This was my view at the Guifu Hotel in Yangshuo. The foreground is kind of bland, but look at those pretty mountains! Click it to view a full-sized zoomable Gigapan, or you can just take a look at the larger Flickr view.
"But wait," you say. "Yangshuo? I thought you were in Guilin." Well... Apparently, Guilin is a city; we left it, traveled down the Li River, and arrived at Yangshuo, which is both a county and a town within that county. Meanwhile, there is also Guilin the prefecture-level city, which isn't like a city at all! Prefecture-level cities are larger than a county but smaller than a province. So Yangshou is part of Guilin the prefecture-level city, but it's not part of the Guilin urban core (more what we would normally think of as a city). I'm still kind of confused. :P
Anyway, back to the hotel in Yangshuo. I like how the hotel lobby had the Chinese character for "fortune" written in a billion different fonts:
Here's something else I found in my hotel room:
STDs are a rising problem in China, but fortunately awareness and education are on the rise as well. Also, that's a huge condom! I can fit two people inside! :P
The next day, back at my hotel in Guilin (urban core), I noticed that one corner of the bathroom had "uncomplimentary" products that you have to pay for if you use, including innocuous shaving kits, but also these:
This is a pair of men's underwear with "condominclosed" for 10 RMB.
My best guess is that the underwear is there to ease your conscience. "I'm really just buying a pair of underwear," you might say to yourself. I asked a young Tianjin couple in my tour group what they thought, and they agreed with my interpretation. There is still a stigma against condom use in China, and people feel the need for an excuse to buy condoms.
For 10 RMB, you could also get this:
The label reads:
Man use only
Mei Fu Man's Antibacterial Lotion
Specially designed for the health of man's genitals. Used for relieving the itching, klling germs and usual nursing of the private parts. Please apply to genital area gently. Rinse well with water.
Something tells me that if you're using this, you had better be buying the underwear with free condom instead.
The best part is that the "Woman use only" one on the right has the exact same description (swapping "woman" for "man"), and it has the exact same active ingredient (Benzalkonium Bromide).
Okay on the more family-friendly side is this awesomeness:
The sign reads:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, PLEASE USE THE HAMMER ASIDE TO BREAK THE GLASS DOOR FOR EMERGENT EXIT.
In case it's not clear, the door is chained shut, thus necessitating the use of a GIANT MALLET. Just try to tell me this is not the best "in case of emergency break glass" ever. So awesome. :)
Speaking of safety, I bet you couldn't get away with these concrete lotus pads in the US:
They'd probably be required to wrap each one with a fence. :P