The sun finally came out the other day, for the first time since we’d arrived in Guilin. It was such a beautiful, warm day, I knew I had to go for a hike and explore the city. There are quite a few hikes within walking distance of our hotel, but you have to pay to get in to each one, some more than others. I decided to start with the cheapest and closest one, Fubo Mountain 伏波山. Really, Fubo Bump is more like it, as it’s just a single hill jutting nearly straight up out of the flat landscape. But it was the cheapest hike and the closest, so I grabbed my gear and headed out.
I started with a walk along the river; you can see my path in red on the map above. It was a nice walk with plenty to look at. There are little concrete walkways down by the water’s edge that I decided to explore. I enjoyed great views of the surrounding city and a few bird sightings. Every so often, I would head back up to the main sidewalk and was often greeted by groups of dancers or exercisers. They were not at all shy about goggling at me as I walked by, but weren’t too keen on being on camera.
I admit that I did dawdle a little bit to really soak up the much needed sunshine and the beautiful scenery, but, in the end, the walk to Fubo took me only about 10 minutes. The front gate was all in Chinese, so I wasn’t entirely sure I was in the right place. I went up to the ticket counter, pointed to my map, and said in Chinese, “walk top of mountain.” She charged me ¥28, and I was in.
I was the only person in the park, probably because I planned the walk around lunch and nap time (the Chinese siesta after lunch). I went to the first set of stairs I saw and started the climb up, which took me straight to the bathroom. Confused, I went back down and took off on the next set of stairs, which went… down. The base of the mountain is a hollow cave filled with over 200 Buddhas carved into the stone. Some of these carvings date back to the Tang Dynasty. I’d tell you how long ago that was, but since I don’t have Google, you’ll have to look it up yourself :p
After exploring the cave and the temple inside, I went and found another set of stairs and hoped it was the way up. It was. The hike was not difficult at all. The mountain is only about 670 feet tall and the path is a stone stairway. Halfway up there is a pagoda and a view of the Western side of the city. The view took my breath away. The karst mountains seem to be from a different world.
After spending way too much time just trying not to cry at the awe of it all, I kept climbing. The second half of the climb was a little steeper, but took less than five minutes. From the top, I got a 360 degree view of the entire city. Again, I was shocked by the views. To the East, the hills are layered for miles and nearly each one is dotted with a pagoda on top.
I was in shock. It was the most awe inspiring thing I have seen since Saint Peter’s Basilica. When my alarm went off (I told Josh I would be home at a specific time so he wouldn’t worry), I practically ran home. I couldn’t wait to tell him about my adventure. I am so excited to take him on a hike now and to keep exploring the beautiful countryside of Guilin.
If it is working, this is the travel video I made for Fubo Mountain. It is just me and my GoPro, so please excuse the poor quality. I am hoping for a gimbal for my birthday to reduce some of the bounciness. Enjoy!