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Street Food in downtown Guilin

Having almost given up on getting down and dirty with my food it was with mixed feelings that I discovered street food in downtown Guilin,. Mixed because whilst it was certainly good, it was also endemic of a sanitized China that is now being promoted.

And this is certainly the case in downtown Guilin where you will find upscale shops while outside mostly chains, but some independent food vendors ply their trade. They do this in absolutely clean settings, but without the flavor and flair that sitting on the street used to give.

Where did all the street food in China go?

While I cannot say for sure this seems to be linked to a post Covid-19 crackdown by China. This has seemingly seen “street food” either moved indoors, to ;licensed designated zones, or in the sanitized version that you now see in malls and the like.

Of course one can understand why China has done this, you know what with Covid probably coming from a street food bat, but the streets of China have really lost something. Dress up street food is not real street food, such as by Guilin Railway Station.

Sadly this is something I have noticed on my travels throughout China, such as in Dandong and even Tumen.

Street Food Downtown Guilin

Yet while I have been bitching that the street food in downtown Guilin is too clean and too sanitized, clean and organized, I did leave out a really key point and that is that it is also fantastic.

The wide streets with shopping malls either side have really made use of their space and have done so with a hugely eclectic mix of food, drinks and even fruit. And perhaps it is because of the planning element that malls can bring, but there is very little food relating itself, meaning lots and lots of choice.

Said choice also hits all the main food groups, with regular Chinese Kao Rou (street BBQ), Xinjiang style meat on a stick, as well as pseudo mala tang. Being China there are also a bunch of weirder fusion dishes with me personally having a bowl of tiny ponies in a weird spicy sauce.

I also had a whole durian for about $8, not the most flavorsome ever, but grid value when compared to much of the region. Alas my room now stinks of the stuff.

Perhaps best of all though was a guy quite literally doing up steak outside, although I did not go for this as every time I order a rare or blue steak in China they think I am so mental that they just don’t do it.

This though would actually prove lucky as I would discover on my walk hime from here the KFC Wagyu Beef Bacon Burger, proof indeed that there is indeed a god……