Climbed a Hill, Saw an Elephant & Went in a Cave

Trip Start Jan 14, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Saturday, January 16, 2010

One day down and China has proven to be an amazing place...

Yesterday after breakfast, Warren and Mr. Liu picked me up from the hotel and drove me over to Fubo Hill.

The ride over there was F***ING SCARY!  EVERYONE here is reckless driver.  People do not stop for other cars and drive on the wrong side of the street into on coming traffic just to pass someone else.  Cars won't stop for any cross-traffic at intersections. Drivers are constantly cutting each other off nearly causing collisions.  It was absolutely intense.  Even Mr. Liu nearly got into 7 head-on crashes in the three mile ride to Fubo Hill.

When we made it to Fubo Hill (how we made it in one piece I'll never know), we were ambused by two disabled homeless men asking for money.  One was missing a leg and the other was missing both.  The interesting thing is that when they asked for money, their English was perfect without any accent.

Fubo Hill was named after General Fubo, who was famous in these parts back in ancient times.  He was an archer, which, according to Warren, meant he was very intelligent.

The hill itself is a tall steep rock set high over the Li River.  There are 327 steep, stone steps to get to the top.  When Warren said that we were going to climb the hill, I thought he was kidding.  Unfortnately for me, he wasn't.

We started our climb to the top.  It wasn't bad at first.  But about half way up the hill, I started to feel the burn.  We took a couple of breaks along the way so I could rest (I knew I should have trained for this trip).

When we finally made it to the top (and yes, I did make it to the top on my own), the view of the city was amazing.  I took a lot of pictures of the surrounding hills and buildings.  From the top, you could also see the Li River and the tiny fishing boats sailing on the water.

When we were done marveling at the view, it was time to make the climb down, which was a piece of cake.  I'm just glad I didn't stumble and squash Warren.

Underneath the Fubo Hill, there are a couple of caves.  One of the caves is called the "Cave of a 1,000 Buddhas."  It has several incarnations of Buddha carved into the walls of the cave.  Very cool.

Once we were done visitng Fubo Hill, we "drove" over to Elephant Trunk Hill.  It is a large hill right on the banks of the Li River that resembles an elephant drinking from the water with its trunk.  There also a large pagoda on top of the hill resting on the elephant's "back."

As the story goes, back in ancient times, a General had this elephant that he used to travel with.  When the General came to Guilin, the elephant got sick.  Instead of taking the elephant with him, the General left the elephant in Guilin to die.  The villagers, who loved the elephant, took care of the elephant and nursed it back to health.  When the General heard that the elephant was healthy again, he wanted the elephant back.  The elephant, however, refused to go back with the General and started a war with him (Bad-ass elephant).  One night, as the elephant was taking a break from the fighting and drinking water from the river, one of the General's soldiers came up from behind and stabbed the elephant in the back, killing it.

The scene of the elephant's murder was memorialized at Elephant Trunk Hill.  The pagoda on the top of the hill represents the handle of the sword that was used to kill the elephant.

Once I was done being sad about the plight of the elephant, we navigated our way through the angry, hostile & combative streets of Guilin to the Reed Flute Cave.

The Reed Flute Cave is a long, deep cave with breathtaking geological fromations.  There are some serious stalactites and stalagmites.  They were unbelievable.

While there, I tried my hand at hagling for the first time.  I wanted to buy three little jade Buddhas that were selling for 300 yuan each,  I walked away with all three for 200 yuan total.  The sad thing is that I probably still got ripped off...

For dinner, Warren brought his six year old daughter Helen.  She was cute and quite funny.  We had a great dinner and walked over the Waterfall Hotel in downtown Guilin.

The Waterfall Hotel actually has a waterfall over the side of it.  We watched the waterfall show where the water came over side of the hotel while being choreographed to music.  It was absolutely amazing.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted.  I got back to the hotel and before I knew it, I was waking up this morning...
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