"I would rather live in Guilin than in heaven". This is how Guilin locals say about their homeland. Guilin is a blessed land filled with picturesque mountains, fantastic caves, and graceful rivers, where people live in a happy and peaceful lifestyle. Guilin people are easy going, hospitable, and really enjoy their life. Visitors often find they are so quickly fell in love with Guilin, and so envious about the locals. Some of them chose to settle down, and never want to leave.
Read on, and take a glimpse into the daily life of Guilin people.
When the sun is just above the horizon in the early morning, elderly people can be seen walking the streets heading towards one of Guilin's parks, or open areas for their morning exercises. Guilin's elderly believe strongly in exercise and it gives them an excuse to visit with friends, share common interests and chat. They can be seen throughout the city practicing tai chi, martial arts, ballroom dancing, singing, or doing the local drum or dancing with a Chinese fan.
Rice Noodles as common breakfast
After their exercises, they will head to local rice noodle restaurants. Guilin is famous for its rice noodles and they are a common breakfast food. Cooked in broth and served in a bowl of soup made from pork, beef, garlic, peanuts, peppers, and radishes, etc, different kinds of rice noodle shops have different secret recipe to make their own rice noodles loved by people.
They will then sit and chat for hours. Often, the elderly women have their grandchildren in tow. In Chinese society, the grandparents watch the children while their parents are working. The grandparents will then go to the local markets to buy food for the day. Chinese people believe that if the food wasn't picked that day, it isn't fresh and not worth eating.
In the evening
Guilin really comes to life in the evenings. People return home from work for dinner, which is always a family affair. Normally dinner is eaten at home made by the grandmother, but occasionally people will go to a local restaurant, or roadside stand to eat.
After-dinner stroll and night market
After dinner, everyone steps out into the street for a stroll. There is an old idiom in Chinese that says "100 steps after eating is good for the digestion". Hence, the night markets in Guilin are thrived. Families can be seen walking down the night market along the streets, chatting and spending time with each other. They will frequently stop and chat with neighbors and friends, or occasionally stop at a little roadside stand to pick up a snack. After their walk people will get together to play chess, mahjong, or cards.
Nightlife in downtown Guilin
For the younger crowd, they can usually be seen in the city center shopping, or visiting nightclubs and bars. Guilin's downtown area has a hopping nightlife and there are many things to do. The most popular area during the night is the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, where brand boutiques, nightclub, and bars line the street. Many people enjoy seeing and being seen. It is where all the fashionable people hang out. Many people simply like window shopping in the evening.
Living in the "most scenic place under heaven", weekend is the time Guilin folks upgrade their leisure time to the countryside. Hang out with family or friend to the beautiful town such as Yangshuo and Longji, or peaceful villages along the Li River. Outdoor activities such as trekking and rock climbing are extremely popular within younger generations.
The older generation has what they enjoy for the weekend. A good way to socialize is that old friends get together for tea drinking, playing chess, mahjong, or cards. It may sound surprise that trekking is not less popular among local elderly. This may be a reason longevity is so common in the region.
What makes Guilin such a wonderful destination is not just its breathtaking landscape, but also its people. The people of Guilin have a warm spirit and are quick to greet visitors. They do their best to make people feel welcome to their city. Guilin residents are proud of their city, and love to share it with others.
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