my tour to guilin
in china, there's such a saying, guilin's landscape is the NO.1 in the world.   guilin is a place i desire to have a visit when i was a child, since there's a famous essay in our textbook of  primary school  about the beautiful scenary of guilin.
        recently i finally got a chance to have a tour to guilin which lies in the guangxi zhuang antonomous region---a province inhabited a lot of different ethnic minorities including zhuang, dong, miao,yao,etc. as i have mentioned in the last blog, most of chinese belong to han nationality.  in china, there're only 5 antonomous regions where the ethnic minorities are concentrated such as Tibet, Inner Mongolia,etc.
        although we only stayed in guilin for 2 and a half days.  it took us 22 hours from our hometown--henan province, the middle of china to go to guilin, guangxi--south china by taking the train, you can say that we just stayed in the train most of time, i still have rather a thorough idea about this beautiful place.

      oh, it's a difficult problem! from where should i begin to tell about   what i have seen and heard in guilin? by the way, have you heard of carst cave? we have entered 2 huge carst caves there, one of which is named ludi cave. it's said  that the american president bush had  just  visited it in 2008. pitifully we can't take photos in the caves in which are rather dark, at the same time, the carst caves are also rather humid.  however, a  glorious array of fantastic stalagmites and stalactites, stone shield and stone waterfall of different sizes and shapes, showing before us made everyone excited and intoxicated very much.  after  the guide performed  the melodious local mountain songs for us  tourists in the interval,  being affected deeply,  i  couldn't also help singing aloud.  in the  serene and long caves, i could  fell that my  voice sounded specially clear and beautiful just as  the sliver bells in the wind.   while i also associated with a lot of romantic love stories about the minority people i have read in the novels before. oh, my feeling was too pleased and satisfied to be described!

    of course, there were a lot of  foreigner visitors there.  i mean in the huge carst caves there were a lot of foreign visitors,too. so i had the chance to keep in touch with those foreigners' bodies so nearly. since  a few roads in the caves were very narrow. it's the only way for all people to pass through. so interesting! we  all could smell the fragrance of milk from white people's bodies. oh, the white people must eat a lot of milk in daily life, ok? so they smell very milky, but rather fragrant!   i guess maybe the white foreigner visitors just feel the yellow people--chinese smell sweaty and salty, since we are accustomed to eat the salty food in daily life. (pitifully i have even  no courage to say hello with those foreign visitors, of course, i also have no confidence in my oral english. i only envy those chinese guides majoring in receiving the foreign tourists so much, fancying someday i can be proud of accompanying with the real white visitors like them there.)

     as for the mountain and water in guilin, oh, my god, how can i depict them in my  poor english level?  the most beautiful scenary should be the course where the  lijiang river is meadering from guilin to yangshuo for hundreds of miles.  the famous peot named hanyu of tang dynasty once praised the picturesque and poetic lijiang river  in his lines "the river is like a green silk belt and the hills  are like blue  jade hairpins", which is really a vivid discription.  the hills along the lijiang river seemed to me the round hair coils one by one. 

    in the urban area of guilin , there're a lot of osmanthus cakes, osmanthus wines, osmanthus perfumes,etc. in china, the  pronunciation of osmanthus is gui, lin means forest,  it's just the origin of the name of guilin city--since there're a lot of osmanthus trees here constituting an osmanthus forest--gui lin.  even when we walked in the street,  the waft of sweet-scented osmanthus still came towards us from time to time.  and a lot of combs made of water buffalo's horns including white horn comb and black horn comb are also being sold at the roadside stalls, also  the strange tropical fruits such as papaya, yacon, passion fruit,etc i have never seen before.  

     all these little goods began to give full play to their temptations, accordingly, my money were also draining away quickly.  oh, should first cut  and  taste this kind of red passion fruit!  oh, no, its flesh and seeds too sour for me!   i  also bought  the exquisite and beautiful mirrors with the guilin's landscape patterns, key rings with the jade pendants,   agate chains in cheaper prices.   i've even luckily witnessed  how to make the silk quilt from the raw silk cocoon in a big store.

      among these, the most  interesting and meaningful  thing is that i bought a silver bracelet of 99.9% purity from the minority dong. as seen above,  guilin is an area where there're a variety of minorities, some of who have the special silver culture. i don't know if you have seen their folk silver custumes, very gorgeous! (oh,maybe you have seen them in TV before,ok?) but for me, it's also rather difficult to come into contact with these minority people loving silver jewelry. since they only live in some remote provinces such as guangxi, guizhou in south china. it's just the first time for me to see the real dong nationality silver jewelry in reality.

      unfortunately when i came back to my hometown,  comparing the price of the bracelet from the dong ethnic group in guilin with the common bracelet in our local store,  i found its price was twice expensive than the normal price.  oh,  my silver bracelet with 32.8 grams costs me 800 chinese money(almost 120 dollar, it is worth 24 chinese yuan per gram), but the bracelet with the same weight just costs no more than 400 chinese money(per gram is only 14 chinese yuan).
     no doubt  i'm feeling a little sad about it. but this silver bracelet is just hand-crafted, the silver bracelet in the superstore is machine-made.  the most important reason i bought this bracelet is that i respect and enjoy the different cultures from the different people.  that dong nationality guide just claimed that in their culture, silver was very important and necessary for dong women. they cherished silver jewelry very much. it's said that when the dong women are married, they don't care for the great house, car, gold jewelry, etc like the han people. they only ask for the silver jewelry to the opposite sex partners. they worship and believe in the silver jewelry which can help them keep healthy. and it seems it's true that the dong nationality can live a longer life than han nationality. that dong ethnic guide said in her village, there's unexpectedly a person of 120 years old. it's all because they always use silver to keep healthy. the pure silver can disinfect, "guasha"--a chinese treatment to cure disease by scraping the skin with a tool made of silver or jade,etc. so i say they have the special silver culture. as a rule, even if a dong woman is very poor, she still must have some silver jewelry which seems to be as important as their amulet. 

      oh, who knows?  maybe the hand-crafted silver jewelry holding the culture and belief can increase its value as the time goes on!  if so, i have nothing to regret about my tour to guilin, ok?