Bamboo Rafts, Scooters and Bridge Jumping

Yangshuo Travel Blog

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Beautiful Yangshuo
What better way to arrive in Yangshuo then by bamboo raft down the Li River from Guilin.  For about 3 hours we drifted downriver surrounded by the amazing limestone karst mountains, definitely a beautiful and peaceful ride.  That morning on the raft we met two other travellers, Sarim from the US and Gintaras (or G, as no one could say his name) from Lithuania. The more the merrier for sure.

Once in town, we all decided to check into the Monkey Jane’s Guesthouse.  A little guesthouse down some random alley from one of the main streets in Yangshuo.  The location was so obscure that we all were telling off the tuk tuk drivers thinking he was taking us for a grand tour.
Sarim, G and I on the bamboo raft
  After we figured out he just took us the backway, we smiled a lot and said sorry and paid him.  Given our experiences so far in China with taxis and tuk tuks, you could understand our hesitance that this was the right way.  

Monkey Jane herself is the life of the guesthouse.  Her guesthouse is one of the more “happening“ places in Yangshuo with a great rooftop, really the highlight of the place as it gives a great view across the rooftops to the surrounding scenery.  That night, we finally celebrated Emile’s birthday right! On the bar we met more travellers, from Canada, the US, Britain.  It was a good time, so good that Emile was so drunk by about 10pm, he passed out and went back to sleep!  The rest of the night unfortunately was filled with some more Baijo (I never learn!) and a few games of beer pong.
Riding in Yangshuo
  What’s beer pong? Well you basically set cups on either side of a pool table and try to drop a ping pong ball into cups on the other side.  Ball in cup, you drink! Definitely a fun time.

Yangshuo, like Guilin, is a tourist town.  The main difference between the two is Yangshuo there is more of a mix of foreigner backpackers and a Chinese tourists.  Great little town, it almost has a little ski resort town feel to it, with all the little shops, bars and restaurants.

The next morning we woke up early to rent some scooters to go explore the country side of Yangshuo.  We rented 3 scooters and we were off! To where, well I had some ideas, but wasn’t exactly sure, but that’s part of the fun I guess.  We were looking for a country road down the river that had ancient bridges that crossed it.
Jumping off the Dragon Bridge1
  After riding for what seemed like forever, I finally realized we had gone too far!  I had missed what looked like a little road to the bridge.  This “little” unnamed road on the map was in fact a “Expressway”! Why the f-cking map didn’t just say expressway I don’t know, because I did see it about 30 minutes earlier.  Anyways, I ended up asking a local along the way and surprisingly she let us follow her there and when she got us there she didn’t ask anything from us! Is this China? lol

After a short delay due to a flat tire in Emile’s scooter we made it to the bridge.  Dragon Bridge is about a 600 year old bridge that crosses over the Yulong River.  Below bridge we found many people swimming so we also jumped in for a refreshing swim.
Looking pretty by the water
  Similar to every other day in China, it was about 40C outside, so it was nice to jump in and cool down a bit.

So what else is there to do at dragon bridge? Well jump off it of course! That’s right! Its about 10m up above the water.  Me and Emile climbed up on to the edge of the bridge and after a quick 1, 2, 3 we jumped off into the cold water below! Even though I was told the water was deep enough, you never know, so I admit I had a few jitters before jumping off.  But in the end we both were fine! G on the other hand, didn’t listen and point his feet down.  He jumped twice, and BOTH times he crashed into the water on his ass!  Later that night when we got back the blue bruises on his body gave a good contrast to the red sunburns all over the rest of his body! Anyways, we spent about an hour at the bridge, but right before we left to head back on the road, I was challenged by a local boy to a race across the river to the other bank.
Having a family style dinner on the rooftop at Monkey Janes.
  Boy did he choose the wrong guy!  I smoked that little sucker to the other side! :)

That night was the last night in Yangshuo so we all decided to go see the cormorant fishing; something I really wanted to see.  For those that haven’t heard of this, a fisherman basically throws these cormorant fishing birds into the water, they then dive and catch fish, the fisherman brings them back in and they cough off the fish!  (The cormorants necks are tied, so they can’t shallow the fish).   I really don’t see how this is a good deal for these birds, but hey the fisherman does good!  All that sounds pretty cool doesn’t it!? Well its not! For those people that have seen the pictures online (http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/17/25017-004-57ADAAC5.
Enjoying the beautiful scenary
jpg) and seen the Amazing Race, the actual sight is NOTHING like its on TV or in print.  This is a big tourist trap, they go at night with big spotlights and boats full of tourists.  Then the fisherman and his gaggle of cormorants, on another boat with their own spotlight,  fish for the tourists. For those that ever go to Yangshuo and want to see this type of fishing, I suggest you make sure you find something more authentic and earlier in the day. Don’t fall for the lies your told by the touts to get you on board!

Anyways, after the “show” we all decided to go see the Longji rice terraces just outside of Guilin the next morning.  We all had to head back to Guilin to go our separate ways, so we thought it would be fun to do one more daytrip together.

On to the rice terraces!

Cheers,

Ruwan
milkyway says:
thanks for the detailed description..now i know where to go on my trip to guilin and yangshuo!
Posted on: Jun 06, 2012
mathieudm says:
You show those kids how to run Ruwan!
Maybe while you're at it, they could show you how to climb stairs ;)
Posted on: Jul 30, 2009
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Beautiful Yangshuo
Beautiful Yangshuo
Sarim, G and I on the bamboo raft
Sarim, G and I on the bamboo raft
Riding in Yangshuo
Riding in Yangshuo
Jumping off the Dragon Bridge1
Jumping off the Dragon Bridge1
Looking pretty by the water
Looking pretty by the water
Having a family style dinner on th…
Having a family style dinner on t…
Enjoying the beautiful scenary
Enjoying the beautiful scenary
Yangshuo
photo by: sylviandavid