Guilin:100% success rate @ falling asleep on buses

Trip Start Mar 16, 2012
Trip End Sep 14, 2012

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Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our trip to Guilin started on a 6.15am train, the only issue was we were not given a seat. As we ploughed onto the train, there wasn't enough room to swing a cat. Half of China seemed to be standing as well. With a 112 capacity, there was well over 150 people. We put our bags on the floor and sat down on them. There was a man perching in front of us getting in the way of everyone walking back and forth, so I had to watch my toes as I was wearing flip flops. There was a man who spoke a bit of English who spoke to me (Everyone seems to approach me and speak, Sarah must not be giving off the right vibe) But this guy ended up getting us a seat that we swapped between us to give our bums a rest from our rucksacks. The pain in the arse man was vile, he sneezed over himself then flicked the snot on the floor and then spat on the floor of the train. By the afternoon the train was getting hot and we were getting irritated, but we eventually reached our final destination in China!

The next day we spent looking around the city, made up of caves and parks. We went around the 7 Star Park, then walked through the city to the Sun and Moon Pagodas. The city is very westernised and I have seen more Westerners in Guilin than I have through the whole of China. By now the weather is very humid, its sweaty Betty time! We went to the pedestrian area for dinner, but it swarmed with western restaurants, we went to one but ate Chinese food like good girls. We went back to see the pagodas at night, so beautiful, maybe my best photo yet. We went to the night market in the evening.

The following day was spent at the rice terraces. We woke up to rain, which was not a good sign as we were heading into the hills. We went to see a long hair show, which is basically a local village with women with really long hair. I was expecting some cultural show, but they ended up bringing men onto the stage and pretending to marry them. I felt so sorry for the German guy who was dragged up on stage. I felt it kind of exploited their culture and was a bit tacky. When we walked out the women were literally pinching our bottoms! After lunch we went up to the rice terraces. We saw the Seven Star and Moon Terrace. Up there the sun was shining and it showed all the amazing colours of the rice terraces. They really are a piece of man made beauty. When we made it back down the mountain into Guilin the heavens opened, heavy rain and constant thunder and lightening.

The final full day was much cooler. We went on a Chinese speaking tour (it was all about the scenery instead of the commentary) We headed down the Li river, surrounded by Karst hills to Yangshou. It is basically a smaller and nicer version of Guilin. After lunch we did a little shopping before getting the bus back to town. To explain the title of my blog. I have been on many bus journeys and on everyone I feel so sleepy and find myself falling asleep. I can't help it, I don't even feel tired, but it sends me to sleep (I wish it worked on trains!!!) I wake up and turn to Sarah and she confirms that I nodded off. Oh well, sleep where you can. In the evening we had an all you can eat BBQ at the hostel, I have never seen Sarah so happy as to when she is eating! Mama and Papa Piper never warned me that Sarah needs food and coffee to function well. Ha ha.

Today as I wait for our 9.15pm night train to the Hong Kong boarder, we are having a very relaxed day and we will be going out for western food for dinner. The cravings are getting worse and we feel we should nip it in the bud before it gets worse, so that when we go to Malaysia on the 16th we can start a new country wanting to eat their food.

As I leave China, I feel I am leaving with more questions than when I started. This power house of a country, which is economically one of the most powerful, is made up of mainly lazy people. An experience of a country is made by the people. But I leave disliking the Chinese. Myself and Sarah have talked about it on many occasions and we agree in our dislike for the people. Don't get me wrong we have met some amazing, helpful and polite people. And my dislike is nothing to do with the language barrier (I like it, it adds to the challenge). But in general the people are noisy, vile, dirty and rude. They spit everywhere, they stare, point and laugh. They do not have any respect for people, they will shout outside your room very early in the morning with no consideration for those sleeping. I have had problems like this before in other countries, but people do it with a sense of humour. It is a shame that I feel like this because I will not leave China with a love for the country. I am so glad I went, I am pleased I have seen the diverse landscapes as there are some beautiful spots. The only place I wish I had seen is Tibet. With only one more night train left, taking us to the Hong Kong boarder, I leave with mixed feelings about the world's most populated country.
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