Budget living in Guilin
We had a bit of a rocky start on our journey from Xi’an to Guilin. We had to wake up at 5am, which is really tricky when you’re in a shared dorm and are trying your best not to wake everyone up, and then we realised it was pouring it down with rain. Ugh! So off we went with our rain covers over our backpacks and made our way to the metro which thankfully wasn’t far away.
We’d planned to get to a hotel a few stops away on the metro and then catch an airport shuttle from there. Unfortunately once we arrived at the hotel, after a tricky conversation with the receptionist, we found out the airport shuttle no longer ran. Ugh, again! Our only option then was to get a taxi to the airport which ended up costing a lot more than we’d planned, something that’s always pretty annoying when you’re trying to stick to a tight budget. But hey, it’s all part of the travelling experience.
After a 2 hour flight we finally made it to Guilin without any more problems (yay!)
I’d read online when we were planning our route through China that there were lots of things to do in Guilin, such as water sports and rafting. We soon found out though that these things weren’t really very easy to do without going on a 2 day excursion down the river so we gave those things a miss. At this point we had been travelling for 7 weeks and it had been pretty go go go and we felt ready for a break and some time to relax. Our money was also getting low and we didn’t want to withdraw anymore due to bank charges so Guilin ended up being very chilled and we actually didn’t end up doing much at all. We were also having 1 meal a day, some days just sharing one portion of chips at the hostel (bad times).
So our days in Guilin were mainly spent playing a lot of pool at the hostel, sharing chips, reading and planning our next destination.
On the last couple of days we did head out to do a bit of exploring (I think we were getting cabin fever in the hostel). We found a lovely little area with lots of great places to eat and it was a really nice relaxing place to stroll around, away from the busy, loud city centre. We ate in this area for the last few days which was a welcome change to chips!
By the end of our time in Guilin we felt like we’d been in China for a really long time. Although it wasn’t my favourite place I’m so glad I experienced the culture for myself and was able to form my own opinion. It was great to try new foods emerse myself in a totally unfamiliar culture.
(Above is a photo of the pagodas in Guilin all lit up).
Several people we talked to in the hostel had told us how much they’d enjoyed their time in Hong Kong (our next destination) and how good the night life was. We were super super excited for a change and couldn’t wait for some western food-there’s only so many noodles a girl can eat!
Goodbye mainland China, hello Hong Kong!