Day 1: River cruise, lunch at Owen Coffee, dinner at Kali Mireh (Indian Restaurant), running along the river
Day 2: Yao mountain,telepheric, Street Market for lunch
Day 3: Longsheng Rice Terraces, go to Yangshuo
I went to study abroad for one semester in Shanghai, in Tongji University. If you have the opportunity to do an exchange program/erasmus I highly recommend you to choose China. It´s so different and unique and you can discover amazing places in this country. In China from the 1-7 of October there is a holiday that is called the Golden Week, we decided to go to Guilin from the 2-11 with my friend Yacine because the flight tickets were cheaper. We flew in Spring Airlines (http://en.ch.com/) and the cost for the round trip was 135$. Take into consideration that prices are going be higher through all the trip because its a big holiday in China.
Thomas and Matthieu left on the first and Pablo, Jordan and Susan decided to take the train for 22 hours on the second and then they will come back on the 10.
From shanghai we took our flight in Pudong international airport. To get there you have two options, either you take the line 2 until the last station that is 11 kuai and it takes a little bit longer or you can pay 54 kuai and you take the metro and then the fast train (called Maglev) so its 8 minutes to get there. With Yacine we decided to save money and leave earlier to just pay 11 kuai. My friend Yacine was doing his permit of residence, so they took their passport and we did not know if he can travel without it.
Fortunately, there was not problem you can actually take a plane with the receipt they give you at the foreign office. After the check-in we ate at Burger King and they we had to run to pass customs because we were late. The queue was very long, so if you flight is leaving soon you can ask to let you pass faster through the VIP so we did that! At 11:42 am we arrived to Guilin´s airport, you can take the shuttle bus to the center which is around 20 kuai so later you can take a taxi from the last stop so it will not be so expensive. Other way, you can take the taxi. The drawback is that you don’t really don’t known at what time the bus is gonna leave because they wait until it is full so it depends on the flights. The bus was going to take forever because they were waiting to fill the bus so we decided to take a taxi and it was 95 kuai.
Matthieu made the hostel reservation in www.hostelbokers.com, but the reservation did not go through. So, when we arrived we didn’t have a place to stay but at the end we manage to stay in Youcan hostel for one night and we pay 40 kuai and tomorrow we had to look for another place to stay. This is part of the adventure 🙂
We woke up at 9:00 am and we left the hostel at 10:20 am and we had to look for a hostel. We took a taxi for 10 kuai and we ate breakfast at the youth hostel. I order a tuna sandwich for 20 kuia but prices are around 15-25 kuai. While we were waiting for the food Thomas was playing the guitar, he is awesome 🙂 .
Since we don’t have a place to sleep and leave the bags we had to travel with them all day long. It was taught because it was very hot and we walked a lot.
Afterwards we walk around and we decided to go to the Elephant Hill Scenic area, only for going there is 37.5 kuai with a student discount. We thought that it was better to pay 90 kuai for soft seat and 80 for hard seat for going all around the river since you get to see more things plus its longer you get to see 4 lakes, the Li River and the Elephant but only pass by.
To get the tour you can go to the tourism center that is close to the Elephant Hill Scenic. We took the hard seat so we pay 80 kuai and we left at 1:30 pm. Until the boat departure we went to park to relax.
We finish at 2:45 and the boat left us in the other side of the river. The view was amazing, especially the mountains you are going to like it:). When we finish Matthieu decided to try some squid on the street for 1 kuai and corn for 3 kuai.
At 3:15 pm, we had lunch at Owen coffee. I order curry chicken with rice and it was 15 kuai. Matthieu and Yacine ordered rice and pizza. The fun thing is that they give you gloves to eat the pizza, pretty cool right? Then we went to walk in a street market and afterwards we took a taxi for 8 kuai to the Riverside Hostel we payed 60 kuai per person.
At 7:15 pm we meet Jordan, Susan and Pablo and then we went walking to the food market. We decide to eat in Kali Mireh which is Indian cuisine it’s about 25-50 kuai a plate. I order the la anti kebab for 38 kuai they where very good, but if you are very hungry I suggest you to eat the butter chicken with bread.
At 11:00 pm Matthieu and me went running around the lake it was amazing to see all the lights! 🙂
At 9:00 am we had breakfast in the hostel for 28 kuai. Today we are going to Yao Mountains and we order some sandwiches to take away in the hostel, Matthieu and me order the tuna melt for 20 kuai each. So we left the hostel at 10:20 am and we took a taxi to Yao, its 10 km away tell the taxi to put the taximeter we payed 36 kuai.
It was raining but we had our rain coats so we didn’t mind there is nothing that stop us! We go to the mountain at 11:30 am and we had to pay 95 kuai per person, sadly there is no student discount for the telepheric. If you want to do the slide is additional 45 kuai but today was closed because of the rain. A far from the amazing view, the cool thing about this place is that there is also a cool temple, where people put their wishes in red ribbons.
At 1:30 pm, we finish and then we took the bus to the center its 1 kuai! At 3:00 pm we ate in the street market, it’s about 20-28 kuai, there are a lot of places where you can choose from. At 5:30 since it was very rainy so we head back to the hostel to play cards, billard and chill for a while. At 8:20 pm it was still raining so we ate dinner at the hostel. With Jordan we order dumplings for 25 kuai and a pizza for 40 kuai, both were very good! When we finished Matthieu was playing with some chinese kids and then we were discussing about our plans for the next night.
We left the hostel at 6:20 am to catch up the others in the other hostel so we took a taxi and it was 70 kuai. Some taxi drivers will take advantage because they don’t want to use the taximeter. Our plan is to go to Longsheng Rice Terraces so the bus picked us from the hostel riverside at 7:00 am.
It took us 3 hours to get there but at least we could rest a little bit so it was okay! We arrived to thousand layers to the heaven at 10:25 am. The first thing we did was to uy a raincoat for 10 kuai. It was raining a lot but we still wanted to walk around the rice terraces.
At 12:50 pm lunch for 20 kuai the menu was only in Chinese but there was a girl that translate for us! So we ate rice with meat and egg, it was a small portion but very delicious! The specialty is bambo rice but it was gonna take 30 minutes and we had to go down the hill but if you have time you have to try it!
At 2:45 we were down the hill and we took some green tea for 10 kuai. At 3:50 pm we went back to Guilin! At 6:30 pm we arrived to Guilin. It didn’t stop raining all the day, so we ate in the hostel again before departing to Yangshuo.
At 8:15 we left to the bus station, the bus ticket is 22 kuai and it took almost 2 hours, we arrived at 10:15 pm. It is supposed to be only one hour ride, but it took longer maybe because of the heavy raining and bumpy road. When you arrive to the bus station you will see an awesome mountain, you will love it, afterwards we took a taxi to the hostel it was 40 kuai.
Author: Estefania Delgado 25, Ecuador
Follow her on Instagram: estufad777