18th March 2004.

Guilin is the bigger brother of YangShuo, a small city in the heart of Karst country. We had to pop through for an afternoon to catch a bus, but our plans for exploration were thwarted by the rain.

This was in Guilins top-tourist attraction... astroturf elephants.

Legends tells that this stalagtite was cut by a warrior emperor testing his new sword hence its name "sword testing stone".

We reckon it should be called "Sold to a Tourist Stone".

It doesn't rain in caves but in this one they did have what appeared to be a cross between a Buddhist shrine and a shop.

We really like the nice touch of using the Buddhist god of mercy to flog a pearl necklace.

And todays top translation is... I don't think they want us to fish.

Some mad locals were swimming

.. However at night Guilin is beautiful. It is set beside the Lijiang rivers, these waters channel through most parts of the city.

They even have a waterfront theatre where fountains spin around, squirting and performing to the music.

Now we have a 5 hour bus ride, some lunch, a 16 hour sleeper train, some breakfast and then a 5 hour bus ride to take us from Guilin to Dali.

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