Friday, October 7, 2016

Kunming Day Two

Our hotel room on 17th floor faced west (setting sun) and was boiling hot, just like Burswood. Our guide took us to the hotel's Chinese Restaurant which was packed and noisy, with waiters hurrying about with plates of food. The huge menu was only in Chinese, and we wanted to convince the guide, Fang, to order only 3 dishes as we were still full from lunch. We can't manage 2 full meals per day!  We did manage to consume plenty of beer as we were so thirsty after walking round the Stone Forest. My waistband is now getting rather tight, but in actual fact I haven't put on any weight.

This morning's visit was to the Western Hill Nature Reserve. Val and I went up to the top of the hill by chair lift (a 20 min ride, just like at a ski resort).  The views were superb, looking down to the lake on our left. As we approached the end of the lift, there was a photographer who took snap of us and we were persuaded to buy it 5 mins later.

Chair lift photo.

Flowers outside Chair Lift Station.

In the afternoon there was a scheduled temple visit, but we had decided we'd had enough of Buddhist statues, so the guide suggested a tea exposition instead. This was a really worthwhile experience. It was at a government sponsored enterprise, where a beautiful young guide took us through the intricacies of preparing and drinking several types of Puer tea. We were able to have a nice rest in the early afternoon, thereby escaping the heat outside (24 degrees or so). Eventually we felt obliged to buy some. Actually, I was keen to obtain some, as it is said to help in losing weight (and for beautifying skin!) but only if you drink some every day for 15 years.

Our guide, Fang, explains the Ancient Tea and Horse Trail.

A cake of compressed tea.

Tea making demonstration.

Our last port of call was the Flower and Bird Market. There were cage birds, many varieties of rabbits, mice, Guinea pigs, terrapins, fish : you name it, it was there for sale. One row of stalls was devoted to succulents and orchids. Kunming is a flower growing centre, so we passed many sweet smelling stalls too. 

Succulents on sale.

Reconstructed ancient street.

Sketches for sale.

Historic pharmacy still in use.

Then we were driven to the airport for an 8.25 p.m. flight. Kunming Airport was packed and hot. Our guide say Goodbye and told us the temperature in Guilin would be 33 degrees!

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