Li river Trip to Yangshuo

Yangshuo Travel Blog

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The Li River boat trip

Bad sleep again last night , the room took for ever  to cool off. Thankfully it was our last night there. We checked out and of course there were problems with their credit card machine and we had to pay cash. I get the feeling that all the credit card machines in mid-range hotels are perpetually broken.

We skipped breakfast and waited for  the bus to come by the hotel and pick us to go to whisk us off to the boat.  It  was late, making us a bit nervous,  but it did eventually a minibus did show up. We joined  a group of  foreigners and we chat with them while we were driven to the next bus, and where we met our guide and the rest of the passengers.

On the river bank
From there it was a straight ride to the wharf where we were quickly corralled onto our boat. It was a bit of the pain handling our luggage, but we weren’t the only ones. We took our assigned seats  and then once the boat started to make way at about 9:30 and we moved to the top deck for an unobstructed view. There were 4 other boats in kind of a convoy, separated by few hundred meters. Occasionally a local boatman would maneuver his bamboo raft into the slip stream and tie off to sell his goods to the people on the boat. The river was very shallow, appearing to be only a couple of feet deep,  but the big boats somehow managed to navigate it without running aground.

We enjoyed watching the karsted hills go buy as we chatted with the other tourists on the boat. There were plenty of people to talk to, each with their own very interesting story.

Fishing Village
We chatted with Scottish, Canadian (Fern), Singaporean, English, American, Ecuadorian, Spanish, and of course Chinese as we snaked our way around the hills.  

Lunch was at 11:30 and it was hard to pull ourselves away from the view to go down below for lunch. The meal was far from  the ” western” menu that was touted by the travel agent,  but they had beer included which made up for a lot, particularly since the Chinese couple were not planning on drinking and (more for us)!!!  We arrive at 1:30 in Yangzhou  and were led trough the gauntlet, a mass of stalls and street vendors eager to receive the latest boat load of Johns. We were escorted to our hotel on the river side by a representative that met us at the pier and managed to cut through the hoard unscathed.

View from the hotel room

The room had a beautiful view of the river and the karsts hills beyond, with no buildings to clutter the landscape. The AC worked and there was no odor of smoke, we would be OK here.  We freshened up a bit and then went to walk around and explore “western street”.   We ran into Fern again, and made arrangements to meet her the next morning at the bike rental by the bridge for an outing. Yangzhou was more like what we have to come to expect from vacation towns. There were shops selling everything from matches (every kind imaginable) to your own clay portrait doll (carved into your likeness). Intermingled with the shops were bars, restaurants, and Hostels. It was a fun ambience. The insistent pestering from “guides” and street vendors wanting to cut your profile out of a piece of black origami paper and sell it to you was a little annoying.

The Show
That’s when we learned the magic words “Boohow”.  That evening we went to the performance on the LI River called “Impressions Liu Sanjie” ,directed by movie maker Zhang Yimou. It was quite a spectacle with about 600 people in the show and around 5000 people watching. The backdrop for the show was the surrounding karts peaks and they  were illuminated with different colored lights. In the foreground was a wide spot on the river. The shoe was mostly performed from boats or rafts. They did a good job with lights, colors, costumes and music.

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The Li River boat trip
The Li River boat trip
On the river bank
On the river bank
Fishing Village
Fishing Village
View from the hotel room
View from the hotel room
The Show
The Show
Yangshuo
photo by: sylviandavid