Category Archives: China 2014

Lazy days 18-20th October

Here at The Giggling Tree we have some lazy days. Relaxing, playing cards, reading, Skyping and playing in the pool.

We have also been to the night market in Yangshuo – loads of people. Many shops and restaurants. We did some shopping: Kimonos for Mormor and Linnea, owl bags, scarfs…

Yesterday we went to Yangshuo again, 10 minutes by taxi, and shoppe some candy and food for todays 1,5 hour boat trip down the Li river.

It was very beautiful to see the karst mountains.

Linnea also Skyped with her friends Moa and Mathilda.

Tomorrow evening we are going to see the light show on the river! In the afternoon Linnea will try out Kung Fu and hopfeully we – Linnea and I will be able to take a Chinese course.






Night market at West Street in Yangshuo




Yangshuo by day





Sussages in a supermarket


Skyping with Mathilda yesterday!


Ready for the pool


Li river and the karst mountaing – I will never get tired of the these mountains!
















Big Bambu




A very common scooter


XinPin where the river boat ended


Here we ordered 3 pizzas. We were the only customers and it took 1 hour 1/4 for them to get ready.


Bacon stone we call this…. and we always get hungry when we see it.


What do you think of these bags? We are wondering if they would sell in Sweden?????


Ending the day with Skyping with Mathilda in Sweden – again!


17th of October Giggling & Surroundings

Yesterday we stayed at the Giggling Tree untill 3 pm. We talked to manager Paula about what to do and see and relaxed. Went to the little shop next door and got henna tatoos: Linnea a panda, mormor a pattern and I got a Yin & Yang.

We booked a lesson in calligraphy for Linnea, mormor and I for today at 9:30 Hans don’t want to go.

In the afternoon we rented bikes and drove off in the 30 dgr C heat. Mormor and Linnea on a tandem. After a little while we thought we went the wrong way so Linnea, mormor & I turned back, Hans drove on and actually got to Yangshuo as we were supposed to.

Hans’ bike was a bit to small but he did manage to get back home several hours later.

I stopped at the hotel and took a shower. Linnea & mormor drove off to the field.

When they came back they whent to the pool. In the evening the owners were here too and Linnea played with their kids Pelle 7 and Raaf 3.5.

Today Linnea finally has a Skype date with Moa. Maybe we will go to Yanshuo tonight to eat and look at the shops at West Street.

The Giggling Tree



The back of the house


Our room (Back side)









Enjoying a limon juice while mormor 6 Linnea had fun in the pool


17th of October – Good morning

Going to bed just after 9 pm is equal to waking up early. 4:35 I was awake, totally dark in the room and outside too.

The bed is not the best and my back was hurting so I went up. Sometimes I go back to bed after a while but at the momen there is a big spider on the wall just next to my bed so I just stay at the sofa in the other end of the room.

In this end, far from the door the Wifi doesn´t work and going outside means to open 2 double wooden doors, first to the hall then to the courtyard.

There is a lot of western people here, mostly Dutch relatives to the owners or the managers, but also some Danish people.

The menu here is western/chinese, and they even have chease for breakfast. Last nights dinner was a chicken dish Chinese style for Hans, Thai chicken for med, pork snitzel for my mother and chicken breast for Linnea.

Today we are going to plan what we will do while here. Linnea want to test kong ku one of the days.
I think we will start with a walk in the arrier after breakfast to see where we are.

The pool here was a bit cold. The water is pumped up from the underground and is quite cold and it takes time to heat it.

Well I think I will have to go back to bed I feel a bit sleepy, I suppose the spider wont go near me with my CPAP blowing and making noices!

By the way I am working on the photo post but I need to be closer to the Wifi, and that means going out side!

Photos from Nanning to Guiyang to Giggling tree

OK Here we go! Lots of photos, hard to choose since I all ready taken 800.

Leaving Nanning and The Majestic




In Guiyang


Want to buy some sugar?




My bed – under the madrass


Weekend market











Some of our souvenirs


Going up to the Monkey Mountain





Hong Fu temple at the monkey – finally a temple where it is ok to take photos.








Our house


The hotel we should have stayed in was actually closed for construction…..


Flora Plaza – a mall with a western restarant


Grandmas Kitchen




My little top model in her new “leather” jacket




Off to the waterfall

The air was looking like this over at city all day










First it looks like this…


Then they show their true intentions




In a public toilet I found this beauty, I want sink like this at home!


2 mega long escalators takes you down to the big fall





Total traffic jam on the way back.


Final dinner in Guiyang – Richard & Jenny – Jet and Henk will take you there if you want to!! Richard you will love it!!!


Back Guangxi on the way to Giggling tree


Our door at the Giggling Tree


Linnea ready for a Skype call from her class




The house





15-16th of October

Wednesday was our last day in Guiyang. We spend most of it at a foster home called The Ark House and is run by at Dutch/Belgian couple and their 3 sons. They have 12 kids at the moment and they made a big impression on us. B that so much wishes for a family of his own. J that will be adopted soon and just is too cute – like a little Emil from Lönneberga, a little guy in a santa outfit, the bigger children…. all of them very special!

Also they have a Golden Retriever that was so happy to see us that it peed on the floor.

Then we went home to pack and finally out for dinner at a really Chinese place with lots of people and noice and VERY hot food.

Since I got the Chinese Throat Cold I was so tired that I slept before 10pm. The alarm was set to 4:30 am and taxis ordered to pick us up at 5:30.

Jet, Henk, Robin and Norah met us to say good buy, and I wonder when we will meet again! I am use to see them at least once a year.

It is wonderful to see these 3 chidren that met for the first time in the summer 2009 now communicates in English and they are such good friend!

This morning I woke up at 3:30 am so I was a bit tired when we raced to the airport in 2 taxis. There was no traffic! We arrived in the airport at 6 am and were supposed to take of at 7:50 but the plane was delayed to 11.15 and we lifted at 11:45.

A mini van were waiting for us at Guilin airport and drove us here to the Giggling Tree in 1 hour.
and it is JUST as I expected! So peacefull and the air is so clan! Our house has an own intrance with a room downstairs and one upstairs. Linnea and mormor have 2 big beds upstairs and Hans and I have a small doublebed downstairs. Linnea screamed WAUUUU when she saw the room!

It is so beautifull here. At the moment I am sittitng outside in the courtyard writing.

My next post will be a photo post – all the photos that I couldn´t upload in Guiyang! Here the internet is great!

Also I want to thank you for all your comments! We really like to read them so pleace keep them comming.

14th Of October Waterfall

Continuing to write but still having a hard time to publish my posts.

We started early yesterday at 8 am and trove 1 hour to get ourt of town to the highway.
Another hour on the highway to the waterfalls.

It was hard to see the surroundings begause the smog was heay lying over the city and the surrondings. They are building new skyscrabers every where but no one lives there. We passed ghost town after ghost town.

I got the so calle China Throat diseasy – my thorat is so sore and affected by the smog that I fell like have got at cold.

We arrived at the waterfall and could not understand the driver so Henk called Scarlet (Jets assistant who speaks English) and I don´t know why but it was agreed that we should start witlh waterfall no 1 of 4, even though no 3 was the big one you can go behind and that was the most important.

No 1 was beautiful and only a short walk. No. 2 was a walk through a cliffs and water, also very beautiful. There was a famous bridge too. But after more than one hour we had only walked a third of the way, and it would take 2 hours more to walk the rest of the way. But there was an extra excit so we went out and walked 400 m back to the mini van.

Finally we were off to the big waterfall. A map at the entrance showed that the waterfall was far from the entrance. I got very sad since this was what I hade wished to see and my limit of walking was close. My feet and anlces are hurtig badly from all walking. ( more tha 11000 steps in total today too)

We went in and took the escalators down to the river. Went to a bridge and some platforms from where we could see the fall. HUGE! and beautifull.

From the platform you had to walk up many many starirs to go behind the waterfall and I knew I had to stay and wait. Sad and angry over having reached my limit on the 2 less important falls my mom and I waited for Hans, Linnea, Henk and Norah to walk up there and down again.

We looked at some shops on the way out and bought 2 dresses for Linnea and her friend Moa, who also is born in China.

The drive home took almost 3 hours due to traffic jam and road work. They are making a subway here and the traffic is hopeless. When there are 4 lanes there are 7 cars beside each other, when there are 2-3 lanes there are 4 cars beside each other.

Food wise this has not been good. I should say we have been eating 95-100% carbs and the whorst part of them. Sugar and fried potatoes.
We got a bit tired of noodles in Nanning and here they serve fried spicy potatos so that is what lunch has been just potatos. In between we have sugar-nuts, some fried stick with sugar, chips and cookies. Apples and bananas. Dinner had been at Chinese copy of KFC.

Linnea and I both react to this moodvise. I get grumpy and have less patience. She gets “touchy” and sad very easily. Not the best combination.

So we are looking forward to go to the country side tomorrow. We will be at the Giggling tree around lunch time tomorrow China time. In the afternoon we are going to Skype with Linneas class – hope it works. Sadly it has not been to Skype with her friends form here and i Nanning the time difference and us being out all day made it impossible from there.

It has been very exciting to see what Jet & Henk are doing here for the Children. Yesterday a tiny little girl arrived – premature and only skin and bones. We hope she will survive wtih love and caring here.

All the organisations here are doing such a good job helping poor people here in China or helping the orphans. Life is put in a new perspective when you see how little some lives are valued wheather it is animals or children.

This morning we got the new little baby girl that arrived yesterday died during the night. She was with her loving nanny. Life is hard sometimes and our problems fade and seem so small compared to what we expirence here…….

12-13th of October Guiyang

Have to say that the internet here sucks! It goes on and off all the time. I am lucky to be on FB for maybe 10 minutes or messenger. Hans who has been reading a book all night says it works ok between midnight and 2 pm….

So I´m sorry to say that the photos will come later in a seperate post. Getting them from my phone to the iPad uses WiFi and even that my phone is used as a hotspot, the phone needs internet.

Yesterday we went to a market were they sold a lot of stuff. I bought a dragon necklace and we bought a caligraphy set to practice Chinese caracters on.

We ate at a food court. The food is wery spicy and the meat is almost invisible. If I live of 10% carbs at home, I ive of 90% carbs here. Rice, noodles and potatoes.

In the afternoon we went to Jet & Henks appartment. Then out to eat and back to bed. Linnea slept over with Robin & Norah.

Today we went to the Monkey Mountain here in the city. We took a cable car up, 2 in each, or the 3 kids took one, my mom and one and finally Henk & Hans one.

Then we walked down, fed the monkeys. When they first came close to see if we had something to eat Norah came and took y hand, then Robin came an stood next to uss and fially Linnea behind me, hanging on my back. – Or that was what I though, Linnea stood in front of me and a monkey sat on my shoulder!!!

Hans and my mom took photos, and I stood still as a rock.

We met some other white people, Americans and I had a nice chat with the woman. The we visited the tempel, and here we were allowed to take som photos of the big golden Buddhas. When we went in – not stepping on the high door step – then munk hit a giant ion pot with a wooden stick an the ringing sound was so beautiful. In the temple shop my mom a I bought a CD with some soft tone music

We walked all the way down and went in to some small shops. My mom and I bought 2 scarfs and I an umbrella – black on the inside – for sunshine proctection.

The back in a taxi – 10 minutes 10 RMB. Henk went to do some work and Jet came over. We all – except Henk went to shop a little in the center. I found a cool looking “leather” jacket for Linnea and she looks so good in it! It was not chap – 338 RMB and Linnea payed 50 RMB of her own money.

She is talking a loft of English and now says she is better than mormor!

Here in Guiyang there is so many cars! I Nanning there were more scooters and trees. That makes our throats go dry and hurt a bit in the evening.

The people here cough and spit on the street all the time, something we never saw in Nanning. The sound are LOUD. The trafic honking the horn all the time, the cars, high voulume music in the shops and in busses, and people talk very loud.

Tomorrow we are off to the waterfall. A wan will pick us up at 7:45 am. Henk and Norah will come with us. It will take 2-3 hours to get there, do hope it is worth it!

We finsihed the evening in the Flora Plaza. On the -1 floor there is a restaurant called Grandmas kitchen serving western food. The food and service were good, but i took ages to get the food and it came little by little like when you order 5-6 disches of Chinese food. A bit boring not to be able to eat together.

The bus is 1 RMB pr person over 130 cm, so we took a taxi home. My feet are so tired now – I beat my record again with almost 11000 steps!!!

Now lets see if I can post this – and crawl in to my bed that I slept so good in last night!

Well didn’t work in Guiyang now trying at The Giggling tree.

October 11 Nanning – Guiyang

Good morning from The Starfish Volunteer apartment in Guiyang.

Yesterday we packed, did some homework and checked out of The Majestic Hotel. Both Linnea and I thought it was both good and bad to leave Nanning.

New adventures were waiting for us.

Mamma, baba, Kelly and the funny uncle picked us up in 2 cars and took us to the airport. Mamma had a big bag of food for Linnea and also gave her a red envalope with money. After a lot of hugging we went through secyrity check and gate 41.

The original take off time was 13:40 but it was changed to 13:20 a month ago. Well we took off at 13:40 anyway.

Linnea and I sat together and I took a short nap while she was drawing. And then it was time to land.

Henk was easy to find 😉 and it was good to finally see him again. We got 2 taxis and drowe off. The trafic here is even worse than Nanning. Here it is faster and more loud. We did not see anyone in a hurry in Nanning, all were very relaxed.

We got to the apartments arrier and in our apartment Jet, Robin, Norah and Bryan was waiting. So nice to finally meet them again. The kids interacted like they met yesterday and Robind & Norah is very good at speaking English. Linnea understands so much more than we thought and is now opening up to speaking to her friends. It is so cool to see how these 3 kids that we only got to know cause both Robin and Linnea is from Guangxi, now is such good friends and now starts to communicate in English.

After a lot of talking and visiting the foster home just upstairs from our apartment we went out for dinner. Many dishes and a lot of chili. Do I need to say Hans is in heaven here foodvise?

Robind who wasn´t feeling well went home and the rest of us went to a supermarket to buy breakfast. bery different from ours at home.

Back in the apartment we unpacked a little – we have a washing machine here and Linnea was making all the beds look nice and enjoying her self. She wanted to sleep in the same room as us – bunk beds. So she sleeps above Hans.

Jet & Henk tried to make nice softer beds with foam maddrases but I am sorry to say that this is even worth than the hotel. The bottom of a Chinese bed is not bendable wood. Like a door. So a usually I managed 6 hours in bed. To night I will try the maddrass that is lying under my bed and has springs.

Today we are off to the weekend market where we acording to Henk can buy everything! The girls want to do a sleep over here and at their appartment too.

Now I have to wait fot Hans to wake up to be able to transfer photos from my camera to the iPad, I have no wifi and can´t do it with out it.

See you later.

Much later almost bedtime and the internet is so unstable here so photos will have to wait….. Sorry!

October 9th and 10th

Good morning from Nanning. It is now 5:31 and I want to write about the last couple of days before we have to get ready to pack for the flight to Guiyang.

Also I want Linneas friends to know she misses them and that it ha been hard to find time to Skype since we have been out from morning to evening. We will try to find time during the weekend.

We are very happy to read your comments but since I’m writing on my iPad 1 not all funktions are available – like replying on comments…..

Jenny M – we have room 934 & 932 at The Majestic. The hotel is fine but breakfast sucks 🙂 Even our little noodle lover is now dreaming of beef and looks forward to have a kitchen in Guiyang.

Jenny PL – we will let you know more about Li and the other girls here.

We dreamt of seeing the real China, and we have and that includes both good and bad. China is the land of contrasts. Constantly showing new developent and high tech contra poverty and hard work.

On the 9th we was picked up by “the funny uncle” who actually is mamms brother and he is alway making fun with the children. We drove to Qingxin Shan park. A very beautiful mountain park. There we met up with Kelly, mamma, baba and 2 friends.

We walked through The friendship coridor with many beautiful paintings and flower arrangements. After a break – to eat – we walked a little longer and finally to a bus to a budhist temple. Very beautiful. There we also had lunch – noodle soup.

Then for me al long walk down hill to a lake with big fishes Linnea could feed. And finally the bus back to the car park and a small market.

Linnea bought presents for me, my mother and Kelly. She hardly uses any money on her self but loves to buy presents for everyone else.

Back to the hotel to pack 2 of our cabin bags to leave here in Nanning at the foster parents home. And ofcourse we had dinner there too.

The family and friends are very caring people who check upon us all the time to see if we are hungry or tired.

They really want the best for us but sometimes things goes a little wrong, like when they would give me a footbath to clean out bad stuff from my body so I can loose weight. The water was too hot and I felt like cooking my feet. I never uses the word hate but if I should it would be I hate to be extremly warm and especiall my feet, because that is what I get when I am hot. Here the temperature has been around 30 dgr C so I had been hot all day. So when Hans also started to tell me just to put my feet the very hot water, I paniced and gave up.

I am very glad that the family wants to help, and I try to do my best in the hot weather but sometimes I have to give in and accept I have limits whether I like it or not.

Hans has installed an app on my phone counting my steps and I beat my record in the park with 8424 steps. Now wonder my feet was hurting!

Yesterday we visited Peoples park where we never been even though it is right behind the hotel. Very nice place with people singing and playing music. Then we went to a small market with lots of jade and old coins. I bought a look a like coin with and Linna bought a bracelet for one of the family friends who has been with us very often and she is playing a lot with Linnea.

Linnea also bought baba a beer.

After the market we drow by the Phoenix hotel that is close to the station and town center. The family think it is better than the Majestic. So we went in at got to look at a room. The pricelist said 618 RMB for a twin room and foster mom got it for 290 RMB.

It is not that we don’t like the Majestic we only sleep here but the Phoenix really looked nice. And is cheaper that the Majestic. (not as much as we first thought) And the breakfast could be better. Ofcourse we will not have the pool and that is both good and bad. Linnea has been obcessed with returning to the hotel and the pool – and she have had a hard time to understand we are not here for the pool. On the same time it is nice to be able to take a swim in the afternoon or evening.

We were back at the hotel at 3 pm in the afternoon and tried to get Linnea to do some homework, that is less popular and we used a lot of time to get a plan ready for what’s left.

In the evening we went out to get some food and all we found was noodles so Linnea asked for McDonalds and we found it. She ate 8 chicken nuggets, fries and half a icecream.

And now the photos…… hard to choose…..

Nanning tracfic – no bikes anymore but eletric scooters with 1-4 people and no helmets.



Extremly high buildings


In the Qingxin park




Linnea blew soap bubbles and this little boy loved it!


Sweet Kelly! ( we so much want her to be with us when we return. She has been fantastic and we all love her – we wish her speed and good luck on her homework so that she can continue to be our interpreter and co-tourist! – No presure Kelly just a true wish for our next stay in Nanning)


Climbing obstacles in the park. Do I need to tell you how fast Linnea did the whole thing and how impresed the family and friends were?



The bus was full so someone shared a seat




Feeding the fishes



Contrasting buildings


A Buddha statue with a sign with opposite meaning here and at home!


In Peoples park







I better keep an eye on my husband 😉 People are starring at us and loves to take photos of us or with us!


Street view



Nanning by night!