We travelled from the BIG, BIG city to the not-so-small (over a million) tropical community of Guillan. Not too far from the China Sea and Vietnam border.
It is a city trying hard to become a commercial resort. The city is poor but the center of it consists of many nice hotels around the lakes and rivers. The scenery is magnificent - limestone mountains like inverted cones along a hazy, humid river. The night cruise we took on the river included spectucular lighting and opera and music peformances on riverside stages performed just for the river cruises. One site is fisherman using cormorant birds to catch fish and return to their boat (like pets would). The birds have a string on their neck - not choking them - to keep them from swallowing it and rendering it to their fisherman. Amazing number of tourists, despite off season. John is our new tour guide here whose wife is a pharmcist. We also toured a cave. Like everything, the Flute cave is larger and more dramatic than any cave we have ever seen in the U.S.
We also took it easy for the afternoon - rested and had a Chinese massage. Today, we travel by boat down the river to the city of Yangshou where we will stay at a local hotel and take a cooking lesson at a "farmer's home." That will be a stretch away from the U.S. hotels in which we stayed!