TWA Hotel, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, NY, USA

“The TWA Hotel now occupies Eero Saarinen’s stupendously restored 1962 TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, midcentury modernism’s great tribute to sex, adventure and the golden age of air travel”

“The TWA Hotel now occupies Eero Saarinen’s stupendously restored 1962 TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, midcentury modernism’s great tribute to sex, adventure and the golden age of air travel”, New York, NY, USA – text credit The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/travel/twa-hotel-jfk.html; photo credit: http://www.twahotel.com

 

We enjoyed 10 days on the East Coast of the U.S. with our children and grandchildren for the Thanksgiving holiday period, and decided our last night in the New York City area to spend the night at the recently opened TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy Airport.  While we had read very favorable reviews about the refurbishment of the old TWA Flight Center terminal at Kennedy and knew that two new building wings were constructed for the soundproof guest rooms, our experience far exceeded expectations.  So much so that we would recommend the hotel for anyone flying out of JFK on an early morning flight (to avoid the long and nerve-wracking drive) or arriving late afternoon or evening and wanting to relax before heading into Manhattan or another destination in the New York area the next morning (after rush hour).  Our stay was too short to take advantage of either the roof-top swimming poor or the expansive, well equipped gym, but both look terrific – unexpected amenities at an airport hotel.  The gym, in fact, is open to day visitors (including those with a long layover at JFK between flights).

 

The entrance to the former TWA Flight Center (terminal) is now the entrance to the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

The entrance to the former TWA Flight Center (terminal) is now the entrance to the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA; note the split flap departures board with TWA flights from the 60s – the first departing flight was nostalgic for me, as my hometown growing up was Jacksonville, Florida!

 

“The new TWA Hotel is a seven-story split structure that humbly perches behind Eero Saarinen’s Jet Age landmark, the TWA Flight Center, at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. Designed by Brooklyn-based firm Lubrano Ciavarra Architects, the glass-clad building features 512 rooms, a rooftop infinity pool, and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck that looks out over incoming international flights in Jamaica Bay.  It’s these things and more that have allowed the revered terminal to reopen as the hotel’s lobby and reception after being closed to the public for over 18 years.” — https://archpaper.com/2019/05/

 

The former terminal check-in area is now the hotel check-in area – now heavily automated with guest self-check-in on computer screens; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

The former terminal check-in area is now the hotel check-in area – now heavily automated with guest self-check-in on computer screens; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

Set in the iconic former TWA flight center designed by architect Eero Saarinen, this chic airport hotel on the grounds of John F. Kennedy International Airport features soundproofed floor-to-ceiling windows.  The stylish, retro rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus minifridges, safes and fully stocked cocktail bars.  Some have airport views.  There’s a sleek 1960s-inspired bar, a food hall with grab-and-go options, and a celebrity chef-helmed restaurant/cafe.  Amenities include a 10,000-sq-ft gym, meeting space, and an outdoor pool with runway views.

 

Outside the terminal (hotel) entrance there is a vintage Lincoln Continental parked for nostalgia – inside the terminal (hotel) by the snack and coffee stand is a 1960s Chrysler; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

Outside the terminal (hotel) entrance there is a vintage Lincoln Continental parked for nostalgia – inside the terminal (hotel) by the snack and coffee stand is a 1960s Chrysler; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

The central area of the former TWA terminal, now the TWA Hotel, opens up to the check-in area, the snack and coffee stand, the restaurant, lounge and special exhibits areas; JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

The central area of the former TWA terminal, now the TWA Hotel, opens up to the check-in area, the snack and coffee stand, the restaurant, lounge and special exhibits areas; JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

“In 2015 MCR, a New York development company led by Tyler Morse, won the right to lease the disused Flight Center and turn it into a hotel. Mr. Morse’s business owns and operates the High Line Hotel in Manhattan along with dozens of midrange chain hotels around the country. He saw TWA as a shrine for architecture buffs and a potential retreat for transients power-napping between flights. It lets guests rent rooms for the day as well as overnight.

“The room designs by the interior design firm Stonehill Taylor are crisp, compact and clean — pretend time capsules from 1962 — with brushed-brass fixtures, walnut paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows of 4.5-inch glass to keep out the sound of jet engines. Maybe I missed it, but I failed to locate a USB port. Each room is stocked with pole lamps, Saarinen tulip tables and womb chairs, martini glasses, cups of bright red TWA-embossed pencils and copies of Life magazine.” — www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/travel/

 

Our grandchildren have no idea what these devices – wall-mounted pay telephones – are, or what they are used for; they can’t imagine not walking around with a telephone (and Internet computer) in your pocket, e.g., a smartphone

Our grandchildren have no idea what these devices – wall-mounted pay telephones – are, or what they are used for; they can’t imagine not walking around with a telephone (and Internet computer) in your pocket, e.g., a smartphone; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

How many readers – yes, you! – know or remember what “TWISTER” was?; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

How many readers – yes, you! – know or remember what “TWISTER” was?; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

When Saarinen built the TWA Flight Center (terminal) at Idlewild Airport, two long concrete tubes like this one connected the main terminal to the airplane gates – today the tubes lead to the elevators of the hotel wings

When Saarinen built the TWA Flight Center (terminal) at Idlewild Airport, two long concrete tubes like this one connected the main terminal to the airplane gates – today the tubes lead to the elevators of the hotel wings and the Saarinen tunnel also leads directly to an elevator in the new Jet Blue Terminal 5; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

“The room designs by the interior design firm Stonehill Taylor are crisp, compact and clean — pretend time capsules from 1962 — with brushed-brass fixtures, walnut paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows of 4.5-inch glass to keep out the sound of jets

“The room designs by the interior design firm Stonehill Taylor are crisp, compact and clean — pretend time capsules from 1962 — with brushed-brass fixtures, walnut paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows of 4.5-inch glass to keep out the sound of jet engines”, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA; text credit The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/travel/twa-hotel-jfk.html

 

The desk in our room had a functioning rotary dial telephone (another device our grandchildren have never seen and have no idea what it does) along with snack items, along with a mini Etch-A-Sketch, for purchase; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport

The desk in our room had a functioning rotary dial telephone (another device our grandchildren have never seen and have no idea what it does) along with snack items, along with a mini Etch-A-Sketch, for purchase; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

The Sunken Lounge was returned to its original 1962 design, including the same historic shade of chili pepper red carpet and another split flap departures board in operation – it serves 1960s classic cocktails as well as the Royal Ambassador

The Sunken Lounge was returned to its original 1962 design, including the same historic shade of chili pepper red carpet and another split flap departures board in operation – it serves 1960s classic cocktails as well as the Royal Ambassador (Champagne, orange juice and Grand Marnier) which was once served to TWA passengers in gold-flecked glasses; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

“Connie,” a 1958 TWA Lockheed Constellation L-1649A Starliner has been converted into a 60’s-era cocktail lounge, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

“Connie,” a 1958 TWA Lockheed Constellation L-1649A Starliner has been converted into a 60’s-era cocktail lounge, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

We enjoyed a nice dinner in the Jean-George Vongerichten Paris Café Restaurant, now occupying the space of the original Paris Café and Lisbon Lounge in the 1960s, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

We enjoyed a nice dinner in the Jean-George Vongerichten Paris Café Restaurant, now occupying the space of the original Paris Café and Lisbon Lounge in the 1960s, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

Enlarged reproductions of photos taken at the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA and in the photo booth in the hotel lobby

Enlarged reproductions of photos taken at the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA and in the photo booth in the hotel lobby

 

“Now & Then – Instant Photos:  The first photo booth – dubbed the Photomaton – opened in New York City in 1925 and soon became a sensation.  (Wait time for the ‘instant’ pics back then? About 10 agonizing minutes.)  By midcentury photo booths were everywhere.  Newlyweds John and Jackie Kennedy stepped behind the curtain to pose on their honeymoon, Marilyn Monroe used one of her 25 cent images as her passport photo and Andy Warhol took models to Times Square photo booths to sit for portraits that later appeared on a 1965 cover of TIME.

“Today, of course, mobile phones make it possible to carry a photo booth in your pocket.  Since the TWA Hotel opened on May 15, 2019, tens of thousands of visitors have snapped and shared their memorable moments.  [Including your blogger!]  Use some of our favorites as the backdrop for your own self-portrait — then grab some friends, hit the booth and try a few the old-fashioned way!” – sign at the TWA Hotel Photo Booth

 

Period TWA flight attendant uniforms – here from 1968-1971 by Dalton of America -- and flight bags are in one of several museum-quality exhibitions curated by the New York Historical Society at the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport

Period TWA flight attendant uniforms – here from 1968-1971 by Dalton of America — and flight bags are in one of several museum-quality exhibitions curated by the New York Historical Society at the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

A lounge for hotel guests at the TWA Hotel, near the flight attendant uniforms exhibition, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

A lounge for hotel guests at the TWA Hotel, near the flight attendant uniforms exhibition, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

“When was the last time you lingered for pleasure at Kennedy Airport? When was the last time you felt happy to be there? An architectural advertisement for the thrill of air travel at the sunny dawn of the jet age, Saarinen’s reincarnated terminal is an unavoidable reminder of just how sad and degrading the experience of flying has become, if you’re not rich.

“Some history: In 1955, the architect Wallace Harrison came up with a master plan for what was then called Idlewild Airport. It prescribed stand-alone terminals built and run by competing airlines encircling a traffic loop. The plan was a kind of recipe for architectural scene-stealing. During its early years, Kennedy boasted the world’s longest continuous cocktail lounge (in the since-demolished American Airlines terminal designed by Kahn and Jacobs), and Tippett-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton’s (now also sadly demolished) 1960 Worldport for Pan Am, the architectural analog to Marilyn Monroe’s billowing skirt in ‘The Seven Year Itch.’

“The 1950s and 60s were the days before airline deregulation, when the government still set ticket prices. So airlines competed not over who could offer the cheapest, no-frills fares but over who could offer the best-dressed flight attendants, the most scrumptious Chateaubriand on the plane and the best terminal experience. Back then, Howard Hughes’s TWA was the nation’s glamour carrier, the Veronica Lake of airlines. Hughes is said to have spent his five minutes with Saarinen demanding something truly out of this world — money being no object.

“Saarinen earned his spurs conjuring up a raft of rectilinear behemoths for big companies and swooping spectacles of sculptural engineering like the St. Louis Arch, Ingalls Hockey Rink at Yale and Dulles Airport in Washington. He was a chameleon and a master of corporate branding.

“For TWA, he seems to nod both toward Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp Chapel and the Las Vegas Strip. The building, an amazing feat of technological improvisation in the days before computer design, was a populist proto-emoji for flight, all free-flowing, liquid curves, improbably poised on four slender buttresses like a winged bird on skinny legs. Its sheer formal poetry kept the aviary and female allusions from tipping into kitsch. This was high modernism at its most seductive and crowd-pleasing.” — www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/travel/

 

The TWA Flight Center architect, Eero Saarinen, on the cover of Time magazine in 1956 – famous before he won the commission to design and build the TWA Flight Center (terminal) [now the TWA Hotel] at JFK International Airport, New York

The TWA Flight Center architect, Eero Saarinen, on the cover of Time magazine in 1956 – famous before he won the commission to design and build the TWA Flight Center (terminal) [now the TWA Hotel] at JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Shop local: Yangshuo market, Guangxi, China

The city of Yangshuo is the teriminus of the Li River scenic boat journeys through the Guilin karst mountains – here the mountains are visible behind a new shopping district; Guangxhi, China

The city of Yangshuo is the terminus of the Li River scenic boat journeys through the Guilin karst mountains – here the mountains are visible behind a new shopping district; Guangxhi, China

 

Our river boat ride down the Li River from Guilin, through the spectacular karst mountains, took us to the city of Yangshuo (population 300,000) where we had an afternoon of exploration, the opportunity to cook our own dinners at a Chinese restaurant and cooking school, and then attend the Liu San Jie Impression Light Show on the Li River bank in town.  Our cooking school chef and instructor – from Cloud 9 Restaurant and Cooking School — took us through the local market on Xi Jie Street (West Street), pointing out many of the ingredients for our multi-course dinner that we then prepared.  Our four courses, individually cooked by each of us in our small group, included: Gong Bao Chicken, Egg Dumplings with Pork and Vegetables, Fry Noodles with Vegetables, and Cucumber in Vinegar & Chili Sauce.

 

The Guilin karst mountains are very visible behind the city’s main shopping street, Xi Jie Street (West Street), Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

The Guilin karst mountains are very visible behind the city’s main shopping street, Xi Jie Street (West Street), Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

 

We passed this outdoor restaurant that was setting up for dinner, as we walked to the local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

We passed this outdoor restaurant that was setting up for dinner, as we walked to the local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

 

 

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #1

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #1

 

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #2

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #2

 

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #3

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #3

 

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #4

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #4

 

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #5

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #5

 

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #6

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #6 – rambutan fruit

 

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #7

The local fresh food market; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China #7 — bamboo shoots

 

Shopping and dining options in the small city of Yangshuo included both local and international options, Guangxhi, China

Shopping and dining options in the small city of Yangshuo included both local and international options, Guangxhi, China

 

This area contained a lot of street food vendors, offering snacks and light suppers to passersby, Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

This area contained a lot of street food vendors, offering snacks and light suppers to passersby, Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

 

One street vendor’s selection of street food, Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

One street vendor’s selection of street food, Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

 

We passed by a huge local festival as we headed over to the main street to catch a van to the theater on the Li River for the performance of the renowned light show, Impression Sanjie Liu; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

We passed by a huge local festival as we headed over to the main street to catch a van to the theater on the Li River for the performance of the renowned light show, Impression Sanjie Liu; Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

 

The first chapter of the story and performance was “Red Impression- Folk Songs” -- on the water, many fishermen are rowing their bamboo rafts in a column; either standing or squatting, they hang the large red silk in the sky and or upon the water

The first chapter of the story and performance was “Red Impression: Folk Songs” — on the water, many fishermen are rowing their bamboo rafts in a column; either standing or squatting, they hang the large red silk in the sky and or upon the water. This red picture symbolizes the enthusiasm and praises the labors of the local people”; Impression Sanjie Liu performance on the Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China

 

“Impression Sanjie Liu was premiered on March 20th, 2004 at the Sanjie Liu Sing Fair, one mile from West Street (Xi Jie).  This is the world largest natural theater which utilizes the waters of the Li River as its stage, with twelve mist shrouded hills and the heavens as its backdrop.  Mist, rain, moonlight, the hills and their inverted reflections in the river all become the ever-changing natural background.  Its auditorium is housed on the natural islands of the river with the audience standing on the designed terraces, surrounded by green plants.  The sound equipment here cannot be seen because it is in harmony with the natural environment.

 

“The valleys, the hills, the cool breeze and the gurgling streams are all elements contributing to the three-dimensional sound effect.  Day by day, different weather offers different sceneries with the four seasons refreshing the performance of Impression Sanjie Liu as well, so you will have unique experience every time you watch it. This is really a new concept opera using nature as an integral part of its performers; hence its name – ‘Human’s Masterpiece Cooperated with the God’.

 

“Maybe you have heard of the film ‘Sanjie Liu’ produced in 1961, which made the Li River famous worldwide.  Sanjie Liu is a fairy singer in the myths and legends of the Zhuang ethnic minority.  She is incomparably beautiful, and has voice to match her beauty.  In the ‘Impression Sanjie Liu’, what you can see are the impressions derived from the daily life of the people living around the Li River, rather than the specific details of the stories.” — www.travelchinaguide.com

 

As we watched the incredible light show with a total of nearly 600 actors (mostly locals, supplemented by students at the local universities), we were struck by the scale and beauty of the show – reminding us of the opening night spectacle of the opening of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008 (08-08-08).  Afterwards, on the way to our hotel, we learned from our local guide that indeed, the producer (and owner) of the Impression Sanjie Liu show and theater was Yimou Zhang, the chief director of the opening and closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games.  In 2008, Zhang was nominated as 2008 Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

 

The last chapter of the story-performance is the “Silvery Impression- Performance Grand Ceremony” -- as the 'Wonder of Lijiang Culture', this scenery reflects the traditional ceremony in Sanjie's hometown according to the legend
The last chapter of the story/performance is the “Silvery Impression: Performance Grand Ceremony” — as the ‘Wonder of Lijiang Culture’, this scenery reflects the traditional ceremony in Sanjie’s hometown according to the legend. Over 200 Zhuang girls form a long column across the bridge over the Li River; their silver dresses make the river shimmer in a mysterious manner”; Impression Sanjie Liu performance on the Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxhi, China
Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Li River and Karst Mountains (from Guilin to Yangshuo), Guangxi, China

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), China #1 – this scenery is so popular and important to China that the Guilin Li River karst mountains are featured on the national 20 Yuan (Renmimbi) paper currency (value ~ US$3.)

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), China #1 – this scenery is so popular and important to China that the Guilin Li River karst mountains are featured on the national 20 Yuan (Renmimbi) paper currency (value ~ US$3.)

 

We introduced the karst mountains of South China in our previous blog post with photographs shot from our hotel in Yangshuo, “Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort and Karst Mountainscapes, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China”.  We had the opportunity to spend several hours on a boat in the Li River (or Li Jiang) cruising down from Guilin to Yangshuo through the spectacular karst mountains of Guilin.  These formations are widely regarded as the most stunning karst scenery in the world.  [We have separately sailed on Ha Long Bay, outside of Hanoi, Vietnam, also home to karst hills, similar to those in Guilin; there are other, similar karst hills in Phang Nga Bay in Thailand.]  “The South China Karst is considered one of the largest and most spectacular examples of a humid tropical to subtropical karst landscapes in the world, and is therefore a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The area is spread over the provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Yunnan and Chongqing and covers a massive 176,228 hectares (680 square miles).  A 50 mile-section (80 kilometers) of the River Li cuts through the Karst Mountains, and cruises on this section of the river are very popular.” — www.insightguides.com

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #2

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #2

 

“When you picture China, do you envisage mist-covered green mountains rising in sharp peaks and jagged edges?  If so, you’re likely imagining the famous karst mountains of Guilin.  They provide some of the most captivating scenery in China, but how exactly did these strange mountains get their shape?” — https://theculturetrip.com/asia/

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #3

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #3

 

“Karst mountains are made of limestone, dolomite, and gypsum, which have in common the fact that they are all soluble rocks.  This means they can be easily broken down by certain acids, including the acids sometimes found in rainfall or in the surface water of rivers or lakes.  Over time, acid breaks down the limestone and creates sinkholes and caverns, and subterranean drainage systems, where water will flow and collect under the ground.” — https://theculturetrip.com/asia/

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #4

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #4

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #5

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #5

 

“In the most dramatic instances, karst mountains are created when acidic waterflow wears down limestone bedrock, creating cracks in the bedrock surface.  Once cracks are formed, water is then able to flow more quickly and with greater force, creating underground drainage paths, which, in turn, lead to greater erosion.  With time — and not a short time, but rather, millions and millions of years — much of the surrounding rock will be eroded, and with vegetation taking root in the warmer tropical climates of southern China, the erosion process is hastened and limestone mountains are formed.  Karst topography is often characterized not only by sharp peaks, but also by caves and underground streams and pools, such as the famous Reed Flute Cave in Guilin” — https://theculturetrip.com/asia/  [See our previous blog post, “Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan), Guilin, Guangxi, China”]

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #6

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #6

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #7

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #7

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #8

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #8

 

“During the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 to 907), Guilin thrived.  Huge halls were built and stone walls erected around the city.  Today, Guilin is a rather large, bustling city that attracts visitors from around the world.  The names of the hills surrounding Guilin are poetic: Cloud-Catching Pavilion, Bright Moon Peak, White Horse Cliff, Five Tigers Catch a Goat Hill, Folded Brocade Mountain.  In fact, as well as a geologist’s paradise, this area has long been an inspiration to countless poets and artists.  Many of the traditional Chinese landscape paintings we see today were inspired by this region.

“Most visitors to the Guilin area find a boat trip down the Li River to the town of Yangshuo to be one of the highlights of their trip.  “The river forms a green gauze belt, the mountains are like jade hairpins,” Han Yu, a Tang Dynasty poet wrote.  Drifting down the Li River, it’s easy to feel lost in time.  Women kneel on the banks washing clothes.  Farmers follow along behind their water buffalo.  Small villages dot the shore.  And the boatman will likely point out animal shapes they see in the surrounding landscape as you float down the river: horses galloping through the mountainsides, a stone frog leaping into the water or what looks like a turtle in the sides of a cliff as you float down the river.” — http://www.geotimes.org

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #9

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #9

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #10

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #10

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #11

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #11

 

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #12

The karst mountains of Guilin, seen from the Li River (or Li Jiang), photographed on our river boat cruise from Guilin south to Yangshuo, Guangxi, China #12 — see the previous photograph for the scene without the 20 Yuan note

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort and Karst Mountainscapes, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #1

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #1

 

Before sharing the photographs from our river boat trip down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo [see our next blog post], we thought it would be a good introduction to first see images of the karst mountains in the Guilin region in the rainy, foggy weather of our last day in the area – at the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort.  These photos were reminiscent of some of the Chinese mountainscape brush and ink drawings on scrolls that we have seen in books and museums.  It’s easy to see how Chinese poets and artists were inspired for millennia by the karst mountains and the Li River.

 

“The natural wonder of the limestone mountains in Yangshuo is a sight to behold.  It is truly breath-taking and a memory for life. Yangshuo has so much more to offer, with the Li river, the caves, the rice fields, activities like rock climbing and much more. It truly is a natural feast of visual impressions.  Against this landscape, Banyan Tree has built a mountain resort with picturesque sceneries and access to all the activities.” — www.banyantree.com/en/china/yangshuo

 

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #2

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #2

 

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #3

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #3

 

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #4

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #4

 

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #5

Karst mountains seen from the Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort, Yangshuo (near Guilin), Guangxi, China #5

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Women of Yao Ethnic Minority, Dazhai Village, Guangxi, China

While visiting Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields inside the Dazhai Village, we saw many women of the Yao Ethnic Minority in their colorful native dress – they have their own unique and interesting customs in dinning, clothes, and living styles, etc

While visiting Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields inside the Dazhai Village, we saw many women of the Yao Ethnic Minority in their colorful native dress – they have their own unique and interesting customs in dinning, clothes, and living styles, etc.; Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China

 

After photographing the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields atop the cable car to Dazhai Village our local guide arranged for two Yao women to uncoil their hear and then show us how they coil it.  The photographs below were taken with their kind permission.

“Yao women are famous because of their unique clothing and hair style.  They are famous for having longest hair in the world as they never cut their hair.  Most of the time visitors will see them wrap their hair in a bun.  Usually it costs 10 yuan to take a photo of a Yao woman.  If one [is] lucky [s/he] might get to see them wash their hair at the river side… The Yao nationality is distributed in six provinces but the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region contains the largest population of the Yao people.  They have their own language but most would also speak mandarin.  Their origins date to the Qin Dynasty.  There are several sub-groups within the Yao nationality.  Yao people are distinctive by their colorful national dress and often the women will have extremely long hair which is coiled up on top of their head.” — www.guilinchina.net

 

Two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China

Two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China

 

Two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #2

Two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #2

 

Two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #3

Two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #3

 

Two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #4

Two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #4

 

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #5

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #5

 

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #6

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #6

 

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #7

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #7

 

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #8

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #8

 

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #9

One of the two Yao women photographed with their long hair at the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields, Dazhai Village, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #9

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Longji Rice Terraces (Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields), Dazhai Village, Guangxi, China

The Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields are inside the Dazhai Village, with mountains on all sides; here the viewing was more rural and quieter than our first stop at Ping’an Zhuang Village [see our previous blog post]; near Guilin, Guangxi, China

The Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Rice Fields are inside the Dazhai Village, with mountains on all sides; here the viewing was more rural and quieter than our first stop at Ping’an Zhuang Village [see our previous blog post]; near Guilin, Guangxi, China

We enjoyed a box lunch from our hotel in Guilin in Huangluo Yao Village where we had boarded the golf carts for the ascent to Ping’an Zhuang Village to view the Longji Rice Terraces.  After lunch we drove east to Dazhai Village where we were able to board a cable car for the long ascent to Golden Buddha Peak and a scenic spot where we could view the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields.  Because it was a further drive from Guilin than our first stop at Ping’an Zhuang Village, the viewing was more rural and quieter.  We also had the opportunity there to meet some Yao women and photograph them and their long black hair — never cut, since birth [see our upcoming blog post]

“The Jinkeng Terraced Fields are inside the Dazhai Village, with mountains on all sides and known for its rich mineral resources of gold.  Here visitors should not miss its three famous scenic spots — West Hill Music or No.1 viewing platform, Large-scale Thousand-Layer Terraces or No.2 viewing platform, and Golden Buddha Summit or No.3 viewing platform [at the arrival place of the cable cars up top].  All with high elevation of more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet), they are the best places for viewing the sunrise and sunset as well as overseeing the whole Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces… Dazhai Village is also equipped with hotels and restaurants for visitors’ convenience.  But it is less commercial than Ping’an.” — www.travelchinaguide.com

 

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #2

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #2

 

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #3

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #3

 

Longji Rice Terraces map

These maps of the Longji Terraced Rice Fields (also called Longsheng Terraced Fields) are courtesy of http://www.travelchinaguide.com

 

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #4

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #4

 

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #5

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #5

 

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #6

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #6

 

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #7

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #7

 

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #8; there were numerous vendors with street food, clothing, souvenirs, local arts and crafts items, and jewelry on the walkway

Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields, Dazhai Village in the Longji Rice Terraces region, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #8; there were numerous vendors with street food, clothing, souvenirs, local arts and crafts items, and jewelry on the walkway connecting the viewing platforms – here homemade hot chili oil was for sale

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Longji Rice Terraces (Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces), Ping’an Zhuang Village, Guangxi, China

A panorama of the Longji Rice Terraces, literally Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, regarded as the most beautiful rice terraces in the world, Ping’an Zhuang Village (平安寨), near Guilin, Guangxi, China

A panorama of the Longji Rice Terraces, literally Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, regarded as the most beautiful rice terraces in the world, Ping’an Zhuang Village (平安寨), near Guilin, Guangxi, China; this view encompasses the so-called “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers” — the nine ridges spread from the main vein of Dragon’s Backbone, which look like nine dragons bending over to drink water from the Jinsha River; alongside, there are five tiger-shaped rock

 

On our second day in Guilin, we drove about two hours northeast up into the mountains (elevation averaging nearly 2,000 meters (over 6,500 feet) where we transferred from our small bus to golf carts in Huangluo Yao Village for the very steep, narrow and nearly straight uphill drive up to Ping’an Zhuang Village (平安寨) overlooking the spectacular Ping’an  Zhuang Terraced (rice) Fields, at an elevation of about 1,000 meters (3,300 feet).

“Longji Rice Terraces, literally Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, gains its name because the rice terraces resemble a dragon’s scales and the mountain range looks like the backbone of a dragon. It is reputed as one of the most beautiful rice terraces in the world.

“It is located in Longsheng County, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Guilin and 140 kilometers (90 miles) from Yangshuo.  The construction of incredible Longji Rice Terraces started in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and lasted till the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).  Now, the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces covers an area of 66 square kilometers (about 16,308 acres) and spans an altitude between 300 meters (about 984 feet) and 1,100 meters (about 3,608 feet).  Among them, two main and representative viewing areas are the Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields and the Jinkeng Terraced Fields where Zhuang and Yao Minority people have been living respectively for hundreds of years.  In addition to appreciate[ing] the rice terraces, visitors can learn some unique customs in Longsheng rice terraces scenic area.” — www.travelchinaguide.com

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #2; a close up of a section of the so-called “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers”

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #2; a close up of a section of the so-called “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers” — the nine ridges spread from the main vein of Dragon’s Backbone, which look like nine dragons bending over to drink water from the Jinsha River

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #3

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #3

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #4

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #4

 

“Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields have totally 15,862 pieces of rice terraces, some big while some tiny. Here visitors can appreciate two unique sights of rice terraces.  One is the “Seven Stars Accompany the Moon”, which is comprised of seven small piles of rocks left deliberately by people when they dig up the terraces and a moon-shaped terrace in the middle.  Looking at it from a distance, it looks like “seven shinning stars” accompanying the “moon”.  It is a perfect place for photography. Another one is “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers”.  The nine ridges spread from the main vein of Dragon’s Backbone, which look like nine dragons bending over to drink water from the Jinsha River. Alongside, there are five tiger-shaped rocks.” — www.travelchinaguide.com

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #5

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #5

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #6; a close up of the rice, ready for harvesting

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #6; a close up of the rice, ready for harvesting

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #7

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #7

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #8; your photographer couldn’t resist making a portrait of these two Chinese tourists as they posed for a friend in the rice terraces

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #8; your photographer couldn’t resist making a portrait of these two Chinese tourists as they posed for a friend in the rice terraces – behind them the trail down through the terraces from Ping’an Zhuang Village is visibly full of tourists walking through the rice terraces [note that our small group was visibly in a distinct minority as western tourists in the heart of China]

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #9; when cut, the harvested rice is laid flat on the ground to begin drying out before being removed from the fields

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #9; when cut, the harvested rice is laid flat on the ground to begin drying out before being removed from the fields

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #10

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #10

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #11

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #11

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #12

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #12

 

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #13 – note the rice terrace workers’ (Zhuang minority peoples’) homes and hostels-hotels in the midst of the terraced fields

Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, near Guilin, Guangxi, China #13 – note the rice terrace workers’ (Zhuang minority peoples’) homes and hostels/hotels in the midst of the terraced fields

 

“The Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields (平安壮寨梯田) are the first rice terrace area in Longsheng to be developed for tourism.  They have the most roads/paths, hotels, and facilities.  It’s the most touristy area.  The terraced fields are around Ping’an Village and two smaller hamlets, inhabited by the Zhuang minority.  The villagers live in traditional wooden three-story stilted houses.” — www.travelchinaguide.com

 

The view of the mountains as we descended back toward Guilin from Huangluo Yao Village at the foot of the Longsheng rice terraces scenic area; China

The view of the mountains as we descended back toward Guilin from Huangluo Yao Village at the foot of the Longsheng rice terraces scenic area; China

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan), Guilin, Guangxi, China

The setting for Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan) along Peach Blossom River, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) northwest of downtown Guilin, Guangxi, China

The setting for Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan) along Peach Blossom River, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) northwest of downtown Guilin, Guangxi, China

 

From the ship, a we joined a small group of fellow Residents for a four-day overland trip to the south-central province of Guangxi (located on the border of Vietnam), more properly called the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.  We had an early morning flight from Shanghai to Guilin, where we were met by a local guide who escorted us to a nice Chinese lunch downtown in the city of 4.75 million.  After lunch we were driven northwest of downtown Guilin about 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the Reed Flute Cave complex (Ludi Yan) where we had an extensive walking tour through the cave, estimated to be around 700,000 years old, having been forming for an estimated 180 million year.  The cave is also known as “the Palace of Natural Arts”.

“Guilin has long been an important centre of trade and administration because of its location on an agriculturally rich valley floor that is also the easiest route south from Hunan.  In 1939 the Hunan-Guangxi railway was extended through Guilin to Liuzhou via this corridor.

“Guilin has always been a handicraft centre, but until 1949 the only signs of modern industry were a thermal power plant, a cement works, and some small textile mills.  Since the 1950s Guilin has developed industries engaged in the manufacture of electronics, engineering and agricultural equipment, medicine, rubber, and buses, and it also has textile and cotton yarn factories.  Food processing, including the processing of local agricultural produce, remains the most important industry.

Guilin is also a cultural centre.  As a major centre of Buddhism in the 7th century, it had many famous monasteries.  Today the city has more than 10 colleges and universities. Guilin (its name means “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus”) is set in a landscape of outstanding natural beauty and is renowned for its karst formations.  Deep erosion of the limestone plateau has left a multitude of tall needle-shaped pinnacles out of whose steep sides trees sprout improbably.  These fantastical mountains have long been memorialized in Chinese painting and poetry.  The city also has many caves, the largest and most spectacular of which is Ludiyan (“Reed Flute Cave”).  Guilin is listed as a state-level historical and cultural city.” — www.britannica.com

 

One of the first “rooms” that we walked through on our tour of Reed Flute Cave, a water-eroded cave that is a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars & rock formations created by carbonate deposition, illuminated by colored lighting

One of the first “rooms” that we walked through on our tour of Reed Flute Cave, a water-eroded cave that is a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition, all illuminated by colored lighting; Guilin, Guangxi, China

 

“As a brilliant Karst cave marked on almost all travel itineraries, Reed Flute Cave got its name from the verdant reeds growing outside it, with which people make flutes. Actually, inside this water-eroded cave is a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition. Illuminated by colored lighting, the fantastic spectacle is found in many variations. Walking through the serried stone pillars, tourists feast their eyes on changing spots, feeling they are in a paradise where the Gods live…

“Reed Flute Cave is formed by long-term water erosion and carbonate deposition. The rocks inside the cave are mainly limestone. When the underground water flows, it dissolves the calcium carbonate inside the limestone. When the water containing calcium carbonate flows out from underground or drops out from cave roof, the water evaporate, only leaving calcium carbonate. After years of accumulation, stalactites form. Till today, these stalactites inside the cave are still “growing” as the water keeps dropping or flowing.” — www.travelchinaguide.com/

 

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #2

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #2

 

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #3

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #3 – known as “Sky-Scraping Twin”, this formation resembles twin pillars in a forest

 

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #4

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #4

 

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #5

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #5

 

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #6

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #6

 

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #7 -- this large room is known as the "Crystal Palace"

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #7 — this large room is known as the “Crystal Palace”; a huge “Crystal Palace lamp” hangs on the upper left of the hall, painting the hall with a magical color, like the Dragon King’s Crystal Palace in the Chinese myth

 

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #8

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #8; the cave is also known as “the Palace of Natural Arts”

 

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #9

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China #9

 

Outside the entrance to Elephant Trunk Hill is a beautiful floral “sign” marking the 70th anniversary (October 1, 2019) of the Communists’ rise to power in China, which became the People’s Republic of China

Outside the entrance to Elephant Trunk Hill is a beautiful floral “sign” marking the 70th anniversary (October 1, 2019) of the Communists’ rise to power in China, which became the People’s Republic of China; we saw many such anniversary displays (mostly printed signs) all across China; Guilin, Guangxi, China

 

Elephant Trunk Hill (象鼻山; Xiàng bí shān) is located on the banks of the Li River, within walking distance of Guilin’s city center; it's a hill with a large natural arch cut into it, resembling the trunk of an Elephant dipping into the river;Guangxi

Elephant Trunk Hill (象鼻山; Xiàng bí shān) on Binjiang Rd (滨江路; Bīn jiānglù) is located on the banks of the Li River, within walking distance of Guilin’s city center; it is a hill with a large natural arch cut into it, resembling the trunk of an Elephant dipping into the river — this scene is frequently used as a symbol of the city and so has developed some fame; Guangxi, China

 

“Guangxi’s second-largest city, Guilin (桂林) has the hallmarks of most Chinese megapolises, but it feels much more relaxed given its spectacular setting among the jagged-peak limestone karsts that surround it.  It was China’s first city to develop tourism after 1949, and for decades, children’s textbooks proclaimed ‘Guilin’s landscape is the best under heaven’ (桂林山水甲天下).  It was the darling of Chinese politicians, the star city proudly presented to visiting dignitaries.  Today Guilin’s natural endowments still amaze, yet, thanks to imperfect urban planning, there is a pervasive feeling that the city is past its prime.” — www.lonelyplanet.com

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.