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Published: October 12th 2010
We arrived in Xingping after we had a banquet-like lunch that included three mushroom dishes (the quantity to be the brut of many jokes for the rest of the trip) and beer fish (a local speciality). None of us had any idea where we were, besides 40 minutes away from where we'd started. I'd certainly never heard of it, and just assumed that we were in some distant reach of Guilin, and not a different town. But this is where a traveler needs to go to take a cruise on the Li River. The Li River inXingPing is significant because it's pictured on the back of the 20 RMB bill.
The scenery was spectacular. We walked a bit to get to the river, both along the river and through part of the town. Then, onto the boat for an hour. A lot of people compared the views to Halong Bay in Vietnam (which I have yet to visit, so I'll take their word for it). All in all,it was quite relaxing and I took a lot of good pictures. I wish the river cruise had been a bit longer... and that there had been fewer boats.
Then we had
These birds are used to catch fish.
freetime to wander around the town, noting all the cute shops and restaurants, and wishing we were staying there for the night, rather than a fancy hotel in the city. It's amazing how life off the tourist path is so different, even when the tourist path is so close.
We got to the hotel around 530pm, and I took a nap until dinner. Some people went to a show on the river, but between my cold and the cost, I opted to stay in. I didn't relish the idea of sitting outside for 70 minutes for anything. Luckily, a friend bought the DVD so I can watch it later.
I ended up playing cards in the lobby with some other teachers and talking about places we've traveled and want to travel to. The time flew and I went to bed, looking forward to my free day.
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