a lazy morning in guilin & return to nanning

Sunday, November 23:  This morning, I have a leisurely morning at the Guilin Sapphire Hotel.  I walk down the street to a coffee shop where I order some Chinese-style pastry, which I always think is going to taste like Western pastry but doesn’t.  I don’t know what it is the Chinese put in pastries but they always have a distinctly Chinese taste.  While sitting at the outdoor cafe, I can see a bit of the street framed between two cars.  Within this frame, I get momentary glimpses of the different transport contraptions that people here have devised.

After I finish my pastry, I go for a walk up and down the streets around the hotel, where I stop in various shops to look at shoes and clothes.  I’ve found it is very frustrating to shop for either shoes or clothes in China because everything is too small.  I consider myself a medium-sized person by Western standards, but here in China, I feel like Amazon woman.  Often shoe shops don’t carry what equates to my medium 7 1/2 shoe size or my medium top size.  And the pants, well forget it.  Even the Chinese XXL don’t even begin to fit me!

I wander around just for a bit snapping a few other sights I see along the way.

Colorful building wall

Colorful building wall

I booked my train trip home today for 2:30 because I originally planned to see some more sights in the city, but after the disappointment of Elephant Hill Park yesterday, as well as my stomach discomforts, I don’t feel like venturing far from the hotel.  I wish I had stayed in Ping’An for another night; I could have had another day wandering around the rice terraces.

crazy-looking character

crazy-looking character

Last night, on the way to the massage place, this street was filled with colorful vendors and a festive atmosphere.  While I was having my massage, it started raining, and when I went back out the rain had chased away many of the people and vendors.  Today it is pretty gray and dreary.

pedestrian street

pedestrian street

I go by the massage place promptly at 11:00, but when I arrive a young man is lazily sitting in a chair playing with his mobile phone.  I saw him here last night and think maybe he’s a relative of the owners; I never saw him do any work last night.  I try to ask about the owner, the man who gave me the massage or the woman who gave me the pedicure, but of course he can’t speak English and just tries to get me to sit down and wait with my feet in a tub of hot water.  I don’t want to wait unless the man or woman are there, so I leave and go back to wander the streets.

the massage place where I went last night and I go for a foot massage this morning

the massage place where I went last night and I go for a foot massage this morning

I see fruit for sale and colorful buses and shops.

fruit for sale

fruit for sale

on a main thoroughfare, some buses in a queue

on a main thoroughfare, some buses in a queue

At around 12:30, I stop back by the massage place, and finally the man and woman are there.  The woman gives me an hour-long foot massage for 60 yuan (just under $10), and then I run back to the hotel, grab my bag, and catch a taxi sitting just outside for 15 yuan (the normal price for once!) to the train station.

As always, I enjoy the countryside scenery out of the train window, the green farmland with the fantastical karsts jutting up between the fields. It looks so surreal and beautiful and never fails to amaze me.  I arrive in Nanning at around 5:10, 2 hours and 40 minutes later.

From the Nanning train station, I catch a taxi back to the university and settle in to relax and take care of myself.  I’m hoping to recover from my stomach problems before the work week begins.

Categories: Asia, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin, Nanning, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “a lazy morning in guilin & return to nanning

  1. Kat has the same problem trying to buy clothes in Korea. Hopefully your tummy just needed to get home and rest.


    • I think all of us Westerners have this problem in these Asian countries, Carol. My tummy is nearly always iffy here in China, but it definitely feels better now than it did during this trip. 🙂 Thanks for your good wishes. xxx


  2. I got straight in this morning. Let me try to write a short blog Kat although we only have power for another hour and all batteries are flat here and the power is so weak that our appliances are hardly working at all. I guess it’s going to be a tough winter here this year. Kat, I loved your blog and the superb pictures too. And I love the falling snow effect. Okay then, let me see if I can post a short blog today.


    • All right, good for you, Dai. I’m glad you’re back to being communicado. This blog post was the least interesting of my ones about my visits to the rice terraces; I hope you will be able to drop by and visit some of those earlier posts.

      I’m sorry about your power situation; I know how frustrating it must be. I hope you will survive the winter. I’m feeling awfully cold these days in China, but not nearly as cold as you are, I’m sure. And at least we have pretty reliable power here. I’ll be looking forward to your short blog! 🙂

      When are you going back to England?


      • Hi Kat, I’ve just posted a blog and I’ve got snow falling too. Nice touch. Our power is now off until tonight so I’m using battery right now. So p—– off with it now. And yes my room is really cold today, 10c inside at the moment but outside in the sun it’s warm now until the sun disappears behind the hills at 4:15 pm. I’m desperately trying to answer comments and messages before my power is gone again. I’m going to the UK next month but I still haven’t bought my ticket.


      • I’ve been to visit your snowy blog and left you a comment there. Hope you’re staying warm. 🙂


  3. Now I KNOW why you’re not feeling good, Cathy! No clothes shopping 😦 😦 😦
    Hugs, darlin’. Hope you can find an answer soon.


  4. Cathy- afterthought! Send me your address so I can send you a card 🙂


    • Just sent it as an attachment in an email, in both Chinese and English. Mike’s mailed me two boxes with that address and both have made it here. Oh, you can add my phone number to the address just in case 18877134647. Thanks Jo!! You’re too sweet. 🙂


  5. It looks like such a colorful place, even on a dreary day. I hope you’re feeling better. 🙂


  6. I think the difference in taste of pastries and other foods could be down to the oil they use?


    • That probably is the case, Gilly. It seems the oil they use here in China might be the cause of many issues I have with food here, including my stomach problems. 🙂


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