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Come Rain Come Shine - Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng

Come Rain Come Shine - Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng

Jul 10th, 2009, 06:58 PM
  #21  
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Thank you all for your kind comments!

sdtravels,

We used 3 cameras altogether, 2 small digital(an old Canon Ixus 800IS and a newer Panasonic and 1 DSLR(an old Canon 5D). Most of the photos shown were from the Canon 5D but IMO the lens used is more important than the camera itself. You can get the camera and lens information with all the aperture, speed and ISO settings by placing the cursor on the picture and click "Photo Info".
Hanuman is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 04:42 AM
  #22  
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kuranosuke,

Ken I've checked and you can get a visa in Bangkok. My local travel agent charges 2,000 Baht for their 24 hours turnaround Chinese visa services and if you have more time it get cheaper. All they need is your passport and 2 x 2 inch color photo.
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Jul 11th, 2009, 12:34 PM
  #23  
 
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Thanks, will do. I am going to the same area in late March/early April 2010. I hope my photos turn out as good as yours!
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Jul 11th, 2009, 01:00 PM
  #24  
 
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i hope you did not eat too much of that "chinese food"...

great report...too bad about the weather....
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 01:46 PM
  #25  
 
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pook, thanks for taking the time to get the info for me. hopefully next time dw and i are in thailand, we can use your agents services. we've always wanted to go to guillin.
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Jul 11th, 2009, 07:21 PM
  #26  
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Part 3 – Longsheng

Day Final:
Our original plan was to visit the Longsheng area and spend a night there after Guilin but due to the rain and road closure we had amended our plan accordingly. After Karen found out for us that the roads going up to Longsheng had partially reopen we hurriedly change our schedule one last time so that we could visit the spectacular landscape there. We had arranged with Karen, who conveniently lives in Moon Hill, for a nice van and driver to meet us at our Inn at 8.30 in the morning. The staffs at the Inn were so nice that they didn’t charge us anything for breakfast, which were not included with our room rate, and they even gave us all a going away presents – locally made silk wallets with “Ang Pao”, a small amount of money for luck inside it.

We assembled at the courtyard of the Inn at 8.15 and there was Karen who decided to join us to our last excursion. The driver, Henry, spoke good English, promptly arrived at 8.30 in a new Korean made minivan that comfortably seated us all and our luggage. We set off from the Inn at around 8.45 and drove through Yangshuo one last time before entering the new toll way that connect Yanghsuo, the airport and Guilin. The toll way was new and the road looks like a well kept motorway in a European country! More Karsts lined the toll way until we passed by the airport turn off. The topography changed to the more regular mountain landscape and we soon exited the toll way and drove along the normal 2 lane road going toward Longheng. During our drive our minivan was equipped with a fuzz buster and I had noticed that it went off a few times so the Chinese police do monitor the speed limit.

We took a break in a nondescript town for brunch, since my wife was hungry again, and I wondered around the market there for about 10 minutes observing the selling and buying of goods. We soon took off again and after about another hour’s drive we saw a barricade blocking the road with a blue warning sign in Chinese. Henry explained to us that the normal road ahead was still blocked, from mud and rock slides, but there’s a side road or local road that can bypass the closed section. This added about 1 hour to our trip along a road that hugs a rather sheer drop off into a small fast flowing river below. At several points we had to go slowly to avoid the mud and rock slide that had partially blocked this road as well. We rejoined the main road again and noticed more blue warning signs but the road was navigable. Earth movers, or tractors, were everywhere working on clearing the mud and rocks at several part of the road.

So after 4.5 hours of driving we finally arrived at the ticket office for the Longji terraced field. There were a few tour buses and other vans there and after paying the entrance fee we entered the zone. The views from the minivan was getting more and more spectacular and we drove by three more villages that looks like their sole purposes is to just cater for tourists with Inns and restaurants. The road became twistier with quite steep gradients, reminding us slightly of the road from Chiang Mai to Pai, before we finally reached the parking area for Ping’an village.

There’s another entrance or ticket station before we could enter the walking path but I don’t recall having to pay more and here there were the local village guides and porters waiting to see if we needed their service. Since Karen accompanied us we did not need the local guide but out of curiosity I did ask Karen to enquire with the porter how much they charge for carrying us up. These guys carry luggage and if needed can carry people on a carrying chair, two porters to one chair and passenger. The going rate is 200 CNY to carry one person all the way to the top and back again and there was one Chinese lady who used this service while we were there.

We started our climb along a shop lined passageway until we arrived at a wooden bridge. From there we followed the stone path uphill until we reach Ping’an village. All the buildings in the village seem to be guest houses, inns or restaurant! There are quite a few constructions going on and they are building more guest houses. We stopped by one of the guest house and had a quick lunch before commencing further uphill. The lunch was ok but the food was not really that good but considering where we were we could not have asked for more.

After lunch we walk through the village, more guest houses, and then in the middle of the village the path split in two directions. From here you can choose which terrace observation point you want to go to and from the advice of our guide we turn left. All the other tourist were going this way too so I guess we made the right choice. More climbing but now we begin to see the rice terraces that we have come so far to see. Sporadically lining both side of the path way there were tented photo studios that the locals have set up with traditional Chinese costumes for rent, Chinese lady models who will pose with you, a pc and a printer – quite a few people did use them.

We arrived at the lower observation point and the view of the rice terraces was spectacular. The rice was pretty fully grown and almost ready for harvest so we did not really get the best view or the view that I had pictured or hoped for. After several minutes of taking pictures, video and to rest after a steep climb we proceeded up further to the highest observation point. There’s a building structure here and a courtyard that sells souvenirs and snacks and then a short climb up some stairs take you to an open area with a great view underneath a big Chinese flag fluttering in the wind. More pictures and video and from this position we overlooked Ping’an village as well. We stayed up there for about 45 minutes relaxing and talking about the view before we had to leave for the airport. The climb down was easy and from my observation the best area to take photos here is mid way up from the village to the first observation point where you can go into the paddy field itself.

While we were at the terraces the road crew had further cleaned up the road and now the main road is partially open again. Much quicker going back and we made the airport in about two and a half hours. Guilin airport service both the international and the domestic flights and has at least 3 big restaurants there serving both Chinese and Western food. We checked into our Bangkok Airways flight one and a half hour before the departure time and after we cleared immigration, while waiting in the lounge, we were told that our plane was three hours delayed! One last glitch for our trip and what an exciting trip it was.

Travel related expenses while in the Longsheng area.
Minivan from Yangshuo to Longsheng and back to the airport = 750 CNY.
Entrance fee for the Longsheng terraces = 50 CNY.
Hanuman is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 08:08 PM
  #27  
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Photos from Longsheng: http://khun-pook.smugmug.com/gallery...88427352_85tRZ
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Jul 12th, 2009, 06:10 AM
  #28  
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ttt for zverybestfamily.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 09:17 AM
  #29  
 
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Wow. I'm adding Longsheng to my list of places to visit (in spite of the multitude of guesthouses).
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Jul 12th, 2009, 11:36 AM
  #30  
 
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Ah! You got to see the rice terraces after all! I'm glad it worked out. Thanks so much for the report and the photos.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 12:06 PM
  #31  
 
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Finally got to your report, Pook. I've switched to a new firm and have been busy with my transition to Raymond James (not global so you've probably not heard of it, although traded on the US exchanges). Sounds like quite an adventure this time. I was amused by the reference to the "fuzzbuster". I'll keep this one in mind for the future.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 04:34 PM
  #32  
 
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Hi Hanuman

Thank you for your blog - it has been much help - could you tell me though, Where did you go for the massages? thanks
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Jul 12th, 2009, 04:49 PM
  #33  
 
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Thanks for your great trip report. We booked our tickets to Guilin last night. We are going in April 2010. It seems sooo far away.I love to read about someone whose holiday did not go 100% to plan but in spite of that they still had a wonderful time. It makes it seem like so much more of an adventure.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 06:50 PM
  #34  
 
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fantastic report....glad the problems did not keep you away or turn you back....must be those thai woman that kept you going...

will look at pics now
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Jul 12th, 2009, 06:53 PM
  #35  
 
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please buy those nice thai ladies each a pair of shoes...'skluffs' don't cut it for climbing
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Jul 13th, 2009, 06:39 AM
  #36  
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DUgirlie,

Cat1234 was the one who pointed me to the general area but here's my direction with the starting point at the Sheraton Guilin.

Make an exit from the main entrance(facing the Li River) and turn left. Walk past a small alleyway and then turn left at the next road. Continue until you hit a 3 way junction and the start of the walking street then turn right. Keep on going about 50 meters and there will be a few of them, they have massage signs, and the one we went to was under the flyover bridge.

Note that they speak very little English!

Bob,

Will do!
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Jul 13th, 2009, 06:56 AM
  #37  
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Kathie,

Yes finally we got there. Kind of a blessing in disguise as I don't think I would enjoy spending the night there - just my opinion of course.

Craig,

Good luck with the new job and yes I think the Guilin area is a good vacation spot.

Femi and skittle,

I do hope you'll enjoy your visit in the future. I missed out on a few things so perhaps through your reports I'll get to experience them(ballooning and the light show).
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Jul 16th, 2009, 02:42 PM
  #38  
 
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Thank you Hanuman! Can't wait to find it!
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Jul 17th, 2009, 12:40 AM
  #39  
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DUgirlie,

I hope this work - here's a link to the place on google map: http://tinyurl.com/nh22gd

A = The Sheraton Guilin
B = The road where I found the foot massage shops.
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Jul 17th, 2009, 10:11 AM
  #40  
 
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Thanks Hanuman for this report! Looks like another place to add to that ever growing list.

We hope to make it back to BKK and the surrounding environs next year and maybe a gtg with some of the locals.

Aloha!
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