Teaching in Yangshuo part 1

Yangshuo Travel Blog

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We got thrown out at mid-day from our hostel with the tall English guy (we didn't know his name and it was now too embarrassingly late to ask) who took us for a big noodle and pork meal costing a little less than 15 pence each. Using our new road safety system of ensuring we are down traffic of old women we found the bank, exchanged money, found the bus ticket shop (which is over 30 miles from the bus terminal for no apparent reason) and by 6 p.m. we boarded the strangest bus I have ever seen. two levels of beds set up long-ways in three rows with daffy duck decorated blankets and a big, friendly and sharp edged metal sign saying 'Best Freends' hanging menacingly above each bunk. This would have been great if they were more than 1.5 meters long and more than about half an inch wide. The bad roads on the 10 hour journey to Yangshuo had people bounced screaming out of bed at least 5 times, to which other passengers would say "shhhhhh".

Arriving just as the sun was about to rise I was amazed by the town. Every overly romanticised blue and white painting of those high thumb shaped hills scattered over with rice paddies you see in Chinese restaurants might as well have been photos of this place. The 300,000 population 'village' of Yangshuo is literally surrounded and invaded by these beautiful soaring monoliths. You feel inexplicably like you should keep quiet as the general impression is one of tiptoeing past the feet of sleeping giants.

We are now very much in rural China, the tractors look like the inside of the engine of the first locomotive tied with bits of string to something that must once have been pulled by a mule. Old men who look like Mr Miagi with a beard wander the streets with Cormorants tied to their shoulders and old women who just look like one huge wrinkle cackle at you from under giant bundles of branches or sugar cane as they hobble along the cluttered and guttered pavements.

With the bus having put our backs right out we hobbled after them to find a loo and a bed. Even at 5 am there was no shortage of boisterous touts flourishing picture albums of their hotels. We found one called 'Fawtly Towers' and passed out, waking at mid-day to go for a walk through what has to be the most awesomely located village on earth. A rushing blue river pushes against it's ancient walls to the north, framing a fertile and intensely manned plain that, like the South, East and North of the town, is abruptly backed by those heavenly mountains. Four 200 to 400 meter high pinnacles of the blue/silver rock shoot up in the middle of town and are simply ignored. When I asked one guy who was trying to sell me a live catfish what the one behind him was called he looked up and appeared to see it for the first time. Unimpressed he shrugged his shoulders and said "Is mountain".

We booked in, went for lunch, which turned into tea which turned into a table football league which turned into dinner which turned into 4 in the morning arranging our weeks activities with a beautiful Chinese girl called Sherry and a giant Chinese guy called Owen (not their real names) while dancing on a table and drinking Liq (pronounced Lin Quo Shi HA! for some reason).
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photo by: sylviandavid