Day 140: Yangshuo to Guilin and then an overnight train to Hong Kong.


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April 16th 2010
Published: April 17th 2010
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Day 140: Friday, April 16th, 2010.
Yangshuo to Guilin then an overnight train to Hong Kong.

Per Intrepid Notes, "On the evening of day 22 we transfer to Guilin (approx. 1.5 hours) and board a comfortable overnight train bound for Shenzhen (approx. 12 hours). We use hard-sleeper class trains for our overnight train journeys. These are not as rough as they sound - compartments are open-plan and clean, with padded berths (six to a compartment), sheets, a blanket and hot water available. Most trains have a dining carriage where meals are available three times a day, and there are snacks available on the train along the way."

On this rain free morning, myself, Rita and Ling took a walk "down by the river" (to be said a la Chris Farley). We were going to go into this park where you take some serious stairs up to a peak that overlooks the town. Unfortunately the stair/peak part was closed due to all the rain they got. So, we took a walk down some side streets and just checked out the local scene. There was a man there with his Cormorant birds offering for us to take a picture with him. The locals used to go out fishing with these birds (still do, it's just more of a tourist thing now). They'd tie a string around the birds foot so that it couldn't get away, then a string around their neck so that they couldn't fully swallow the bigger fish. Then, when the bird would catch a fish, they'd squeeze on their throat and pop the fish back out. Ew. And cool. I wanna see it- maybe when I come back to Yangshuo next week with the new tour group.

Along the river, they have a "non-electrical" gym (can't think of another way to describe it). Out of metal and what not, they've created elliptical's, treadmill's, and other unusual ones and bolted them to the pavement so that the public can work out and stare at the pretty Li River and the majestic mountains (whose name I don't know but their type is karst, just like Milford Sound.) I tried one that was like those log rolling contests you see them crazy Alaskans doing- it was harder than it looked!

Time to eat (seems that's all I do here- yea!) Ling and I had rice noodles and pork as a brunch of sorts and it was good. They'd give you a bowl with the noodles, pork slices, peanuts and a boiled egg. Then you'd walk over to a cauldron and ladle up as much or as little broth as you wanted. Then you went over to this metal bookcase where they had about 15 different spices and what not that you could put in the soup. Ling went chili crazy (the girl loves her chili) and I opted for garlic and green onions. It was awesome.

We hung at the hotel for a few hours and then it was time to catch a bus to Guilin (would take 2 hours). Then, we hopped on the overnight train to Hong Kong (12 hours). I really don't like trains. I know I'm repeating myself here but I just am not comfortable lying on those beds. I imagine microscopic creatures running all over me and I start itching. So, Ling and I played a few games of cards but then it was lights out at 10:30 pm and we all turned in. All being the 6 people in the one room. Other overnight trains that I've been on have 4 bunks in a room, these have 6. The top bunk is ridiculously close to the ceiling (as Ling found out since she was kind enough to volunteer to take that one.) Rita had bottom, I had middle. The other 3 ladies in our room (one didn't come in until a later stop when we were all asleep) were all locals and seemed nice. However, everybody, locals included, slept with their smaller bags up by their heads/under their pillows. I put my coat over my pillow and chanted "clean clean clean" and tried to get some sleep. I had been a geek in Yangshuo and downloaded the "Firefly" series onto my iPhone so I watched a few episodes of that and fell into a fitful sleep.


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Lovely sink area on train.Lovely sink area on train.
Lovely sink area on train.

Sorry, didn't get a picture of the lovely squatter toilet- I know you wanna see it.


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