Yangshuo Travel Blog› entry 12 of 38 › view all entries
Today I decided to take another bike trip this time south towards Moonlight Mountain and the Big Banyan Tree. Didn't have a good start as the road was very busy with buses and trucks ... and hence dusty. It could have been worse as I met some people who said they were white (from dust) after being on one bad road ... little did they realise they were white anyway.
The mountain is just a normal Yangshuo peak except it has a hole near the top in the shape of a moon. It was a hard climb and questionably worthwhile ... there was this little old lady who tailed me all the way up and down with a box of soft drinks and beer so I made a purchase from her at an inflated price at the end just out of piitee (walked up with a French guy and his papa ... hence the French accent).
The Big Banyan Tree was a disappointment ... being a historic tree of over 600 year old I was disappointed to see it walled in as part of a large complex combined with amusement, shopping and a temple. This is the new China :-(
After the disppointment I decided I had enough ... there are some caves here, some with clear water and some with thick mud pools in which you cannot even sink. Pass ...
I had a massage in the afternoon ... it is always hard to know whether a massage place is truly massage or "massage-plus". I checked with some locals before going but as usual they're commonly staffed by pretty young girls who do a decent job sometimes. I've been told by well-heeled Europeans that in the five-star places the girls ask "do you want sex massage?" even when their wives are around! I didn't have any problem in bog-standard open plan outfit.
Prostitution is a big problem in China. Often in the streets (but not in Yangshuo), you'll here female voices saying from behind you "Do you want massage?". Even in Lhasa, we used to have late night massages offering massage. It becomes so easy to assume every Chinese woman with a westerner is a prostitute. Fortunately people here are more gracious and tolerant ... I haven't heard of Chinese women being abused for being with a westerner unlike in rural Vietnam.