*Written 20 July 2011*
We took a flight from Chengdu to Guilin because all the trains were booked for days, and our only other option was to take a 32 hour hard seat train to Nanning, and a five hour bus to Guilin. With less than a week left, we decided not to waste time and to spend the extra money.
Guilin has been really good to us. Our hostel upgraded us for free to a four bed room, which is like a hotel room. It's cozy, except for the doorless bathroom.
Karen and I made a visit to the Solitary Beauty Peak. We sat outside for awhile, chatting and eating lychee by a pond, before climbing it. It's literally a small mountain that juts out of a completely flat area.
From there, our feet carried us to a "scenic spot" of another three random peaks. We split up, and I went to a mostly empty part near the Li River. While climbing, I was completely alone (despite that weird feeling of not being alone that gives you the chills) for the longest period of time since entering China. I sat around and found a spot to wait for the sunset. Before the sun went into hiding, I had plenty of time to think about things, stuff, and what not.
I met up with Karen again, who had an almost unfortunate run in with a monkey. We took tons of night shots before grabbing dinner at a delicious skewer stall. We spent $6 each on broccoli, pork, chicken, mushrooms, cabbage, scallions, potato, and squid. The broccoli was the best thing I've ever had. Before returning to the hostel, we grabbed a drink and people watched on a chic pedestrian street.
Once back at the hostel, we reconnecting with Misha, who made friends with some Dutch guys - Tomos, Thomas, and Elwyn.
PS - Putting so much effort into this, I hope it works out.