[ Aug.1996 ] On the last day in Yangshuo in China, we went into Yangshuo Park, paying 5 yuan ($1=8.28 yuan in those days) for the entrance and enjoyed observing people.
Older people were surrounding a table and doing a card game, which we often see in Europe, too.
Some people slung a hammock and were resting there.
This park seemed a dating spot for young people, too, and there were quite a few strolling couples and some were riding a bicycle two together.
After spending about one hour here, we ordered a taxi to the airport.
The taxi cost 100 yuan.
Although we were pretending to be backpackers, but could not become the proper ones whose main purpose for travelling seemed to be saving even 10 pence or 10 cents for any occasions.
Our next destination was Kunming.
The flight from Guilin to Kunming cost 830 yuan, which was the double of the guidebook price.
In those days, there were no smartphones to get various information easily, so the guidebook had a great importance.
The airline was China Yunnan Airlines (later merged into China Eastern Airlines) and they served unfamiliar snacks during the flight.
The hotel we stayed in Kunming was Kunming Hotel.
They had two buildings, the North and the South, and the luxurious North building cost $100 per night.
We arrived at the North building first, but felt that we were out of place, so moved to the South.
It cost about 402 yuan per night including service charge, but because my yuan money were getting less, we negotiated and in the end we paid 362 yuan.
The room was standard European style bedroom with the proper bathroom and I felt grateful for that.
Next day, we spent all day in Kunming.
The temperature was about 23 degree centigrade, which was cooler than Yangshuo.
First I looked for a pair of sunglasses as mine had been broken and went into the first shop I saw on the corner.
I preferred the frame to be square shape but the shop person recommended round one and in the end I bought what she recommended (35 yuan).
I wrote “流行？(Is this the fashion?)” on a piece of paper, then she laughed and nodded.
Yes, in China I could communicate a bit by writing, though I could not speak any Chinese.
That was a fun.
For lunch, we had a noodle dish called “Across the Bridge Noodles”, which was supposed to be the speciality in this region.
They served a yellow soup in a bowl and quite a few small plates with ingredients separately.
I put all the ingredients into the bowl of the soup and then put the noodle which was something between Japanese Udon noodles and spaghetti.
Some of the ingredients had some hot chili in them, so it was very hot and I did not think it was tasty.
There was a tank with fish swimming in it near the entrance of the restaurant and the worker grabbed some fish whenever they had an order.
I also saw that there was a row of bottles which contained snake and some other animals preserved in formalin.
In the afternoon, we looked for the bus to Shilin, but in the end someone told us that the bus was not running anymore.
Then we looked for a minibus stop for Bamboo Temple.
People kindly told us where to go, but because all were in Chinese and the writing communication was not enough, so we could not find it for a long time.
At one point, we met a couple from Canada who were looking for the same thing, so we walked together.
Finally we found the place, but the last bus to go there had been already gone.
So we just walked around the city.
Thanks to the Canadians, we went into some narrow alleys which we would not go into by ourselves and tried some street foods, too.
In this city, the babies of about 1-2 years of age were wearing trousers with a large hole instead of nappies.
The adults, including women often spitted on the ground.
They seemed to have tolerance regarding things coming out of their bodies, to put it nicely.
Nonetheless, I saw some signs which looked like ‘7 Commandments’ and one of the commandments was ‘Do not excrete in the public places’.
In the evening, we went to a restaurant which the Canadians recommended and it was located in the red-light district where there were many shops with the sign saying ‘美容室 (beauty salon)’.
The next door of the restaurant was one of them and a few young women were sitting on the chairs by the window.
They all looked ordinary honest girls.
In fact during the walk, I noticed that there were many clinics for sexually transmitted disease in the town.