In March 2014 I met a boy, and thats how it always starts doesn't it.... On our first date he told me how much he loved to travel, I heard all about his time through Asia, Australia and Fiji and how on his travels he knew he wanted to live in Hong Kong. I grew up in Hong Kong and spent my childhood travelling frequently back and forth between Asia, where my family lived, and the UK, where I spent time at school and University. Despite the airmiles I had racked up from a young age I still had a passion to see new places, learn about new cultures and be introduced to new ideas.
He was very charming and by May we were off on our first adventure together, Guilin. Fast forward three years and we have been to nine countries and seen some beautiful parts of the world together.
China has always been this big powerhouse on the door step of Hong Kong and it was surprising how little I had seen of this vast country. A place that contained so many different cultures, thriving big cities and of course the beautiful landscape of Guilin. If you have ever seen those Chinese ink paintings depicting long rolling mountains then they are most likely to of been painted with the inspiration of Guilin in mind.
We started our trip with a flight into Yangshuo and then an hour and a half drive to Guilin. I honestly can't remember where we stayed while we were there, but if I went back I would stay at the Secret Garden Hotel, its a beautiful Qing Dynasty house in Jiuxian Village, which we happened to stumble across randomly on our last day. It has a beautiful courtyard and amazing beer fish! Which is Yangshuo's most famous dish.
Watching the afternoon fade by the Li River on our first night.
Taking a bamboo raft down the Yulong River was defiantly a highlight, gazing up at the rolling hills from a tiny raft.
The best way to get around is by scooter, don't bother with a bicycle, we tried it for half a day and it doesn't give you the freedom to roam the back roads due to the steep hills! We spent endless hours twisting and turning up random mountains, stumbling across little local villages, only to turn one corner and be hit by amazing views.
We found this great Sunday market in a small village about 30 minuets from where we were staying. It felt nice to get away from the main tourist markets and see a more local wet market, although I have been to a fair share of wet markets, hands down this one had a smell like no other..!!
Walking around Jiuxian Village, where every corner was photo worthy!
If you are ever planning on visiting Guilin or if you just want a GREAT movie, watch the Painted Veil...it will make you want to visit even more.
This lovely women invited us into her home to walk around.
I will always remember my experience in Guilin, the pure beauty and magic of those mountains and falling in love on the back of a scooter, will stay with me forever.