eBay, Guilin, Uncategorized GUILIN – 2 BREAKFASTS, 2 LUNCHES, 2 DINNERS… IN ONE DAY 29 November 2009

Back from Guilin! The place is absolutely GORGEOUS – the views, the weather, everything. I’d heard loads about Guilin and wanted to travel there, but never got a chance to. So it’s just fantastic that eBay brought all staff there.. flying everyone in from Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, etc. It was for 2.5 days, but unfortunately, we ended up travelling for almost 10 hours.. d’oh! Our flight was massively, massively delayed due to a “maintenance issue”. Argh! They did feed us all lunchboxes though. And then on the plane, they gave us lunch on the plane as well, *lol*. That meant 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches…. and then 2 dinners later on 😉

We didn’t arrive at Guilin will evening, just in the nick of time for dinner. Sadness, since we were planning to do a bit of sight seeing beforehand. The dinner banquet was a huge affair, with fun games and such. It’s amazing how eBay goes all out here. In Australia we wouldn’t get anything close 😛 It was around 10 courses of food, though I found quite a few dishes a bit strange (or rather, unidentified). Many others felt the same way, so after dinner, we decided we needed ANOTHER one down the road 😉

Down the road is one large street, that is the epicentre of activity in the small sleepy town. It’s littered with shopfronts, cafes and bars. And it is pumping! Tons and tons of people walking around, eating and shopping. Very fun, and quite surreal since once you step outside this street it’s totally empty.

Here, we chowed down on…. pizza. All because of I reaaaalllyyyy felt like some pizza 😛 Considering this is a tiny little Chinese town, the pizza was really good – crusty base and lots of cheese plus tons of ingredients. We ordered SO MUCH food! Our 2nd banquet dinner in one day 😉 And this was when I tried Guilin mifen (aka rice noodles) for the first time. It came in a thin metal bowl, sprinkled with some sour green beans, thin pork slices, pickled veggies and peanuts. And it is GOOD. I love anything that’s super local, basically streetfood. It was tasty, though I chose mine with “no stinky tofu”.. a lot of Chinese love the stuff but it stinks to high heavens (like mouldy smelly socks – seriously) so none for me thanks. Guess how much my bowl of noodles was? 4? (USA$0.60)!!!! Stuff is so cheap in Guilin it’s incredible.


Waiting at the airport….. for 4 hours. D’OH!

2.5hour flight later, we then had a 1.5hr ride to the little town

The eBay welcome table – it was a very welcome sight indeed after 10 hours of travel!

Inside the room – small but nice

The bathroom had an awesome mega rain-shower in the ceiling. Yay!

We were all given goodybags of snacks. Awesome 🙂

In the big banquet hall

Performances up on stage. Was a great night 🙂

Strange little taxi-buses type things

The major (there’s only one) street here – PACKED with people

And lots of little stalls selling trinkets

Shops, cafes and nightclubs galore!

Looking down on some of the street whilst we ate our 2nd dinner

Local beer – it was fab

Food, glorious food!

PIZZA. It was delicious.

The famous Guilin noodles!


46 Comments

  • tiffanyx posted on November 29, 2009 at 5:37 am

    wow ebay treats their staff REALLY VERY GOOD!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:38 am

      They are really nice 🙂 It’s cos eBay Asia did wel this year!

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on November 29, 2009 at 5:44 am

    I spy Pocky sticks. I love them.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:39 am

      Me too, i love those new mousse ones cos the’re a lot thicker around the biscuit stick, mmmm

      Reply
  • nycarm posted on November 29, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Hey Beverly
    I’m loving these pics you’re posting. Last time I was in China was decades (well, 2…yeah I’m old…lol) ago, so I still have this distorted view that things are still backward there, especially in the smaller cities.
    Great they had pizza where you were….I’m actually stunned!
    Keep up the fab pics please! 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:39 am

      It would’ve been so interesting to have been in China 20 yrs ago.. and go back again now to see what it’s like!

      Reply
    • blairwitch posted on November 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm

      Guilin is probably not the best judge for the current status of smaller Chinese cities/towns, as it is one of China’s major tourist cities, as well as one of the few remaining ancient cities with major cultural and environmental relics, so it does get a lot of money thrown at it for development, preservation etc. It also has a pretty large population for such a small place (the actual city is probably a quarter of the size of shanghai), I don’t know the exact figure, but I wouldn’t be suprised if the population was at least close to the million mark. That said, it HAS developed quite rapidly over the past 20 yrs, eg it now has a 5 star hotel, an international airport and really excellent roads and highways. A lot of what the city looks like now would have been inconceivable 20 yrs ago, I left guilin in the early 90s and returned 5 yrs later, and it had already changed almost beyond recognition! But it has had pizza since the mid 90s 🙂

      I say this because I have been to many small towns in China where the government hasn’t prioritised for development, and they are still quite backwards. I visited a small town last year, and the main roads were narrow and unsealed, buildings rundown and 80s-esque, and many signs of extreme poverty (and definitely nowhere to buy pizza!). The air quality was great though… I guess it’s hard to believe that so much of China is still like this, when cities like beijing and shanghai are so glitzy and prosperous.

      (sorry for spamming your entry Bev, I think I got a bit carried away!)

      Reply
  • budding_corsage posted on November 29, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Oh I’ve seen Guilin noodles on TV before and have always wanted to try!

    You really stand out in the 1st pic – your clothes are in the cheeriest colours 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:41 am

      Cool! Well, the noodles are yum – nice, cheap, simple street food.

      Hehe it’s cos I have an aversion to plain solid colours or black 😉

      Reply
      • cenedrah posted on November 30, 2009 at 6:57 am

        Funny that. I love basic black, greys, white etc etc hahaha. I’ve always loved classic colours and styles.

        Reply
  • catpuccino posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Oh I think that’s Yangshuo right? The little town you’re in? From the photos, it looks like it.
    I remember it was REALLY touristy (which I hate) on that one street (West street – xi jie) and so noisy at night. Hope your hotel was off the main street so it wasn’t so noisy!!! I did a pretty good cooking class while I was there which was fun. :o)

    Reply
    • blairwitch posted on November 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm

      it’s not yangshuo, which is a different town that is much smaller. It’s about 3 hours by boat from guilin, down the Li river. And normally when people visit guilin, they also take the ferry to yangshuo. In fact, do you remember ages ago we had a discussion about guilin being my hometown, and not Lisa’s? 🙂 (Lisa’s is guizhou, in a different province)

      Reply
      • catpuccino posted on November 30, 2009 at 9:40 am

        I was right – it was Yangshuo! I went there last Christmas when I was still in China and recognised it! :o)

        Reply
        • blairwitch posted on December 1, 2009 at 7:14 am

          Yes you were right… I was looking at the photos on my mobile phone and it looked much more like the road in Guilin than it does on a proper computer screen!

          Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on November 29, 2009 at 5:37 am

    wow ebay treats their staff REALLY VERY GOOD!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:38 am

      They are really nice 🙂 It’s cos eBay Asia did wel this year!

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on November 29, 2009 at 5:44 am

    I spy Pocky sticks. I love them.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:39 am

      Me too, i love those new mousse ones cos the’re a lot thicker around the biscuit stick, mmmm

      Reply
  • blairwitch posted on November 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    yay! Glad you finally visited guilin and liked it 🙂 It does actually have more than one street that is busy, although most of the centre of activity is congregated around the city area. I think the place you went to is called bu xing jie, which means walking street, and is the only place in the city area where cars are not allowed in. During the day it gets a LOT more crowded, but not any more so than the other streets and roads in the city area. There are some wonderful night markets every night on one of the main roads, with heaps of street vendors selling souvenirs and assorted knick knacks 🙂 in warmer months, a lot of people also spend their time around the lake, which has beautiful coloured lights all through the shores and perfectly constructed walkways.

    Also, you ate the mifen in the authentic way! No guilin local actually eats the stuff with stinky tofu, and if they do it’s definitely a recent thing, because it masks the delicious taste of the sauce! Guilin locals normally eat it loaded with fresh chillis though.

    Did you get much chance to sight see? The caves are magnificent and climbing the limestone pinnacles is a great experience, since there is no other place in china with the same scenery after all… 🙂 in case you haven’t noticed, i am shamelessly plugging guilin so you will go back again 😉 taking the ferry to yangshuo is also something you should not miss! 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 30, 2009 at 9:22 am

      I did lik ethat crazy street.. cos it was so surreal considering the rest of the area is so quiet, heh. But otherwise we didn’t see any other busy streets.. but we were in Yanshuo which is super small

      That mifen was nice! And I found they also do Guilin mifen at the little shop across the road from our apartment, hahah

      Reply
      • blairwitch posted on December 1, 2009 at 7:12 am

        Oh! So you were in Yangshuo and not actually in Guilin… Ahh, all makes sense now. You know, Guilin is actually quite different from Yangshuo and I would encourage you to go there, you might like it more because there’s even MORE awesome (and weird) scenery 🙂 I was wondering why you were saying Guilin is a sleepy town, because it’s not at all, quite bustling actually. (I thought you were just comparing it to Shanghai – I was going to say that Guilin is actually way more bustling than even Sydney is on a busy day)

        And it also makes sense now as you’ve said people eat mifen with stinky tofu. Since Yangshuo is not actually Guilin, their mifen is not authentic. You have to go to Guilin for authentic (read: way more delicious) mifen! 😛

        I hope I’ve convinced you to go to actual Guilin now!! 😛

        Reply
        • beverly posted on December 1, 2009 at 10:56 am

          Yeah I kinda lumped the 2 together.. haha! We didn’t get a chance to check out Guilin but not sure if we’ll go back cos there are so many places we’ve never been to that are still yet to be explored.. namely.. sichuan or harbin – woohoo!!

          Reply
          • blairwitch posted on December 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm

            Aww, well I hope you and Chris do go there at some stage, you won’t regret it! Especially since it doesn’t actually count as having been to Guilin when you haven’t… 😛 And it’s a must-visit when you are in China, all the travel guides say so! 😀

  • nycarm posted on November 29, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Hey Beverly
    I’m loving these pics you’re posting. Last time I was in China was decades (well, 2…yeah I’m old…lol) ago, so I still have this distorted view that things are still backward there, especially in the smaller cities.
    Great they had pizza where you were….I’m actually stunned!
    Keep up the fab pics please! 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:39 am

      It would’ve been so interesting to have been in China 20 yrs ago.. and go back again now to see what it’s like!

      Reply
    • blairwitch posted on November 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm

      Guilin is probably not the best judge for the current status of smaller Chinese cities/towns, as it is one of China’s major tourist cities, as well as one of the few remaining ancient cities with major cultural and environmental relics, so it does get a lot of money thrown at it for development, preservation etc. It also has a pretty large population for such a small place (the actual city is probably a quarter of the size of shanghai), I don’t know the exact figure, but I wouldn’t be suprised if the population was at least close to the million mark. That said, it HAS developed quite rapidly over the past 20 yrs, eg it now has a 5 star hotel, an international airport and really excellent roads and highways. A lot of what the city looks like now would have been inconceivable 20 yrs ago, I left guilin in the early 90s and returned 5 yrs later, and it had already changed almost beyond recognition! But it has had pizza since the mid 90s 🙂

      I say this because I have been to many small towns in China where the government hasn’t prioritised for development, and they are still quite backwards. I visited a small town last year, and the main roads were narrow and unsealed, buildings rundown and 80s-esque, and many signs of extreme poverty (and definitely nowhere to buy pizza!). The air quality was great though… I guess it’s hard to believe that so much of China is still like this, when cities like beijing and shanghai are so glitzy and prosperous.

      (sorry for spamming your entry Bev, I think I got a bit carried away!)

      Reply
  • budding_corsage posted on November 29, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Oh I’ve seen Guilin noodles on TV before and have always wanted to try!

    You really stand out in the 1st pic – your clothes are in the cheeriest colours 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:41 am

      Cool! Well, the noodles are yum – nice, cheap, simple street food.

      Hehe it’s cos I have an aversion to plain solid colours or black 😉

      Reply
      • cenedrah posted on November 30, 2009 at 6:57 am

        Funny that. I love basic black, greys, white etc etc hahaha. I’ve always loved classic colours and styles.

        Reply
  • catpuccino posted on November 29, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Oh I think that’s Yangshuo right? The little town you’re in? From the photos, it looks like it.
    I remember it was REALLY touristy (which I hate) on that one street (West street – xi jie) and so noisy at night. Hope your hotel was off the main street so it wasn’t so noisy!!! I did a pretty good cooking class while I was there which was fun. :o)

    Reply
    • blairwitch posted on November 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm

      it’s not yangshuo, which is a different town that is much smaller. It’s about 3 hours by boat from guilin, down the Li river. And normally when people visit guilin, they also take the ferry to yangshuo. In fact, do you remember ages ago we had a discussion about guilin being my hometown, and not Lisa’s? 🙂 (Lisa’s is guizhou, in a different province)

      Reply
      • catpuccino posted on November 30, 2009 at 9:40 am

        I was right – it was Yangshuo! I went there last Christmas when I was still in China and recognised it! :o)

        Reply
        • blairwitch posted on December 1, 2009 at 7:14 am

          Yes you were right… I was looking at the photos on my mobile phone and it looked much more like the road in Guilin than it does on a proper computer screen!

          Reply
  • blairwitch posted on November 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    yay! Glad you finally visited guilin and liked it 🙂 It does actually have more than one street that is busy, although most of the centre of activity is congregated around the city area. I think the place you went to is called bu xing jie, which means walking street, and is the only place in the city area where cars are not allowed in. During the day it gets a LOT more crowded, but not any more so than the other streets and roads in the city area. There are some wonderful night markets every night on one of the main roads, with heaps of street vendors selling souvenirs and assorted knick knacks 🙂 in warmer months, a lot of people also spend their time around the lake, which has beautiful coloured lights all through the shores and perfectly constructed walkways.

    Also, you ate the mifen in the authentic way! No guilin local actually eats the stuff with stinky tofu, and if they do it’s definitely a recent thing, because it masks the delicious taste of the sauce! Guilin locals normally eat it loaded with fresh chillis though.

    Did you get much chance to sight see? The caves are magnificent and climbing the limestone pinnacles is a great experience, since there is no other place in china with the same scenery after all… 🙂 in case you haven’t noticed, i am shamelessly plugging guilin so you will go back again 😉 taking the ferry to yangshuo is also something you should not miss! 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 30, 2009 at 9:22 am

      I did lik ethat crazy street.. cos it was so surreal considering the rest of the area is so quiet, heh. But otherwise we didn’t see any other busy streets.. but we were in Yanshuo which is super small

      That mifen was nice! And I found they also do Guilin mifen at the little shop across the road from our apartment, hahah

      Reply
      • blairwitch posted on December 1, 2009 at 7:12 am

        Oh! So you were in Yangshuo and not actually in Guilin… Ahh, all makes sense now. You know, Guilin is actually quite different from Yangshuo and I would encourage you to go there, you might like it more because there’s even MORE awesome (and weird) scenery 🙂 I was wondering why you were saying Guilin is a sleepy town, because it’s not at all, quite bustling actually. (I thought you were just comparing it to Shanghai – I was going to say that Guilin is actually way more bustling than even Sydney is on a busy day)

        And it also makes sense now as you’ve said people eat mifen with stinky tofu. Since Yangshuo is not actually Guilin, their mifen is not authentic. You have to go to Guilin for authentic (read: way more delicious) mifen! 😛

        I hope I’ve convinced you to go to actual Guilin now!! 😛

        Reply
        • beverly posted on December 1, 2009 at 10:56 am

          Yeah I kinda lumped the 2 together.. haha! We didn’t get a chance to check out Guilin but not sure if we’ll go back cos there are so many places we’ve never been to that are still yet to be explored.. namely.. sichuan or harbin – woohoo!!

          Reply
          • blairwitch posted on December 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm

            Aww, well I hope you and Chris do go there at some stage, you won’t regret it! Especially since it doesn’t actually count as having been to Guilin when you haven’t… 😛 And it’s a must-visit when you are in China, all the travel guides say so! 😀

  • Anonymous posted on November 30, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Beverley,

    I thought Ebay quit China a few years ago as it was up against the local China competitors. If its still operating in China, who is your local partner now? Just curious.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 30, 2009 at 9:23 am

      eBay here focuses on getting local sellers to list on the big markets (like USA, UK, etc).. so it’s entirely cross border trade, not local-to-local 🙂

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on November 30, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Beverley,

    I thought Ebay quit China a few years ago as it was up against the local China competitors. If its still operating in China, who is your local partner now? Just curious.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 30, 2009 at 9:23 am

      eBay here focuses on getting local sellers to list on the big markets (like USA, UK, etc).. so it’s entirely cross border trade, not local-to-local 🙂

      Reply
  • susyspeed posted on December 1, 2009 at 5:49 am

    You look like you’re having the time of your life in China. Totally jealous of the good eats!!!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on December 1, 2009 at 10:48 am

      It’s fun here.. love how we can travel to such different parts of China 🙂

      Reply
  • susyspeed posted on December 1, 2009 at 5:49 am

    You look like you’re having the time of your life in China. Totally jealous of the good eats!!!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on December 1, 2009 at 10:48 am

      It’s fun here.. love how we can travel to such different parts of China 🙂

      Reply

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