Danielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.
In this week's post, Danielle takes us to Guilin, an area known for its natural beauty and flowing rivers.
Guilin is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China. It was one of the options for a subsidized school trip in April, so along with a group of friends, we all signed up. A couple of the perks of school trips are the excused absences and extended time for the trip, although some of the drawbacks are rescheduled missed classes and early days.
The trip started bright and early Wednesday morning at 8AM. Gathered by the Mao Statue on campus there were forty students along with five teachers waiting for the bus to shuttle us to the railway station. Once at the station, we boarded the high-speed train. High-speed trains have more leg room, stewards walking through the trains selling food and cleaning [not just collecting waste from passengers but also sweeping and mopping the walkway], and bathrooms. True to their name, high-speed trains go up to three hundred kilometers per hour. Although these trains go extremely fast, it does not feel any different than being on any other train. It just takes a fraction of time to travel from one place to another when taking a high-speed train compared to a regular one, or driving a car.
A nine hour ride later, we arrived in Guilin. From the station we were brought to our hotel and later to dinner. We were left to recharge for the night to prepare for the packed days ahead of us.
Photo: a Bamboo Drift on the Yulong River