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Did someone say elephant!!

Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Caves

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OMG today we went back to Guillin to visit the Elephant trunk hill so named because it looks like an elephant drinking from the river. As the group had not been with me in Africa they had not fully appreciated until today just how besotted with elephants I am and we didn't even see a real one! Weirdo alert! Lol!

So we waved goodbye to Yangshou and drove on one of the most treacherous but beautiful roads we had been on in China. At points only half of it had tarmac and it was fair game to all traffic no matter if it wasn't on your side of the road! There were several moments of 'chicken' with traffic coming at you head on but we survived it even though it was so busy and bumpy! It was worth it though as we had the karst mountains and rice paddy fields on both sides which were impressive.


The elephant hill park was full of elephant statues which made my day ...



and we climbed to the top of the scenic point to get a view over Guilin! which of course involved more steps....


As we climbed back down to walk round to Elephant Hill Jennifer told us the story of how the elephant had got there. It goes something like this...

One day the Jade Emperor came down from Paradise to visit Earth and he of course would not walk there himself so he came on a giant elephant. When it was time to leave the elephant did not want to as he had fallen in love with the beauty of Guilin and so he hid from the Jade Emperor. This made the Emperor very angry and he sent guards to come and get the elephant and there was lots of fighting. The elephant was tired and needed a drink and as he stopped to drink from the Li River a guard crept up and killed him from behind. As punishment the Emperor did not allowed the elephant to return to paradise but instead changed the elephant into stone and so he stayed on the riverbank as the elephant trunk hill we see today...


You can give him a kiss if you want to...


Elephant fever had gripped us all!!


After lunch we headed to see the Reed Flute Caves so named due to the reeds that grow outside it. Inside it is full of stalagmites and stalagtites that are huge and you are tiny in comparison. The cave system is lit up using bright colours to add drama to the place but personally I would have preferred to have seen it a bit less enhanced by man.


There are also weird and wonderful rock formations which if you use your imagination can look like different things such as a Christmas tree and a stage curtain.


It was spectacular none the less particularly the reflection pools and one which looked like a city skyline.

The cave system is also home to ancient inscriptions that date back to the Tang Dynasty. There are at least 70 inscriptions like this but only one is lit up on the tourist path through the caves to help preserve the others.


It was quite a spooky place to be walking around on the eve of Halloween as you never know what's lurking around the corner!


After dinner in the evening we went to the main square in Guilin to see what is meant to be the largest man made waterfall in the world according to the guide book. At 45m tall water cascades down the side of the Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel at 8.30 each night.


On the floor of the square is a map of the world and we had fun finding our home for a few minutes. Then we went to look at the two Pagodas on the Banyan lake in town, which represented the moon and the sun and were beautifully lit up. The sun pagoda is made of copper and the moon pagoda is made of glass.


As we walked by the lake we began to hear the unmistakable beats of Michael Jackson and as we turned the corner there he was!


This guy is by far the best Michael Jackson impersonator I have ever seen (bar the singing) he had all the moves down and could moonwalk like you wouldn't believe! As we watch him bust his moves we sang and clapped along which stunned the otherwise silent audience watching him, but helped to gather the crowds. MJ was lovin' us and we were lovin' him! We do have some vids but can't load them at the moment but if you're ever in Guilin keep an eye out for this guy, oh and check for the resemblence with the moonwalking greenman at crossings. What a legend!


Posted by doyledan 02:54 Archived in China

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