Because of work, I had a business trip to Guilin for one week in October. Guilin was entering to autumn in this month with temperature between 15-30 degrees Celsius. It was not cold but light jacket is recommended (by my friend).
Internet is really need for foreigner in China to access to websites and social media especially people like me and my work which cannot disconnect from people around me.
09 October, 2023
My plan was 5 nights in Guilin and 1 night in Yangshou. I left Bangkok by Air China CA 806 at 0315am of 9th Oct to Shanghai. Actually, it was good flight for sleep on the airplane then connect with FM 9367 to Guilin. CA arrived Shanghai Airport around 0815am and connected with FM at 2.35pm so I had around five hours for airport exploring and sit with my laptop and work.
Not much shopping at airport then I sit with my laptop at King Power lounge and clear some emails before fly. Normally, I prefer aisle seat when I fly and this time I also lucky.
Arrived Shanghai Pudong Intl on time, process to collect finger print at the machine and fill out the arrival card then line up for immigration. It was long que but took just few minutes as staff working very fast. After that got my suitcase then myself with 2 suitcases walked from Terminal 2 and continue to Terminal 1 for FM 9367 at 2.35pm.
And this is my breakfast and my first meal in China this time.
However, breakfast was burned so fast after long walked from check in counter to the gate no. H110. I have another 2 hours to check and clear my work before on board again because I’m not sure about the quality of the internet package that I bought so at least nothing pending in my mail box.
I got a drink from my favorite coffee shop, I’m not coffee type as I always say. But I love the atmosphere and smell at the coffee shop especially this one and I can order signature tea.
On this flight they served some kind of bread with pork and some sauce. I cannot explain the ingredients but the taste is very good. I should take some pic but I forgot.
I bought Dtac ROAMING package from Thailand and luckily it worked well in China so I stay connected to all my team and my works. I’m so happy, everywhere is working space then. However, in case my ROAMING do not work well, I have my friend Zac who already prepared to share his internet to me.
Flight reached to Guilin Liangjiang Intl on time. And my friend “Por” was there already. She flew with difference flight but we both took similar hours from Bangkok to Guilin.
We met up at airport and then transferred direct to hotel. We stayed at Sheraton Guilin Hotel. This is good hotel on very good location. All street food, shopping area are around the hotel and most of all near the Li River. There are variety of food and shops. After checked in and dropped all luggage in the room then we came out for dinner.
We chose our first dinner with noodle. I ordered rice noodle while Por ordered egg noodle. Both are absolutely delicious.
After noodle then we moved to dessert. They mix fresh fruits with some jelly, sweet corn and top with cold jasmine syrup. We love it.
Enough for food this evening and then we started walk around to explore and stop by some shops. Por tried some cloths and also bought some because she did not prepare cloths for cool weather. The fabric quality is not bad with reasonable prices. I also got one for my sister as well.
We kept walking and stopped at the lemon juice shop. Por ordered one each but the size is too big, really. Taste is good and smell of fresh lemon also nice.
While walking around, we had marked the food stall which we will try for next dinner already. It was around 9pm and we were too tired to walk as we both did not have good sleep in the flight so we walked back to hotel.
My lovely Chinese friend Phoebe told me that “Guilin gets its name from there are many sweet-scented osmanthus trees “Gui” is what they call osmanthus trees and “Lin” means forest, it means the osmanthus tree can be found everywhere which makes Guilin like a osmanthus forest. Such a nice name.
But we were not have enough luck because it was no rain in Guilin during this few weeks then the flower not bloom yet.
However, around hotel are full with restaurants coffee shops and snack shops and almost of them put this flower to make it nice smell.
Work mode started in the morning. I got invitation to do orientation about Thailand which made me very happy as I love to show how beautiful of my country. I spent around 2 hours for presentation with Q&A, and I was really happy to see that everyone wants to know more about Thailand.
Por have another business meeting so we separated for work. And in the evening we were invited for dinner at ancient restaurant. I never think that tofu can cook with good taste as normally I do not eat tofu made from soy bean.
However, street food is my most favorite food in every country I visit. And this time I have Por who also love street food. Then after dinner we dropped by at walking street again.
So, we walked around the night market close to our hotel. And we tried lots of food again.
Then we walked back to hotel.
On the way to hotel, there are some local people enjoy listening live music. Lucky them living in this city. Daily activities look so easy and happy.
I like breakfast at hotel, the noodle is very delicious.
Work mode again in the morning. With another invitation and short interview to share experiences about customer care. In my opinion we cannot make everyone get same level of happiness and satisfy during their travel but what the travel operator can do is try the best to maximize happiness for customer. And then services provider will get extra profit besides money, it’s “Compliment and smiley face from the customer”.
It was full day function and completed with meet the CEO dinner at hotel with all participants of the meeting in the morning. Food was amazing, really.
But me and Por still love to explore and try local food. Then we walked around the hotel again after dinner.
And it was a good day we decided to try one BBQ shop which selling grilled squid mainly. I passed this shop since day 1 but still keep in the list and tried other food. We order one each and then eat while walking around.
Por stopped at one snack shop. She tried some snack which fresh with good taste then I bought one pack for her.
We found a Thai tea shop here as well. May be many Thai people travel to Guilin or may be Chinese people in Guilin also like Thai tea.
We also tried this snack, very beautiful and good smell of osmanthus flower.
We were walking around on the difference street which also variety of food stall as well. And this is our last order tonight.
Time for Yangshou. After two days meeting. The organizer arranged the trip to Yangshuo for 1 night stay. And I again got information from my Chinese friend who live in Guilin. The name of Yangshuo comes from the mountain on of the town, which is commonly known as Yangjiao Mountain because it looks like a goat’s horn. Because “Yangjiao” and Yangshuo” pronounce the same in the dialect so they call it Yangshuo. When you visit to Yangshuo by cruise, if you see a mountain that look like a goat’s horn, it means you are going to arrive Yangshuo soon. (credit to my lovely Phoebe).
On the way our tour guide LeLe explained about the flower, food, culture etc., so during almost 2 hours was not boring.
I got many nice shots along the way until we stop at the first place which is “Xianggong Mountain”.
One senior guy who joined the same trip with us name Mr.Anh from Vietnam. He is an 68 years old but he is the second person who reached to the top of the mountain. He is very strong man, not only at his legs but also at his heart.
All people in the group reached to the top of mountain and relax with a beautiful view of mountains and river.
Tour guide served some snacks, local fruits and beverage. The weather was so nice and everyone enjoy taking photos.
There was another friend we got from the group one from Japan and one from Vietnam.
After we came down from the mountain and then LeLe who is super tour guide took us to the secret restaurant which around 20 minutes away from Xianggong Mountain.
The small boutique resort located on another mountain which they grow pomelo. This one of my favorite fruits.
Unfortunately, it was not the season yet. So, we can just take some photos with them.
From the parking, we have walked around 10 minutes passing the village. Pomelo plantation, orange planation, until we reached to The Chinese Authentic restaurant at small resort.
This guy Eason, from the tour company arrived before us and prepared everything.
And one guy from the group showed us a local snack. Sweet potato dried under the sun for snack, we all tried and I like it. Not too sweet.
Food was served in the private room on 2nd floor of the house. There were more than 10 menus for 9 people, all food are very good taste. Mr.Anh asked the waiter to bring soy sauce. I realized that Vietnamese and Thai also have same taste. Thai also love to prepare fish sauce with chili on the dining table. But fish sauce is not popular in China so LeLe get soy sauce for him and I also enjoy dipping the boiled chicken with soy sauce as well.
And this is one of the highlights, Zac served everyone with rice cooked with sausage, pork and some more ingredients and the taste is good.
Por really like this menu, she took 2 bowls.
After lunch we continue to the local market. LeLe created fun activities for our 8 people at the local market.
He gave us a task to buy 3 things from the local shop within 20 minutes. We cannot show the picture to the shop, just try to communicate with local with Chinese language. Our task was to find “ Lua Han Gua, Ci ba and Shi Zi”. The condition is we have to speak in Chinese and start with “Wo yao mai…..”
Anyway, my team won and we spent only 5 minutes and got all. And Por finish our prize in 2 minutes.
LeLe took us walked around the market and stopped at the small shop of 2 senior people.
We saw they selling beehive and they were so kind to shared us some pieces of beehive to taste. It was not outstanding taste but not bad.
After we walked around the market then we got Tuk Tuk continued to ancient village to experience how to make an authentic fan by local people (handmade).
Laoshi (teacher) was waiting for us and started explained about the products making at his house and try to teach us paint the bamboo tree. We listen but do not understand because he speak Chinese only.
In my opinion, art is in everyone just each can show out difference style. Then we try to paint whatever we want.
Shailes, an Indian guy who joined this same group tour tried to create his own unique style fan at least to be a souvenir.
I chose my favorite flower for my fan, and chose this flower on my first-time handmade fan. I know that I aimed too high when compare my talent and original painting. But at least I hit some part. And this is my painting.
I love Chinese painting, I planned to find some nice painting from this village again and I found nice one.
Actually, the painting telling you a lot besides of the story and the meaning there are also the power and feeling of the painter. And Chinese painting is unique even the artist in the house, on the street or in the gallery.
We left the village and heading to hotel. The small boutique hotel Moon Dance Boutique Hotel is very good especially located by the peaceful river.
We checked in to the room and then prepared to join dinner with the group at 6.15pm.
I like the way they set up dinner, long table instead of round table. Because people can catch up and talk around easier than round table.
And food also good. Dinner started on time and what I ate the most was spicy BBQ.
After dinner, we left to our room as Por have to leave at 0530am from hotel to airport as she has another meeting in Shanghai and Beijing so she has to changed her return flight while I extended another 2 nights in Guilin to meet with some old friends.
Before go to bed, I spent 2 hours clear all emails and some works to make sure that nothing pending while I’m out.
13 October 2023
Woke up at 0600am in a beautiful place with fresh air.
And today I left hotel around 0900am with car rental to another side with RMB 100 for go and back with waiting 1.30hrs. It is around THB 500 or USD 20. And took only around 20 minutes from hotel. The reason was I want to see how much changes from my last time visit.
It always good to remind our memories by re-visit the same places after years.
Last time I stayed near the west market. Today good to stay outside then I can see local life on the way to the market.
People walking from place to place. The weather was so good and the pollution very less.
Reach to the market. All the places still looks lovely, cozy and lively. Shops, restaurant, café, small hotels still open for tourist. All area still clean and the lake still look peaceful and beautiful.
Because the Golden Week just finished so there are some places did not remove the decoration yet then lucky me to visit this period. The weather was so good especially for me. No need even light jacket, just jeans with tee is ok.
I walked around the lake while thinking I should come again and stay outside one night outside and stay 2 nights near the lake.
My favorite coffee shop Starbuck near the lake still remain the same. I expected to get new tumbler from this branch to show character of Yangshuo but I was not lucky as they now promote Halloween collection.
With the short time I did not have time for sit in any café or restaurant but at least I came again and will come again for sure.
Left the lake and return to the hotel and sit with my email and works for one hour before group left ready to leave Yangshou around 1200pm and heading back to Guilin.
On the way, we dropped at the small village to have lunch.
And this lunch is amazing, we had hot pot in the middle of the rice field.
All food is very good. And before we left the village Zac walked me around to see the ancient houses and some turned to be a boutique accommodation for tourist.
We walked to a small ancient house which turned to be small cafe. Zac order coffee for him and Eason while I took lemon soda.
And I got this flower for my tea, osmanthus (Guihua)
I like this village, life look so easy. People are kind and friendly.
Reached back to the same hotel “Sheraton Guilin” afternoon and after checked in again then I spent few hours with my works and prepared for meeting with my friend Phoebe and Eva in the evening.
We were 4 persons having dinner together after long time no see around 6 years.
Eva booked a restaurant today also local food which I really like.
Fish from the river fried with vegetable. The fish meat so sweet.
This one is beef with dried shrimps.
Healthy salad role.
We were enjoy talking and eating. After that Phoebe walked me around the night market where there are lots of food, café, shops we were enjoy trying drink.
A famous Ice-cream
And this sweet
Around 10pm she sent me back to hotel and she left by electric scooter. This vehicle very popular here and I like it, no noisy, pollution and convenience to rent and pay. Problem is I am not good driver in any kind of vehicle so my life can be only use taxi.
After back to my room, shower and then check my works again before bed time.
14 October 2023
In the morning I spent my time with laptop and work as today is a meeting day with old friends again.
Dawson, another friend who own many personal business took me out for lunch at small local restaurant and tried difference food.
However, this desert seem popular during the season when Guihua start blooming. I have it again, tofu in syrup.
And some BBQ with very good taste. And rice noodle with sour and spicy which I really like.
There are some more dishes and I was really enjoyed. The restaurant is located in the local community, small size but crowded by local people.
After lunch he took me to the West Park Mountain the 4A tourist spot in Guilin. Dawson was there since he was a child so good for him to come again.
The problem is he cannot remember the direction so we just follow map and people. We climbed up to the top of the mountain to see a nice city view and small rock craving.
It was good to burn out all lunch by climb up to the mountain and continue with city walk tour around area. He recommended some fresh fruit in vinegar topping with chili, taste is good.
We were enjoy eating the fruit near the lake with 2 pagodas view
We left the lake back to my hotel because another friend Cathy and Aileen will take us out for dinner. On the way I saw a nice milk tea shop with traditional making style.
I picked a jasmine milk tea we bought one for Cathy.
Cathy still in small shape as always and after we met up, we all continue to restaurant where Aileen was waiting for us and order some menus already.
We arrived restaurant and it was sunset moment with beautiful sky so I got a nice shot there.
The food start served to our table and I finally realized that there was the same restaurant which I came with Eva and Phoebe. But we were entered in difference side and menu which Aileen ordered was similar with what I had with Eva and Phoebe. We all are friend with same taste. We all were laughing with this coincident.
Anyway, I like it and we almost finished all dishes before we left for walk tour again. This time they three took me on another direction.
Dropped at the big shopping mall to buy a famous bakery as souvenir for my colleague. And then we continued to the local street food to find nice place for some snack and drink and talk as we did not meet for so long time.
There were some foods they ordered and local drink is good.
We spent time recalled our memory since we know each other and because I have to leave Guilin by next day so we say good bye around 2230hrs and Cathy sent me back to hotel.
But the night was not complete and Cathy took me on her lovely scooter and ride around the town again.
Then I got this last night shot from Guilin. Beautiful two pagodas in the lake (Sun Moon Pagoda). Then dropped me at hotel.
Finally, it is time to pack my suitcase and prepare to go back home. And I found problem the suitcase which supposed to be empty for half part but now all friends gave me souvenir and the weigh return to the same when I came from Bangkok.
I don’t want to leave any piece of their souvenir then I try to put everything in to my suitcase. After checked some email to make sure that there is nothing urgent then I take shower and go to bed.
15 October 2023
Last morning, enjoy drinking Guihua tea before breakfast.
With the lovely morning view.
And very simple breakfast.
Time to say good bye and my memories from Guilin and Yangshuo cannot list down. But what I can say is I love this country, this city, this village and everything. The flower that I was not lucky to see it fully blooming but I got the dried flower from the village which Zac took me for lunch on the way back from Yangshuo which can put in my Chinese tea.
And because I love drinking tea then those friends brought me lots of tea. My luggage should be lighter after I gave souvenir to all friends. But now become same weigh full with tea and snack and souvenir.
Thanks Cristy for lovely tea cup which I had tried with Guihua cha already.
My flight was CA 2680 to Chengdu and then connect with CA 471 to Bangkok. It was long hours again but never-mind.
When traveling, we go from one destination to another, maybe exhausted, maybe in a hurry, lost the way sometimes. But don’t forget to enjoy the sceneries along the way as they are wonderful gifts that life has to offer. During the trip, we read other people’s life stories and walk on own paths. I always appreciated people I met and the beautiful scenes along my journey.
There is a word I really like and agreed is “Journey tells you the distance, Travel create your memories 旅程告诉你距离，旅行创造你的回忆。
Sunday, October 15, 2023 7:34 PM