before i get going again, the food on the planes in china was just god awful. along with the same crappy food over and over again we saw the same crappy videos over and over. the movies were the worse crap ever made. some seemed like they were made just for the flights we were riding on.
guilin is almost to vietnam’s northern border and the countryside really resembles nam. the people look vietnamese too. lots of rice paddies bring the whole thing together and i was back in nam again. very strange. much warmer weather as well and more humid.
downtown guilin is a nice place. a small large city with a lot of character going for it and a great vibe. we had a wonderful lunch in town. very tasty and a delight to look at as well. it was in the same restaurant president clinton dined at while in guilin. a nice photo of him and the family is on the wall of the place. after lunch and while boarding the bus i was accosted by this little kid yelling ‘hey gi. hey gi’ buy my crap. the ‘gi’ deal was weird. you were always getting hit on to buy stuff by all sorts of folks but this kid was pissing me off because he kept touching me and he wasn’t the cleanest thing going. most of the hucksters would go away when you said no or no thanks but some never gave up like that kid. you would literally have to yell at them to get them to go away.
we stayed at a very nice hotel on the river. after check in we went to other side of river and into this grotto like deal. interesting. it reminded me of the caves at corona del mar here in socalif. i was just dicking around taking video when all of a sudden these four chinese babes, in costume, come up and grabbed me and wanted me to take a picture with them for money. really cute ladies. this gave me another big time nam flashback of hotels in nam and the hookers upstairs. same deal when you got off elevator. babes all over your ass grabbing you. any the ways, this action got big laughs from the group. even g/f. sadly they wanted too much money for a picture. however, i was just enjoying the attention and this particular flashback. one of the round eyes on the tour said they would have picked me clean. i told him it wouldn’t have been the first time. that got a big laugh. as it was g/f got a picture of them and me while their boss wasn’t looking. our guide said guilin was big a one night stand place. so the babes must be really easy there. no wonder bubba made the trip. i don’t blame him, the women there were gorgeous.
we spent the rest of the day going to other places. a nice dinner then another show this one in the hotel with singing, dancing, and some acrobats. more beer. a very fine show but i almost fell asleep while watching it. even with the nice babes on stage.
after the we show got in the elevator to go up to our room. two nicely dressed westerners get in too. for some reason we are the only people in the elevator. which was weird because of the number of people who had been watching the show and were now heading back to their rooms in the hotel. we get up to our floor. the men stayed in the elevator and as we get out one of them says, in an aussie or limey accent, good night, john. yeah, no shit. i had never seen those guys before. i just ignored them and kept on walking. however, i was jolted.
very spooky and strange and the last time on the trip that i noticed anyone taking any interest in me in a langley sort of way. i had completely forgotten this little incident until i was reading my old emails. even now it seems very bizarre. we were at least 1,000 miles from xian and the russian, chinese terra cotta warrior deal. now i had british MI6 guys(?) wishing me a good night. hmm…
the next day we took a 4 hour boat ride down the li river. a very famous boat ride as you get to see some of the best scenery in china along the way. a shit load of boats make the trip and they all serve you lunch on board. lunch on board was ok but if we had seen how they washed the dishes and pots no one would have eaten anything. they just pump water out of the river and wash the stuff with no soap. yeah. nice. we didn’t get sick but 4 of the folks in group did get the shits. with a good amount of haze or smog in the air some of the scenery was a bit washed out. but none the less spectacular.
one of the big deals in guilin is chinese wine with a snake in the damn bottle. i don’t recall just what kind of snake it is. but one of the people in our group bought a large glass of the stuff on the boat then passed it around. it smelled like white port and tasted like watered down tequila. guess it was supposed to be an aphrodisiac or something as well.
all and all a nice boat ride with some amazing scenery to look at. there are a number of people who live on river. some of the houses even had satellite dishes on the roof. while going down river some boats passed us coming up river. going up river it’s an 8 hour ride. as the boats traveling up river passed i would yell at them and ask if they had seen col kurtz. i was ignored. it was also the only time on the trip where i got goofy. maybe it was the wine and beer combo. i dunno. though it did seem appropriate at the time. regardless.
boats going down river lined up like the freeway at rush hour. 8 million people go thru guilin every year as tourists. i think most of them were on river that day. we had good boat and driver who ended up passing most of the other boats going down river. we were the 3rd boat to make it to the stopping point. it still took 4 hours though. after some shopping in an open air market a bus took us back to the hotel in about a 30 minutes.
guilin was a wonderful place and i’d lke to spend some more time there some day. great scenery, food, and beautiful women. though i guess you could say that about most of china.
the next day it was off to shanghai. again.
the caves along the river across from our hotel.
scenery along the li river.