Goodbye to China

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July 22nd 2007
Published: August 5th 2007
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So the China tour ends today in Guangzhou - pretty miserable place to end the journey if I'm honest, just another huge, hot Chinese city with very little to see or do. We spent most of our time in the air-conditioned hotel/bar, tired from the trip and worn out by the heat. Would have been ideal to have finished up in Hong Kong.

The rest of the tour was a bit of an anti-climax after the pandas, which was inevitable I suppose. We drove back to Chengdu on Tuesday morning and got trapped in a traffic jam (several trucks got stuck in the mud along the non-road) for 2-3 hours. Our guide, Cui Wei, made the mistake of mentioning that there was a Pizza Hut close to the hotel, so we all descended there en masse when we arrived and stuffed ourselves with pizza - Chinese food is great, but three times a day for a week and a half was getting too much.

Took a flight to Guilin the next day (when 8 of the group were upgraded to first class, leaving three of us down the back!) and drove straight to Yangshou. The scenery here with the karst mountains is superb. Yangshou is a small town, full of tourists and backpackers, but quite a cool place (lots of western food too!). Spent a lazy two days there - did a tai chi lesson (much more difficult than it looks) and a chinese caligraphy lesson (exactly as complicated as it looks). Also ate some snake and drank snake blood (with rice wine).

Was a great trip overall, though the pandas predictably stole the show. Now off to Vietnam....


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