Camera wise, I had bought a graduated filter for this trip and I am so gald I did, otherwise the skies would have been blown out on all pictures!
It is very common for foreigners to hire Chinese tour guides while visiting the area so most locals thought Jeff was my private guide….and were amazed when they discovered he was my partner.
Jeff has a few tricks up his sleeve to avoid being scammed in Mainland China:
- Speak perfect Mandarin with no accent so people can’t tell he is from Hong Kong
- Tell people he is from Guangzhou in Mainland China (instead of Hong Kong)
- Tell locals he is my tour guide and isn’t being paid a lot (so people don’t think he is a rich man with a foreign wife)
We don’t know how well these white lies work…but at least we didn’t get charged any extortionate rates for food or taxi rides.
Quite a few interesting things happened during our stay:
- Some foreign students were refused a student discount, even though they had student IDs…because they looked too old.
- A storm broke out, stopping the electricity supply, flooding the alleyways and our shoes in the process.
- A house at the entrance of the village was destroyed by a landslide during the storm.