an overnight at the guilinyi royal palace before heading back to nanning

Friday, January 30:  In the afternoon, after our drive through the kumquat orchards, tea plantations and karsts north of Yangshuo, we arrive in Guilin at our classy hotel, the Guilinyi Royal Palace.  We stayed here, if you remember, before we headed to Yangshuo, but at that time we arrived late and departed early, so we didn’t have time to enjoy it.  The hotel sits in the midst of Guilin Central Park, the city’s botanical garden, and I want to have time to explore a bit of that before heading back to Nanning.

Entrance to the Guilinyi Royal Palace

Entrance to the Guilinyi Royal Palace

Sadly it’s just as dreary and dark as the rest of our holiday has been.  Still, the grounds of the hotel are lovely with their ponds, bridges, rock sculptures, tropical plants, and traditional buildings with flying eaves.  There is a swimming pool on the grounds, which I have never seen in a Chinese hotel, and I tell Mike that one hot summer weekend, I’m going to come back to Guilin and pamper myself.

on the grounds of the Guilinyi Royal Palace

on the grounds of the Guilinyi Royal Palace

Guilinyi Royal Palace

Guilinyi Royal Palace

Guilinyi Royal Palace

Guilinyi Royal Palace

This is our room from the outside.  It’s the one on the left.

Our room at the Guilinyi Royal Palace

Our room at the Guilinyi Royal Palace

Guilinyi Royal Palace

Guilinyi Royal Palace (Photo by Mike)

We are hungry for lunch, but we decide first to take a walk through the botanical garden on our way to look for lunch outside of the garden.  We admire the koi ponds, the pavilions and the tropical plants.

Guilin Central Park

Guilin Central Park

Pond in Guilin Central Park

Pond in Guilin Central Park

koi pond in the botanical garden

koi pond in the botanical garden

Koi pond (Photo by Mike)

Koi pond (Photo by Mike)

road through the gardens

road through the gardens

tropical abundance

tropical abundance

tropical pavilions

tropical pavilions

pavilions in the sub-tropics

pavilions in the sub-tropics

botanical gardens

botanical gardens

succulents in the botanical garden

succulents in the botanical garden

We are feeling rather hungry, and I’m tired of being cold, so we leave the botanical garden and head to what looks like an outdoor shopping mall.  We can’t find anyplace to eat in this mall except a McDonald’s, so we stop to grab a bite.  Surprisingly, I  feel full after scarfing down a fish sandwich and some French fries, and I never even get hungry for any kind of dinner.

Walking back to the garden, Mike takes some photos of Guilin’s streets.  They capture the typical Chinese city outside of the touristy spots.  It’s nothing special, so I’m long past taking photos of such scenes, but I guess he still finds it interesting.

apartment buildings surrounding the botanical gardens (Photo by Mike)

apartment buildings surrounding the botanical gardens (Photo by Mike)

one of many unusual vehicles seen on the streets of China (Photo by Mike)

one of many unusual vehicles seen on the streets of China (Photo by Mike)

In the end, we go back to our hotel where I soak for a long time in a hot bath, and then snuggle up under the covers in my pajamas, trying desperately to keep warm.  I have been chilled for so many days now, I feel that I’ll never warm up again.  We never leave the hotel room for the rest of the night.  Both of us are really feeling sick with colds, sore throats and coughs, and we’re in misery.

Saturday, January 31:  In the morning, we take the 11:55 a.m. train to Nanning, arriving at Nanning Railway Station around 2:30.  By the time we get back to my apartment, it’s well after 3:30.  As I always do after a holiday, I immediately unpack and do laundry while Mike relaxes.  In the evening, Mike and I go out to one of my favorite pizza places, outside the west gate of the university.  I am wearing the gray wool hat you’ve seen in some of my photos, one I’ve had since I lived in Korea.  It isn’t until later, when I’m packing for my upcoming trip to Yunnan with Alex, my 23-year-old son, that I realize I must have left the hat in the restaurant.  At that time I don’t have time to go look for it. 😦

Sunday, February 1:  All day today, Mike and I stay hunkered down in my apartment, as it’s raining and cold in Nanning, just as it was in Guilin.  We’re both still sick, so it’s good to have another day of rest.  I’m busy packing for my trip to Yunnan, which luckily is forecast to be sunny and in the 60s and 70s (F), with nights dropping into the 50s.  This forecast is for the next 10 days at least. 🙂  It’s lucky that Alex’s experience should be an improvement over Mike’s.  I still feel sad that Mike had such bad luck with the weather on his holiday.

In the evening, to get us out of my cramped and depressing apartment, I take Mike to my favorite Korean restaurant close to the campus, where we have sizzling oven-proof casserole dishes of bibimbap and delicious potato pancakes.  We both find the place quite charming and lively.

Tomorrow morning, Monday, I will take Mike to the Nanning airport for his 11:40 a.m. return flight to Virginia by way of Beijing.  He has to check in two hours early, so we’ll arrive there by 9:40.  Alex is due to fly into Nanning at 10:55 a.m.   It’s so nice that I only have to make one trip to the airport to both drop off Mike and pick up Alex.  Mike wonders if they will cross paths, as Mike is getting on the same flight to Beijing that Alex is coming in on. 🙂

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Categories: Americas, Asia, Beijing, China, Guangxi University, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin, Guilinyi Royal Palace, Nanning, Nanning Wuxu International Airport, Sino-Canadian International College (SCIC), Travel, United States of America, Virginia | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “an overnight at the guilinyi royal palace before heading back to nanning

  1. It rather feels as though you ran out of steam towards the end of this trip. So cold and miserable. But those koi bring a welcome splash of colour into the grey! And I rather like Mike’s photos of the ordinary buildings. Now they look like the China I imagine. These lovely tourist places you go to are very picturesque, but obviously not how most Chinese live. And I definitely think you should go back to that hotel in the summer and show us how beautiful it really is in those gardens 😀

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    • Interesting that you say “It rather feels as though you ran out of steam…” Rather? I thought it was obvious that we ran out of steam. The whole holiday just fizzled out due to the weather and us getting sick. All of that just sucked everything out of us.

      Yes, Mike’s photos of ordinary buildings do show the real China. I took a lot of photos of those buildings in my early posts here in China, but frankly, they just don’t interest me. They really have no character to them at all. But you’re absolutely right, that is how most Chinese live. It’s too bad there aren’t that many of the traditional buildings left here. Those are more my interest. 🙂

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  2. As a traveler/photographer, one of the few times I appreciate grey gloomy days is when I’m visiting a botanical garden. It always makes the lush greens and colours pop. That said, you had more gloom than anyone deserves on that trip. I enjoyed reading your accounts – and you slogging through no matter what, but definitely feel for your struggles!

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    • Thanks for visiting and for your comments, Photos with Finesse! I agree that sometimes a gray gloomy day does make flowers and greenery pop! You’re right, we did have more gloom than anyone deserves on a holiday. The worst part was for Mike as it will likely be his only holiday this year. I had a month of beautiful weather after he left, in Yunnan and Myanmar, so my luck changed. Thank goodness. Thanks for your sympathy!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The hotel and its grounds were beautiful, although the water looked a bit skunky. The rest of the city though – where the regular people live – very dreary even without that weather. I hope you guys recovered from the cold and being ill.

    Nancy

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    • It took me a long time to recover, and Mike as well, Nancy. It actually wasn’t until I got to Myanmar that I started to feel good, and then the dust got to me! Chinese cities are definitely characterless places, and in my opinion, pretty depressing. 🙂

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      • I think depressing is a good term for it. It reminds me of much of Eastern Europe with the cheap housing and people crammed in together.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The hotel looks fab, just the carp win me over never mind the rest!

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  5. Oh well- there’s always the comforts of food! 🙂 🙂 I love Mike’s photo of the little girl at the koi pond. Be interesting to read his observations on China. Hugs, darlin’.

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