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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Trip to Nanning, China

Trip to Nanning, China
(8th May  to 13th May 2014)

as recounted by Siew Leng

The distant hills are  a hazy grey under the scorching heat of a late afternoon sun. Plume of white water gushes down crevices and cascades over rocky outcrops of tiered  terraces bordered with verdant vegetation. The torrent of water finally plunges into an enormous pool below us.

It is the fourth day of our trip to Nanning, China and we are now standing on a platform overlooking the Detian Waterfall, located on the Sino-Vietnamese border and reputed to be the world's fourth largest transnational waterfall.

Prior to this we have just traversed the ten km slippery terrain of the Tonglin Grand Canyon and watched the spectacular Tonglin Waterfall with its sheer drop of nearly 168 metres from the top . 

Treading  gingerly down the slippery steps to the canyon below

A river at the bottom of the canyon

A long trek through the canyon

We come across a waterfall in the canyon

With my sis-in-law and our tour guide

Admiring the spectacular fall

Now as I gaze at the picturesque view before me, I begin to recollect about our trip from Melaka, Malaysia to the city of Nanning.

Standing on the platform with the Detian waterfall in the background 

A sight to behold

On our way to a restaurant for dinner and later to our check-in hotel, Mirage Hotel, I manage to get glimpses of the city.

The Mirage Hotel in Nanning

In front of the Mirage Hotel

 Nanning is the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China and like the other cities in China, it is riding high on the country's economic boom. Everywhere there are signs of physical  development and social transformation.

View of Nanning City from the coach

High-rise buildings

Road work in progress

One of the many supermarkets in the city. Many have high end items on sale
to cater to the   wealthy tourists and the nouveau riche of China

Cars and limousines on well-paved road

Motorcyclists choked the road. A tower crane rises
over high-rise buildings

Our tour group whose members are mostly senior citizens have done  well, so far.

Our tour group from Melaka

We have ventured into the depth  of the Baimo Cave.  Groping in its darkness and treading its slippery floor,  we  have emerged safe and sound. 

The entrance to Baimo Cave

Groping our way in the darkness

Stalactites, stalagmites, and a subterranean lake in the cave 

The long walk  reminds me of our trip down the salt mine in Warsaw

Making our way across a bridge in the collapsed section of the limestone cave

We  have visited the E Quan Scenic Area and the Stephen Goose Spring. Any trip is incomplete without a story of the place and our local tour guide, Benjamin, was soon telling us about the origin of the Goose Spring. According to him, a long time ago the place was hit by a long drought. One day, Huan, a lady from the village went out with her geese in search of water. While walking along the parched earth, the ground in front of them suddenly gave way and  water  oozed from the ground. The spring water eventually formed a lake and came to be known as 'Goose Spring.'

The coach ride to the Bapantun longevity village is rather bumpy, but we managed to enjoy its rustic charm; lush plantations against a background of  bluish karst mountains.The longevity village is so called because there are many octogenarians in the village and even a few centenarian whose longevity is attributed to the fresh air, clean spring water, organic food  and the villagers simple life and  active lifestyle.

It is the fifth day of our trip to Nanning and morning finds us  on a covered bamboo raft  on the Mingshi River, located on the Sino-Vietnamese border.  

A bamboo covered raft

Bamboo rafts line the bank

We are off on our trip down the river

Enjoying the view

Serene landscape and clear sky

As the raft drifts slowly down the river, we watch the lush and tranquil countryside rolls by. Mist-shrouded karst mountains provide a perfect backdrop to verdant bamboo groves that dot the grassy banks of the river. The scene is reminiscent of traditional Chinese landscape painting.

A bridge straddles the calm water

Below us, the clear water enables us to see the river grass
which is used as fodder for animals

Clear water, lush vegetation against a backdrop of rugged mountains

Surrounded by lush greenery, a lone figure waits patiently for a bite

An ideal place for contemplation

Our raft ride ends at one of the Zhuang villages where we are entertained to a cultural performance.

Watching a cultural performance

Our tour group at the bank of the Mingshi River

We are back in Nanning and it is the last day of our trip. Nanning is known as the 'Green City' due to its natural lush sub-tropical greenery and the many beautifully landscaped gardens filled with trees and colourful blooms.  We spend the day exploring these parks and gardens before our flight home.


A tree reputed to be 1,300 years old

 Besides the trees and flowers there are pagodas, monuments, bridges and man-made lakes teeming with fish.

Posing in front of a pagoda

A walk across an ornamental bridge

A pond teeming with koi

Writhing and squirming fish

We visit a Cycad Garden and walk among the 'dinosaurs'.
The garden has over 10, 000 types of cycads and some of these prehistoric palms  are more than 1,000 years old. 

A cycad palm dating back to the prehistoric era

Benjamin, our local tour guide walking along a road lined with cycad palms

A baby 'dinosaur' emerging from an egg

Get ready to run

Among friendly 'dinosaurs'

"Don't feed the 'dinosaur'!"

During the trip there were some  sights that caught my attention:

Grains, nuts and other items displayed in sacks. Remind me of the grocer shops
of my childhood days

An innovative water transport

These wooden pails are not for watering plants or for fertilising crops.
They are used as garbage bins.

An indoor fish pond at the lobby of a restaurant

Except for the hot humid weather, the trip to Nanning  was  pleasant and enjoyable. 

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the trip with Mummy to Fujian. More of beautiful countryside scenery, yet not too far removed from the bright city lights. May the world keep the balance between progress and tranquility.