Guilin--September 7, 2004--Kindergarten Visit, Fu Bo Hill, Reed Flute Cave
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On our last day in Guilin, we journeyed through the city noting the usual bicycles (106, 110) and arrived at a local kindergarten (107). This visit had been pre-arranged and both the teachers and children were very welcoming. Guilin depends heavily on tourism and we were told, because of that fact, all of the students including those in kindergarten are taught some English. We were warmly welcomed in English by the little students and then invited by them to join in their dancing. Later, they each completed a drawing (similar to those shown in 108) and gave the results of their handiwork to our tour group so that each of us received two or three of these sketches. These were very cute kids but, unfortunately, the school permitted no photos of them. We hated to leave but it was time to move on to the next stop.
On the way, we passed the Niko Niko Do Department Store (109) which has several translations including the Smiling Palace--it is said that all of the sales clerks there are constantly smiling.
We arrived at Fu Bo Hill next and climbed partly up the hill via steps to see some views of Guilin (114-116). The hill is named after a Tang Dynasty general and also has the Thousand Buddha Cave which contains about two hundred Buddhist sculptures (118), some of which were damaged during China's Cultural Revolution.
Out in back of this area, there was a small park containing some large musical instrument sculptures, undoubtedly a setting for some concerts in the park. After leaving the park, we traipsed back to the bus, passing yet another fruit stand containing many of China's unusual fruits.
Our last stop before going to the airport was the Reed Flute Cave (121-123). The cave has the usual stalactites and stalagmites and some beautiful settings of underground water where the ceiling scene is reflected in the water, all highlighted by hundreds of colored lights.
We left for the airport for our evening flight to Hong Kong. However, the early evening flight was delayed and we were surprised, after a time, to see an attendant emerge in the waiting area with a cart to serve every passenger a dinner in the airport. Although this food was not gourmet, we were once again impressed at the effort made by China's airlines to provide service.
Eventually, we took off for the 300 mile flight to Hong Kong, our last stop on the tour. In Guilin, we said goodbye to Zhu, our national guide within our mainland China tour. She was heading back to her home-base of Beijing that evening. Zhu was an outstanding guide and really made China come alive for everyone on the tour. In Hong Kong, we would be on our own, with only a local guide for one morning tour.
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