We were greeted in Guilin by some of my family. Technically we are related through my aunt-in-law, but in Chinese culture, everyone is family and specifically called aunt or uncle. My “uncle” helped us negotiate our hotel and we got a significantly cheaper rate, better than I could ever do. There is no doubt about special rates for only locals at hotels in China.
We found it easier to get a tour package to visit the Li River. As we rode on a small boat, all around was a brownish tint, especially the river. When we finally got to the famous landmark, we couldn’t help but to take photos with the 20 Chinese Yuan banknote. My uncle, who also loves photography, said if we came at a better season, the mountains would be more lush green and the water would be very blue, and just amazing to see and shoot, so it was a good reason to come back and visit.
Our other highlight in Guilin was our daily visit to this small shop for rice noodles. It was only $1.50 a bowl, but tasted like a $15 bowl of noodles. After that, we explored the city while snacking on lychee and other delicious fruits. Somehow, we would always end up a McDonald’s to either get a filler for Boris or an ice cream cone for me.