OK, it's time to fess up. Have you ever heard of Guilin, China? Probably not. Have you ever heard of the Li River? Probably not. I know I hadn't, but what I did know about were the beautiful and jagged limestone peaks located somewhere in China. I'd seen pictures of them before and knew this was a place that I'd want to visit some day and take pictures. When we planned this trip that was one of places I definitely wanted to visit, so we began our research and found that these peaks were along the Li River located near Guilin, China. Our next job was to find a tour that included Guilin and a cruise along the Li River. In the planning stages it was up to Anne and my sister, Carol, to find the right tour. They each found a tour, but only one of them, GCT's, included a visit to Guilin and the limestone peaks of the Li River. For me that was the deciding factor, and I'm happy everyone agreed to the GCT tour for that reason.

Guilin, meaning "cassia tree forest," was named for the surrounding forest and was founded in 213 BC during the reign of Emperor Qin, China's first emperor and the one who unified China. Emperor Qin ordered the construction of a great canal, the Ling Canal, to connect central China with its southern provinces and Southeast Asia along the Yangtze, Li and Zhu rivers. The Ling, one of the world's longest canals, still exists although it is some distance from the city.

Unlike most Chinese cities, towns and villages which have sections dating back centuries, Guilin doesn't. The city was destroyed by the Japanese during WWII and has been completely rebuilt. It does, however, have some very interesting streets to walk along that accurately show what life is like for the modern Chinese today. Lining the streets are the vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables, to live chickens, ducks, rabbits and snakes, and numerous other articles. One scene I saw when riding in the bus that comes to mind was the local barber shop ... a chair sitting on the street with the barber cutting a man's hair as the shoppers casually strolled by. The city's most beautiful sight was the waterfront at night. The various structures were bathed in colored floodlights which made a beautiful scene. Our primary focus here was the cruise on the Li River to view the jagged limestone peaks so let's get to those pictures.

View from the boat looking toward the port area
To reach the port where the cruise boats were docked would take approximately 45 minutes by bus and we'd travel some very local back roads. Along the route we saw many farms and villages, observing the various architecture styles and the Chinese as they went about beginning their normal workday. Arriving at the port, a large commercial area focused on the tourist cruises, we quickly made our way to the waiting boat and awaited our departure and the beginning of our cruise down the Li.

Cruise ships awaiting passengers
The ships (left) were all stacked beside one another making it necessary for you to walk across the bow of several ships to reach your assigned ship.

The chef beginning to prepare the meal
The fantail of the ship was a kitchen (right) and lunch would be prepared and served on board, however, we were warned not to expect to much. Each ship had three decks. The main deck was the dining room with booth-style tables, the 2nd and 3rd, much smaller, decks were outside decks to observe the scenery without distraction.

Anne and I on the fantail

Phil and Beth Rosenberg

Members of our tour group l. to r.:
Clara, Placida, Alicia, Nancy, Anne,
Herb and Alden (photo by Fay)

Getting ready for dinner, l. to r.:
Mei, Mae, Joann, Bob with Alicia's back showing
On these fully escorted tours the tour guide you get can, and often does, make or break the experience. I've mentioned previously that we were fortunate to have gotten a good one. Lai Shih Mei Wha, who lives in Hong Kong, was exceptional. In the picture left you see them talking and stringing some green beans. No, the boat did provide food, but Mei wanted something special for us. So she purchased and brought with her a bag of string beans for the cook to prepare and serve. Throughout our entire trip she did many things like this which truly added to the experience and made us all very much the "happy campers" we needed to be to enjoy the trip. It was a pleasure traveling with her and I'd sign up for another trip with her as a tour escort/guide any day.
Unfortunately that incessant haze still followed us even down the beautiful Li River. In the photos above
you can see water buffalo grazing by the water's edge and steps leading down to the water. There
was much activity along and on the river, and many villages along our route. Our cruise covered a
distance of about 40 miles and took almost five hours.
Limestone peaks along the Li River near Guilin

Pointed peaks along the river

Small village on the Li River

Another tourist boat like the one we ere on

Local fisherman on a bamboo raft
Let's continue to another page to see the remaining pictures taken along the Li River ...
Links to all China and Anniebee's Web site Pages
Previous | Next

Direct Page Links

Welcome to our China 2001 Photo Album
Planning and Getting there: Grand Circle Tours and Northwest Airlines
Beijing : Arriving in Beijing | Tiananmen Square | The Imperial (Forbidden) Palace (1) | The Imperial Palace (2) | The Nine Sons of the Dragon
The Imperial Palace Garden | The Summer Palace | Summer Palace (2) | Summer Palace (3) | Summer Palace (4) | Local Beijing Market
Local Beijing Market (2) | Hutong | Bell Tower | Hutong Family, Dinner and the Opera | Cloisonné Factory | Ming Tombs | Ming Tombs (2)
Great Wall of China at Ba Da Ling | Temple of Heaven
Shanghai : Arriving Shanghai | Yuyuan Garden | Yuyuan Garden (2) | The Temple of the Jade Buddha | The Bund | Day Excursion to Suzhou
Silk Process | The Administrator's Garden of Suzhou | Shanghai Museum of Art
Cruising the Yangtze River : Yangtze Cruise, Day 1 | Yangtze Cruise, Day 2 | The Xiling and Wu Gorge | The Lesser Three Gorges
The Lesser Three Gorges (2) | The Qutang Gorge | Wanxian | The Last Day of Cruising | Regal China Cruise Lines
Chongqing : Chongqing
Xi'an : Xi'an and Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors | Emperor's Qin's Terracotta Warriors (2) | Great Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi'an City Wall
Quilin : The Limestone Peaks of the Li River | The Limestone Peaks of the Li River (2) | Guilin and the Childrens Park | Children's Park (2) and Reed Flute Cave
The Hotels: Hotels, rail and air travel in China
Hong Kong : Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay and Aberdeen Fishing Village | Hong Kong at Sunset | Hong Kong Bird & Flower Market
| New Territories Fishing Village | Hong Kong Farewell Dinner
Bangkok : Jim Thompson House and Golden Buddha | The Flower Market | The Food Vendors | Grand Palace | Mystical Figures | Brightly Painted Masks on Mystical Figures
Golden Mystical Figures | Buildings of the Grand Palace | Lunching at the Shangri La Hotel | Loy Nava Rice Barge Cruise | Ayutthaya, Ancient Capital of Siam
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol and the Reclining Buddha | Bang Pa In, The Summer Palace |

Links to other Anniebee's web site pages

Anniebee's Home Page | Annie's Kites | Drewry Family History | Vacation Paradise | Web Design Services

E-mail questions to : ChinaQuestions@Anniebees.com