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Get down in Guilin Guangxi's gorgeous cliffs eats
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Living in a city like Beijing for too long can make one sick, so everyone needs the May and October golden weeks to stay sane. There are hushed rumors they may be cut to three days in the near future. Holidays are good, but with 1.3 billion people taking the same week off is too much for any country. Here is one holiday you can squeeze into a single October weekend.


Downtown Guilin, tasty fish and a river view


When dining, this reporter's motto is to follow the locals. A high school friend who works in Guilin and is well-connected with all sorts of tourism discounts helped e plan my culinary adventure.


Teaming up with him was not originally part of the plan. As a child, friends seem like the kind of people who will always be there for you. As an adult, you realize it is not true. He saw through this reporter's "I miss you" and answered with a, "You're full of Guilin, experienced a big temperature drop, and the night was pretty chilly. The friend suggested going out for fish. Most popular fish restaurants are located along the river, an area heavily under construction. The fish was really fresh, and it was a very local dining experience. The waves broke along the banks and the mountains in the distance were silhouetted by the moon.


Another very local dining experience can be found by Guangxi Normal School. Any cab driver will know the way. Locals enjoy spicy hotpot served with a local Liquan beer. The beer is fresh and has light taste, and goes well with the spicy, southern food.


After dinner, take a long walk along the river at Bingjia Lu. It's a wide and long road with well-grown trees, nice bookstore and lovely cafes and restaurants.


Yangshuo, half-day of rock climbing


Yangshuo and areas around Guilin have very distinguished Karst topography. Efflorescence and heavy rains have left the living rock a perfect surface for climbing. Yangshuo has as many as 300 climbing routes at various difficulty levels.


Unfortunately, being a top rock climbing destination has turned Yangshuo Xijie into Wangfujing’s younger brother. The street i rife with vendors peddling the same junk seen in the capital. Apart from notorious tourism spots and rock climbing, Yangshuo also offers mountain biking, swimming, bamboo rafting and hot air ballooning.


The difference between rock climbing outdoors and indoors is dramatic. Indoor courses are incredibly boring, even for a low-level climber like this reporter. Rock-climbing is meant to be an outdoor activity – pressed up close gainst the walls and scanning for anything to help keep yourself moving upward. Even beginners can make it to the top with modest difficulty and patience, and real outdoor climbing is a great way to boost confidence.


For experienced climbers, finding partners won’t be a problem. Just go to any climbing site and there are sure to be fellow travelers waiting. For bginners and climbers without equipment, there are seven climbing clubs in town that offer equipment rental, one or multi-day trips and climbing guides.


A Shui was my climbing coach, hired from the Spider Man Climbing Club in Yangshiuo Xijie for the bargain price of 900 yuan for three days.


He said 80 percent of rock climbers in Yangshuo are foreigners. Some are expats living in Shanghai who fly over for the weekend. A Shui works as a climbing coach by day, and at night, visits bouldering bars where China’s best climbers hang out. Jiangbian No 1 Bouldering is only a couple f hundred meters from Xijie.




Yuzi Paradise at Dabu Township, Yanshan District, Guilin, 541006, Guangxi

Tel: 0773-386 9100



Getting there


One-way flights between Beijing and Guilin are 720 yuan with a 60 percent discount. Gas and airport fees will be 130 yuan each way, bringing the total fees to 1,700 yuan.


There are plenty of buses at the east wing of Guilin Railway Station to Yangshuo. The boarding cost is 14 yuan, and the last bus leaves the station at 10:30 pm.


There are buses to Yuzi Paradise from Guilin Bus Station for 5 yuan each. You can also take any bus from Guilin to Yangshuo and ask to be let off at the right stop.


Buses from Guilin to Beihai cost 150 yuan and take seven hours at 8:30 am, 9:30 am and 10 pm.


(Beijing Today by Annie Wei November 2, 2007)


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