Chongquing and Guillin
Chongquing is the end of the line for our river trip. It is the largest city in China. We stopped at the Stillwater Museum.. General Stillwater was stationed here and lived in this house from 1942 – 1944. As the US commander he helped Chiangmai Kai Scheck over throw the Japanese. Next door is the museum for the FlyingTigers who held off the Japanese on the Burma Road. The fighter pilots were an all volunteer group. The Chinese respect General Stillwater for what he did and his support of the communist. General Claire Lee Chennualt, who fought with the flying tigers is not remembered well because he ended up supporting Chaing Kai Sheck against the communist.
Both of our guides talked today about life during the cultural revolution. The local guide was sent to the country to work as a farmer, she planted rice and harvested sugar cane. She was lucky. At the end of the cultural revolution she was allowed to take a test and go to college. The other guide spoke of her grandfather who was a landlord and owned many acres of land. He was executed and his wife was publicly shamed every day until she died. The land was taken over by the state. During the revolution intellects were punished and re educated so all people would learn to think similar thoughts and respect hard work. Schools were closed because the teachers were intellects that needed to be retrained. After about ten years the state went back to the education program that requires testing to advance. As a result of the emphasis on higher education there are few farmers and fisherman in the communities
We flew to Guillin.
Guilin means Osmanthus Forest. The sweet smelling trees line the streets. During the Ming dynasty it was a provincial capital. The town is a well loved tourist destination that is surrounded by karst peaks.
In the morning we boarded a boat for a Li River Cruise. The river runs between the karst peaks and bamboo forests. We saw, duck, water buffalo, goats and fishermen with cormorants. This area is also a popular spot for small raft trips for families and partying young people.
When the boat docked I tried to take a picture of a fisherman and his cormorants, I got with in striking distance of the bird and left with several nasty bruises.
Returning to the hotel we stopped at one of the universities to speak with students. .
As we left for the airport we stopped at the Ludi Yan Caves. The residents used these caves as shelter during the Japanese invasion. It is now a tourist spot that is lit throughout with neon lights.
We went to art school where we had a lesson in calligraphy. Eileen excelled in class, the instructor was impressed with her work and commented on it. I was shunned, I can, however, produce a mean black and white drawing on the iPad ap i sketch.
We flew to Hong Kong, the last stop on the trip.