Guilin & Yanghsuo

Guilin Travel Blog

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Ok so after Shenzhen I headed North to the Li river area (this is about 2 weeks ago a bit behind but i wanna try and catchup before I forget stuff!). Basically this whole area is well known for the limestone karst peaks which pretty much cover the whole province. Stayed one night in Guilin then left the next morning to go on the 5 hour cruise on the Li River down to Yangshuo. Not much to say about this, ill leave it up to the photos, though I reckon that even now id say this has been the highlight of China so far. Its a pretty popular thing to do so the river was anything but quiet with a constant stream of boats going through but it didnt really matter.

So then I arrived in Yangshuo that evening. Its a small town (by China standards - 300,000 people) tucked in amongst the Limestone peaks. I think westerners started to visit it about 10 years ago, and it started off as a really relaxed secluded place. Now its pretty touristy considering its size (actually the main road is VERY touristy) but still feels quite relaxed and authentic, and its a place where lots of people stay to learn Kung Fu or Chinese and stuff like that. Definately my favourite town/city in China so far, partly because you can get a good fry up and other western food so easily, plus the backdrop was great. Had a triple room to myself! They didnt have any singles available so offered me a triple for the same price.

While I was surfing the net I stumbled across a cooking class you can do in Yangshuo so I decided to give that a go.

They picked us up in town, took us to the market to buy certain ingredients (as well as selling the usual stuff this market sold snakes and insects for cooking, still alive and kicking, plus recently killed and beheaded dog!) then we all (me and 5 random dutch people id never met til now) hopped in a small van and they took us to a farmyard about 20 minutes out of town, in the countryside. We did 4 dishes including a local speciality called 'beer fish', which obviously centres around fish being cooked in beer. Anyways it was a pretty thorough lesson and good fun.

I also rented a bike while I was here and took off round the local countryside, found quite a few small villages, and tons of great photo opportunities. One of the main things visitors like to do around this bit is to take a bamboo raft along the yulong river (kind of a smaller version of the li river).
The bamboo rafts!
The weird thing was that while on my bike literally every Chinese person I met in the villages along the river, no matter what their profession, tried to sell me a bamboo raft ride. Even in cafes and stuff people who didnt know English still knew how to say 'Bamboo? You want Bamboo raft?' I got a bit lost at one point on my bike and the first few people I asked sort of refused to acknowledge it was even possible to get back to Yangshuo by any other means than bamboo raft! Some small kids saw me and yelled 'hellooo' which is pretty common in China, so I said hello back and the next thing they said was ' you want bamboo raft?'... Kinda like Bamboo zombies. So yeah, I spent 3 nights in Yangshuo, then got the bus back to Guilin and caught an overnight train to Shanghai.

StuartofEdwardSt says:
REALLY vivid descriptions - I feel like I'm there travelling beside you (wish I was . . . )
Posted on: Aug 08, 2007
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The bamboo rafts!
The bamboo rafts!
photo by: davidfeng