Tuesday, January 28, 2020

[Travelogue Guilin,China] 4 Hours Li River Cruise to Yangshuo

On the 26th Dec 2019, I woke up as early as 6am, getting ready to check out from Riverside Inn Central Guilin. I booked a River Cruise to Yangshuo from the place I stayed in Guilin City which cost me 480 Yuan. The bus will be coming to pick me up 7:30am to Mopanshan Pier to board the 4 hours cruise. It was heavy rain that day. Like I said in my previous entry, the place I stayed at the small alley, so I have to walk out braving that heavy rain with one of the Hotel staff holding the umbrella for me. The weather was seriously colder than yesterday with this rain. Even my heat-tech inner piece which I bought from Uniqlo, seems not enough to warm me up!

Since my plan is to stay a night in Yangshuo and then from there I will head over to Longsheng, I chose to travel light. I am unable to carry a big backpack due to my bad waist pain. So, I packed lighter possible to fit in my small backpack which I brought with me. I wish could carry the bigger backpack but that will not be a good idea with my body condition.

It was around 1-hour bus ride to Mopanshan Pier. But of course, it's not a boring ride at all since the tour guide who will bring the group up to pier will hard sell all the optional packages and also some tea. Guilin speciality is Monk Fruit which is Luo Hon Ko. So there are many Luo Hon Ko Tea selling everywhere here. I was lucky for being a non-mandarin speaker. They don't really hard sell anything to me since I would just say...I don't understand! I don't understand! hahaha

You can buy some warm snacks at the pier here too. It will be a 4 hours journey, so you can eat them along the way.

By the way, the tour guide will just bring all the passenger on the bus and distribute the ticket to each in the group and then you are on your own in the cruise until Yangshuo. 480 Yuan paid inclusive of lunch box and a few hours bus ride back to Guilin. You will be given 2 - 3 hours to wander around Yangshuo before take the bus ride to Guilin City on the same day. 
By the way, you will need to show your passport to board the cruise. Your bag and body will be scanned thoroughly. Just like at the airport before you board the ship.

Option 1 - Day trip 4 hours Li River Cruise then wander around Yangshuo before taking the bus back to Guilin City. You will also be given choice to join the optional tour to the countryside and Shangri-La, Yangshuo with some cash add-in.

Option 2 - 4 hours Li River Cruise then overnight at Yangshuo and find your way back to the Guilin City on your own. You can buy a bus ticket at the nearby bus station or hire a driver back.

Like I said, I chose option 2 since my plan extended to Longsheng from Yangshou before head back to Guilin City after a few days.

Oh! by the way no cruise back to Guilin City. The only way is by bus, train or car.

You have the option to buy VIP Cruise ticket which the seating will be on the upper deck and quite exclusive. I bought the 3-star cruise ticket so the seating will be joining with a stranger and it will be at face to face 3 seater join-seat. Not that bad. There are 5 of us but one guy move to the behind seat to join his family members. So only 4 of us in that seat. A couple from Canada, a solo traveller from England and this 'kici meow traveller from Malaysia.

I was up on the upper deck braving the cold winter breeze to enjoy the view most of the time. 

I love the view despite the cold weather.

Throughout the cruise, the tour guide will highlight the most important scenic area along the Li River such as Crown Cave, Pushing Milestones Rock, Langshi Scenicspots, Nine Horses Hill, Reflections of Yellow Cloth, Xinping Village, Snail Hill, Dragon Head Hill before reach to Yangshuo.

Obviously, I don't understand Mandarin, and the English version is too hard for me to catch on what they are trying to say. So I don't know which of which. hahahaha Enjoy the view will do for me.

I just love to see all this Karst Mountain along the river.

The ticket price inclusive of the lunch box. Since there is meat in this lunch box. I gave up mine to others who need to eat more.

I end up buying the small fish and shrimp at 30 Yuan each plate for my snack. Of course, I offered to the people who sit with me too. It will be impolite for me to dig in all of 2 plates. The Canadian couple bought the snails and offer to me in return. I dare not try since I read, they boiled this with pork. All these fish, shrimp, snails are from Li River itself. The Taro is another must eat here in Guilin.

The view of cruising along the Karst mountain is seriously magnificent. I feel like in the Lord of The Ring movie. hahahaha

I met a herd of water buffalo and ducks along the river too. I also manage to meet this fisherman in action. Fisherman in Guilin uses the bird to dive into the water to fish for them. You can view more of it in my videos below. It's really an awesome experience for me. Just like in the fairy tales. Watch my video and you know what I am talking about. Don't forget to give some of your precious LIKE to my video too.

The journey really not a boring one, since the lady from Canadian couple seems friendly and enjoy the photo-taking just like me. Both of us was up at the deck most of the time. We were talking about each other countries. Sort of sharing information on travelling too. This couple has been travelling for one month now. Lucky them.

The solo traveller from England kind of having this hobby to travel with his dalmatian toy. So cute, right. Apparently, this dalmatian has no name. There you go a photo of the England traveller with its beloved toy. I met many kinds of people on this trip. hahaha

The 4 hours cruise journey is coming to an end soon.

Taking my last photo from the cruise before get off at Yangshuo Pier.

You will be greeted with many street peddlers here. The tour guide in the bus did mention in English before we get off, to be extra careful with belonging. There are many pickpockets and also if you bargain for any items, you must buy or get shout and mental harrassed. The tour guide also mentioned one of the French ladies in her group lost all her passport and cash at Yangshuo. That happened only the week before Christmas.

Did you notice, the similarity of passion fruits and rambutan's leaves here? hahaha..if you read the rambutan seller scammer in my previous post on Elephant Trunk Hill here, you will understand what am I talking about. 

Seriously, I made a good choice. Most people dragged their big luggage into the cruise boat and seriously it's a  massive storage problem for that, especially when you reach Yangshuo and people are fighting over getting their luggage. You may have to wait for a bit longer since your luggage maybe at deep inside at the storage. The Canadian couple booked the same place as mine. But they reached a bit late since both have huge luggage with them and the road to the hotel are not that even to drag on the wheel. It was a rough walked for both of them. 

I walked out of my hotel at Yangshuo. The location is around less 500 meters from Yangshuo Pier. The hotel facing the river too. I just walked and reach there in less than 5 minutes. After checked in, I booked a car for 200Yuan from the hotel to bring me to Xingping Ancient Street. I can just get the Taxi outside but I would rather get the Hotel staff to arrange for me. At least to avoid any communication during dealing. It's the same price if you go out and deal with any cab driver outside though. I just need to pay an extra 40 Yuan to Hotel staff and within less 20 minutes after checking in, I was in the car on the way to Xingping. I don't need to talk and haggle so much.

Don't forget to subscribe to my blog and YouTube Channel for the latest update on my exploration at Xingping Ancient Street.

Check out my travel video below. LIKE my video, please!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

[Travelogue Guilin , China] Exploring Elephant Trunk Hill

Have you watched my video on Travelogue Guilin, China Ep 1, yet?
Check out the link HERE

Elephant Trunk Hill Scenic Area

Address: On Western Bank of the Li River, Guilin
If you take bus just make sure to get off at the stop of Xiang Shan Gong Yuan

25th Dec 2019, 2nd day in Guilin. Its Christmas day. I woke up with rain outside. No snow which I don't expect at all. So, I end up walking to Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbishan) which located around 1km from the place I stayed. It was a great morning walk under light rain which eventually stop by the time I reached the scenic area.

Since Nov and Dec month considers the low season, I have gotten the price for a half-price which also entitled me to visit 3 other scenic areas via their free red tour bus.

I love the beautiful view here. The best is not that many tourists since it was during the low season. I just walked away from the crowd and have peaceful morning walk.

Elephant Trunk Hill is kind of a MUST VISIT attraction in Guilin , ever since the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). That old attraction.

Just like that photo above, the name said it all. The formation of karst rock resembling of Elephant Trunk sucking the Li River water.

As usual, this kind of place will come with Legend told from generation and the story is related to Elephant.

The Legend of Elephant Trunk Hill

Long-time ago, the Emperor of Heaven decided to conquer the Earth was riding on the back of his elephant. The elephant was a kind-hearted. It came down back to the earth and help the poor human in their labour. It falls sick. The Emperor got to know that the Elephant was helping the human. He was very upset and left the poor sick elephant on earth. The human help the sick elephant and nurse it back to good health. It continues to help the human with plowing the field and forget about the Emperor of Heaven. The Emperor of Heaven was so upset on the Elephant still continue helping the human. One day, while the Elephant was drinking water at Li River, the Emperor cursed the Elephant into stone.

It was starting of winter. I have to wear a face mask from the cold winter breeze.

Elephant Trunk Hill is not the only thing you could see. There is a park which is a must-visit attraction too. You could visit the Moon over the Water Cave (Shuiyue cave), Elephant Eye cave, Puxian Pagoda, Love Island and Yunfeng Temple.

You can find this kind of lovey dovey statue at Love Island.

You can get some elephant trunk hill and Guilin souvenir at this so-called post office. You can write a postcard and send one to yourself or friends.

I was sitting on the bench below this hill. Watching people climbing up this hill makes me envy them. People climb the hill to get another amazing cityscape view of Guilin.

I can't overwork my leg here in the city since I have 8 more days to explore Guilin. I was planning to hike else-where. 

This is the view from Elephant Eye cave.

Just walk to another side of the Elephant Hill and you will be adventuring on the back of the hill. The view from this side is beautiful with good panorama.

Fubo Hill

Address: 2 kilometres away from the Elephant Trunk Hill

I took the tourist red bus from the entrance of Elephant Trunk Hill since it came with the package I bought. The bus is very punctual as written on the signage at the bus stop.

Fubo Hill is another must-see attraction in Guilin. I love this place since it has a beautiful park and a 
big banyan tree in the middle.

There is a temple on this hill built during Tang Dynasty for General Fubo who succeed a fierce battle in Jiaozhi.

What you can see here at Fubo Hill

The natural scenery of rocks and stalactites. I have a chance to visit the Pearl Returning Cave, the Thousand Buddha caves and the Sword Testing Rock.
If you walk to the second terrace of Fubo Hill, you will find a giant cloister. Just walk past the beautiful garden and climb up some small steps. You will find a 300-year-old iron boiler which can boil enough food for a thousand people.

Guilin is famous with Osmanthus and Monk Fruits. But it's not a season for Osmanthus flower during my time. The street and garden will full of nice sweet fragrance smell of osmanthus if you visit during its season.

The Rambutan Seller 

One thing, I notice the fruit seller in Guilin tends to present the fruit by putting the fresh leaves. At first, I thought, the rambutan leaves in Guilin is different from other parts of the world. Seriously, I thought it was from different species. But then, this Rambutan seller, pluck the street plant leaves and place it on his rambutan basket. I was like.... hurl! Rambutan leaves is the same in every country. hahahaha.... not different!

Those aunties on the photo end up don't buy the fruits from this seller. It seems they don't agree with something and I saw the seller push away his bicycle with anger. 

All this happened while I was waiting for the red tourist bus to the next scenic area.

Diecai Hill Scenic Area

Address: North of Fubo Hill and the west bank of Lijiang River

I kind of love the beautiful scenery here. Diecai Hill is the name given during Tang Dynasty which means folded colours hill.

The view from this hill is really fantastic. Just climb the stairs up and you will be greeted by a magnificent view.

You can shop for some souvenirs here too. But I am not a souvenir person. hahaha... I just walk pass by them.

Tea Seller Act

Right before the souvenir place, there is this dried tea seller who put up an act. I don't speak Chinese but the act was so obvious and I almost laugh at both of them when the act repeated with the same line when I was leaving the place. The act was, one guy, pretended to inquire about the tea and the seller diligently hard sell the tea. I was like kekekeke... laughing while looking at both of them. You think you can fool me ..ahhhhhh? I can't understand Chinese but it sounds like the same scripted line you acted when I just entered this place earlier. huhuhuh

Lots of hill climbing... huhuhuh

Nice cave and the grottoes.

The beautiful layered colour hills.

Spectacular view from the top.

Apparently, I can slide down from the top but I didn't do it! Why? I was alone up there. I doubt and fear for my safety though!

Time to grab some lunch and dinner. It was late afternoon by the time I came down from the hill. I don't go to the famous Red Fleet Cave, which is another landmark of Guilin.

I ate lamb Jiaozhi and bell pepper stir-fried. I noticed the vegetables here in Guilin taste really fresh and sweet.

I still have a bit of strength to walk around before called off the day. I need to catch the bus at 7am to catch a 4 hours Li River Cruise to Yangshuo.

I bought warm Taro Coconut Milk drink as my dessert. 

Don't forget to watch my MOST BORING video Travelogue Guilin, China Ep 2 Elephant Trunk Hill at my YouTube Channel HERE. My video can put you to sleep since I recorded A.S.M.R in this video too. :)

This article is also available on GPSmyCity.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

[Travelogue Guilin, China] Where to Stay in Guilin?

I decided to create my first ever travel video with a voice-over format. It's kind of challenging task for me. I spent my whole Sunday to do this. I'm really a beginner in editing video. So, please pardon me for any glitch in my video voice-over. I don't really know which apps to use. Basically, I have to use three different apps for editing. Its really time consuming too.

I am still learning and hope to improve my skills soon. Some of the comments received - my voice sounded so 'cute'. I was like what? Shy! shy! cover my face.....hihihihihi... I never thought will sound like that in a voice-over.  There is another comment said my voice-over faded especially when I was talking over a video with some surrounding sounds. Noted! I will improve further.

For comment said, I am pretty... ehem..ehem...the tech nowadays can fool you. With just one click 'Meitu' will erase all fine lines and tone down all my chubby fat. Yes! it's all apps! In real, I am just an ordinary 'fat auntie'! huhuhuh...so? save that 'pretty' comments for someone you meet in real life, ya!

Do you have any more comment for me? Please drop yours in my comment box in this blog. I will improve my next video.

I don't have many love and subscribers to my channel. isk isk isk

Please LIKE and put a LOVE comment on my video to encourage me. Wink! Wink! 
Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL @CindyrinaRina .

If you are also a YouTuber please don't hesitate to drop your link in my comment box here below this post. I will return your subscription with LOVE too. Saranghaeyo!

A synopsis of my Travelogue Guilin China.

I started my 10 days travel to Guilin, China on the 24th Dec 2019. From Guilin, I took a 4 hours River Cruise along Li River to Yangshuo and then a 3 hours car ride up to Longsheng before head back down to Guilin. 

It was a great travel exploration for me. In Episode 1, I showcase my first-day exploration along the river beside the place I stay.

Where to Stay in Guilin?

Riverside Inn Central, Guilin situated at a strategic place and along one of the river in Guilin. It's not that easy to reach to this place since it located at small alley. Your cab driver have to stop at the main road and you have to drag your luggage for around 300 meters. You will the signage.

No lift! So as my room located on the 4th floor so I have to take quite a flight of stairs for 3 days stay. As I have a bad knee - it's kind of challenging task. The reception guy helps to carry up my luggage, otherwise, I would rather leave it at the reception for 3 days and pick what I want up. huhuhuh

The reception gentleman here quite friendly and can speak English. So, I book my Li River Cruise to Yangshuo from them. They even allow me to leave my luggage while I away for 4 days for my trip to Yangshuo and Longsheng. Awesome!

The surrounding of this place kind of convenient for me. I just need to go out to the main road and walk to my left and left again then walk straight ahead until reaching a traffic light, then cross the traffic light towards my right - here I reached the Ancient Mosque street. There are numbers of Halal Food Restaurant.

After my meal, I walked around the nearby park along the river to observe the local daily activities. In general, Guilin people more polite than the people in Xi'an, Lanzhou, Xining and even Tianjin.

I walked to Elephant Trunk Hill Scenic area the next morning and spend my second day exploring this major attraction.

So, please follow and subscribe for Episode 2 of my Travelogue Guilin, China.

Watch my video and don't forget to subscribe. :)

For my Muslim friends! don't fool yourself with what you read about China. I have been to almost 15 cities in China and they mostly respect the Muslim, there. Xi'an, Lanzhou and Xining have many Uyghur, Han and Hui ethnic too. They live peacefully practising the religion just like Muslim here in Malaysia. I don't have any problem with practising my religion and finding Halal food are very easy in China. One day, I will make my trip to Xinjiang and share my travelogue on my visit there. Hope can do that in near date.

We should see, experience and then comment. Not just read one-sided stories. We must listen to both sides of stories in everything. I always believe there is a reason for everything. Open your mind and your heart! Go out and experience on the other side of the world.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

7 Health Benefits Eating Pickles Vegetables

I was in Guilin, China for 10 days last 2 weeks and noticed the people there love Vegetables Pickles. They even pickle the fruits and women especially love to buy them. In some area like when I was wandering around one of their famous ancient towns, the pickling look like almost kimchi in South Korea.

Manage to snap some of the pickles vegetables in Guilin
I was told in Guilin, people eat pickles vegetables as appetizer and snacks. So I decided to do some readings on pickles benefit for health. I was interested in this even before travelling to Guilin but a bit hesitate since most pickles bought from stores are super sour and bad for my ageing teeth.

From my research, pickles or fermented vegetables have more benefit than bad ones.

1. Antioxidants

Apparently, pickles contain more natural antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables, compared to cook vegetables. The cooking process kind of break down some of these heat-sensitive nutrients. While pickles vegetables and fruits preserve their nutrition and antioxidants from the fermentation process. Most pickles use vinegar as brine which makes it boast higher amounts of the free radical fighting and immune-boosting.

2. Blood Sugar Friendly

Due to its vinegar contents, eat pickles with your meal will help to prevent blood sugar spikes. So for those people with diabetes, it will help if they add pickles into their diet routine.

3. Probiotics Power

Save your gut by adding pickles with your meals. Due to its fermentation process, it attracts probiotics which is beneficial and aid to your digestive process.

4. Contains Vitamin K

We often overlook vitamin K which is crucial for body processes for example blood clotting, bone's absorption and use of calcium and keeping the calcium out of arteries. It keeps your bone strong!

5. Replenish Electrolytes and Hydration Booster

For those who always go for an intense workout, you should consider snacking on pickles because it helps to replenish electrolytes and also boost hydration.

6. Help soothes the Muscle Cramps

If you have short muscle cramps, try to drink the pickle brines , the sodium from salt used in the brines can help with muscle contractions.

7. Good for Eyes

Most of us end up staring at the mobile phone and computer screen on a daily basis. Pickles vegetables has vitamin A which good for your eyes health. vitamin A also good for the immune system!

I have been talking about only the benefits. Not fair right? Most things have pros and cons. The downside of eating pickles vegetables are :

* Can cause bloating - since it contains salts for the fermentation process, so salty food can cause bloating. 

* Processed pickles contains lots of preservative and lack of probiotics benefits - Processed pickles often contains lots of sodium to make it last longer and lack of nutritional benefits.

* High in Sodium - since the salt is necessary for fermentation process so pickles can cause high in sodium.

The conclusion to all mentioned, take things moderately. For myself, instead of buying the pickles, I made it at home and it's really simple to make. 

My first homemade pickles recipe kind of simple and just use the available ingredients at home. One benefit to making your own pickles are you can control the ingredients and rest assured about the hygiene parts.

I chose small radishes and cucumber. Wash the vegetables with salt and make sure clean it properly.

I cut the cucumber in vertical and don't really care much on removing the seeds.

Thinly slice the small radish.

Ingredients for pickles brine :

* Raw organic apple cider vinegar (2 glasses)
* Springwater (2 glasses)
* Raw Cane Sugar (4 tablespoons)
* Salt (To taste)
* Whole Black Pepper (I just add 5 of this)
* Clove Garlic (I add in 5 smashes garlic )
* Cinnamon powder (1/2 teaspoon)

I mixed all ingredients in a pot and bring it to boil. Let it cool down before pour over the glass jar with vegetables in it. Make sure the brines cover all the vegetables. Leave it overnight to ripe in the refrigerator before enjoy your homemade pickles.

Crunchy and refreshing pickles ready for healthy snacking. For those who rarely add vegetables in your daily diet, should try this! It is healthy and full of fibre too.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Realistic Ways To Earn Through Online Shopping

I love online shopping for a few reasons such as I can search basically anything online. Moreover, no crowds or queues. I can do 24/7 shopping without worry about the store business hours. I can easily compare the prices and reviews before making the purchase.

For a smart online shopper like me, I always make sure to earn back through some of the cash spent online. 

What? Earn a Cashback through shopping? How is this possible? 

I wrote on OctaPlus last year. Click the link HERE. If you haven't downloaded this awesome app yet, don't miss out. Please download this app now. You can download the OctaPlus App HERE.

OctaPlus is not like any other conventional online shopping cashback app which only offers CashBack from spending. If you strategize well, you will end up earn passive income in this Year 2020 through this app.

3 ways to earn through cash online through OctaPlus

1. Refer your family and friends to download and sign up with OctaPlus. App download and sign up is free. For every friend sign up and verified, you will get RM3 into your wallet

2. Shift your offline personal shopping to online shopping. For example monthly groceries, beauty care and other shopping. 

3. Be a personal online shopper. You can always volunteer to shop on behalf of your friends and family/people around you. I bet many of us here will also envy people who hold a Personal Assistant/ Secretary and Administrative position in the office. These are people who can earn lots of cashback by travel booking and office supplies shopping.

Like I said OctaPlus don't just offer a cashback benefit for online shoppers. There are many other benefits waiting for you.

* Reward points - which you will get through a simple task such as daily check-in, refer a friend and participate in OctaPlus event if there is any. I bet there are many events now since CNY is coming up! 

* Product review - I don't know about others but product review from others always influences my purchase. OctaPlus give an opportunity for you to review a product and at the same time share others opinion in OctaPlus Community.

* Deals - OctaPlus deals are no joke! It can be up to 50% discount from the usual retail price.

* Wish Tree - This is something interesting and is like a dream comes true for all shoppers like me. A wish tree tab you can get some items at up to 50% discount. You just required to fill up the required amount of OctaSeeds. How to get OctaSeeds? Earn more OctaSeeds by referring to your friend.

We are currently in a challenging economy. Some people turn jobless and some even receive a pay cut. If there are any possible ways to earn a cashback for our necessities spent, why not? The truth is earning money and getting an awesome deal online is not that difficult. I just show you one of the easiest method available waiting for you to grab your portion. Why wait? Download OctaPlus App today!