Exploring Guilin and the surrounding area was some of our favorite time spent in China. Very different from the hectic cities we visited, Guilin was much more relaxed. We toured around Xingping and Yangshuo while we were there, which is the home to some beautiful scenery. We cruised down the Li River, bicycled down backroads of Yangshuo, hiked up Laozhai mountain to get some epic views, and even learned the traditional way to make paper fans! Guilin was our last major stop in China and it was a nice way to end our stay there, taking in the countryside and getting a chance to breathe some fresh, non-polluted air. Guilin and the surrounding areas were absolutely a highlight of China.
Overall, China was a very interesting country to travel through. It was one of the harder countries to get past the language barrier, but that made it interesting. It was fun (and sometimes frustrating) trying to figure out simple things like order food or get a taxi. With the food, it definitely led us to ordering things we wouldn’t normally have. Just reading the menus was an adventure at times. Google Translate helped us a lot but wasn’t always accurate, giving us things such as ‘three wire salad’, ‘mixed ear cabbage,’ and my favorite, ‘cold fungus.’ Besides the language, the culture was quite different, and we felt out of our element a few times (not nearly as crazy as India though). Besides the challenges, we still had a great time there and would go back and explore more of the country some day.