Updated 2nd March, 2004.
Zigzag Bridge To Guilin Island Stops Evil Spirits
The Guilin town, very beautiful, peaceful and still very charming. Guilin has its zigzag bridges to prevent the evil spirits from crossing to places where they would not be welcome, such as a peaceful island in one of the Guilin lakes.
On this island was a small pagoda half hidden by willows but reflected in the water. Most of the island was edged by a low, open slabbed concrete wall, which was ideal for sitting and chatting to friends, and these two Guilin grandmas had come well prepared for a good long chat, with newspapers to sit on, and handy cigarettes and matches, although we did not see them actually smoking. It was very peaceful on this Guilin island and certainly much cooler in the shade of the trees.
Peaceful Guilin Island With Karaoke
Young children were walking with their mothers while older children played football, occasionally glancing at the strange foreign fellows passing by. In 1987, the number of foreign tourists visiting Guilin,
was far smaller than that of the present day, so the people were just as interested in seeing us, as we were in seeing them. The Guilin stall-holders and market traders would call out, "Hello!" "Hello!", to attract the attention of any tourist who was within earshot, hoping for a sale, then the bargaining would start! On another part of the wall sat a group of Guilin fishermen, waiting patiently for a fish to take the bait at the end of their lines, and in the meantime there was the opportunity to talk with their friends. It was all very quiet and peaceful, but in the evening there would be disco and karaoke on the island, to be heard from the hotel.
Coolies With Handcarts In Guilin
After our dinner we walked from the hotel into the town along the Guilin streets dimly lit by strings of low wattage bulbs, widely spaced and strung between the trees. Cyclists on the Guilin roads had no lights on their bicycles, and cars were driven with only sidelights showing, yet we saw no accidents. On the dimly lit roads, four-mule trains pulled carts heavily loaded with precast concrete panels. The Guilin Coolies pulled handcarts loaded with long concrete beams; one coolie pulled while his mate pushed from behind. When we got to the first bridge, there were pavement stalls everywhere, some lit by a single light bulb, some with kerosene lamps. At one stall we bought candied lotus seeds to eat, our first purchase in Guilin.