China's long been on our travel list and we finally made it happen in September of 2019. This post is the forth of a five-part series for China and Tibet and covers our trip from Cheng Du to Guilin.

Previous blogs can be found here: I. Beijing and the Great Wall, II. Xi'an and the Terracotta Warriors, and III. Tibet. Next up will be V: Yangtze River Cruise and Shanghai.

Pandas, Pandas, Pandas

You've never seen so many!

We made a one-day stop in Chengdu for one reason - pandas! Changdu is the home of the Giant Panda Research Center for breeding, panda conservation, public education, and tourism. Over the last 30 years, they've gone from six pandas to almost 300! One thing's for sure - there are a LOT of very content pandas here!

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pandas eat 20-40 pounds of bamboo, and only bamboo, every day

What'd you say? Your ears need cleaning!

Chengdu is famous for other things as well - such as Hot Pots (a delicious fondue type dish we had in Tibet), and ear cleaning. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read that right. Stroll through the local park and get your ears cleaned. And maybe, just maybe, find a significant other...

Looking for Love?

No dating apps here. Stroll through the park and check out "resumes" of prospective husbands and wives!

GUILIN (gwee-in)

Onto Guilin and a must-see stop on any tour of China, the Reed Flute Cave. It got its name as the reeds that grow outside were used as flutes. Inside, the impressive light displays showcase stunning stalagmites and stalactites.


The birds go fishing for you!

I really looking forward to seeing cormorants in action. These fishing birds have been used for centuries in China and Japan. They're trained to dive and and catch fish. The real catch, so to speak, is that there's a string tied around their neck. So when they return with a beak full of fish they can't swallow it. Instead, the fisherman gets their haul.

We chanced upon these cormorants being used as photo opps. OK OK. I anted up the money for a photo.No fishing demo, though. Bummer.

street scenes in guilin and Yushan park

traditional dancing demo

one big reason to visit guilin - cruise the li river

Hundreds of tour boats take off in a synchronized ballet, pulling away from the dock and then moving into one long line down the scenic waterway. Not unlike a Disneyland ride. The surrounding landscape is stunning, so stunning it's pictured on their 20 Yuan note.

touring a nearby ancient town

Cooking Class

We were lucky enough to attend a cooking class and make four local dishes. The class was set-up so that everyone had there own wok. This meant you had to eat what YOU cooked! It was all delicious and we had a great time.


Performed entirely on the water and reminded us of an Olympic opening ceremony. Over 600 actors and they do up to 4 shows a day.

The actors bid us adieu with song and by throwing good luck ornaments.

Goodbye Guilin

Onto the last leg of our journey - CHONGQING, yangtze river cruise, and shanghai!