Exploring and Enjoying XingPing
Xingping Travel Blog› entry 70 of 174 › view all entries
November 22nd, 2009 – by: domnicella
Yesterday the sun came out. Wow did that make my day. I haven't seen the sun in over three weeks. THREE WEEKS! Criminal! Bill and I spent the beautiful morning by hiking to the top of one of the karst peaks, Laozhai Hill. Don't let the name fool you, Laozhai is no hill. It's easily taller than Moon Hill, and much steeper. (We've since walked past it a few times or seen it off in the distance and been like "we climbed that!") The views of XingPing and the Li River from above are spectacular. So beautiful. As with Moon Hill, we weren't satisfied with the "top," and hopped a guard rail and hiked an extra thirty feet off to one side. Not any further up (we were as high as you could go), but more hands-on climbing requiring both hands as we teetered across uneven boulders.
From Laozhai we had lunch. More street noodles for me and safe comfort food in a legitimate restaurant for Bill. I splurged and ordered a banana yogurt shake (i.e. plain yogurt and bananas blended; not ice cream shakes like in the States), which was yummy but about a quarter of the size I wanted it to be. We ran into our friend the painter hanging out with a second painter, and ended up buying art from him as well.
I then did the unthinkable and got a haircut. Yes, I'm aware it was not the smartest decision I've made. And no, I'm not terribly fond of the uneven result.
In the evening Bill and I walked along the river, enjoying the sunset and watching all the boatmen go about their end of day routines. We then wandered through the neighboring farmland and a small village, exclaiming at a small "creek" of excrement (foul!), and marveling at these little bucket contraptions several people were carrying yolked over their shoulders, essentially dual-loaded watering cans for their crops. They looked heavy and not the most efficient.
We like it here in XingPing. We're attacked every time we step foot outside of the hostel with "hello! bamboo! bamboo! hello! bamboo!" but the touts aren't as bad as they are in Yangshuo. And we both enjoy having some "life" to admire and partake in, being in a town, rather than being way out in the countryside with virtually nothing around. I talk as if I'm in a bustling city, and then I remember I'm in a tiny little town with neither streetlights nor stoplights. Two weeks ago this would have been as small as it got. But this place is HOPPING in comparison to Aishanmen. It's been a good change of pace.
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