On the way
We rode by these homes on our countryside tour. The mountains were literally all around us.
What a trip it's been. Getting to Yangshuo was a lot more interesting than expected. First of all, you have to take a night bus to get to the town. That in itself is a disaster since overnight buses are built for 5'3" little people. I was traveling with 6'3" Matt at this point, so they gave him the longest bed on the bus and I took the top bunk. The joys of a night bus include1. rolling over every time the bus turns 2. loud engine noises and 3. a block at the bottom of you bed (which we called a foot coffin) so your feet can't dangle over. But this trip was totally worth it. We arrived in Yangshuo at 6 am in an unofficial bus stop in the dark. The next thing we know we are talking to a hostel owner and being put on what looks like a mini cattle bus. Thank god there were no sudden stop of me/ my backpack would have flown out the back. The hostel ended up being great and they had a trip prepared for us that day that was absolutely amazing. We went out for the day with the hostel
The Bamboo Rafts
These were some of the rafts along the river. Gotta love travelling in the off season!
owner's sister on a bike tour of the countryside. After riding around for a while (and loving every minute of it) we went on a bamboo raft trip. Imagine a long and narrow bamboo boat with a seat in the middle and the old Chinese man rowing in the back. It was so peaceful and the guide was really nice. All he knew how to say in English was "Hallo, Hallo" but he was great. At one point he pulled the raft over and led us on a walk to a mandarin/ orange orchard and proceeded to stuff our pockets with fruit. It was sooo tasty and he wouldn't let us leave with empty pockets. He kept saying "hallo, hallo" and shoving fruit into my backpack until it was overflowing (I obviously had no objections). We found our bikes again and rode around some more until we got to a cave. The cave itself was awful. Apparently the Chinese don't care about preserving their caves since there were fluorescent lights on (leading to some intense algae growth) and people were touching every formation. By the end of the tour the tour guide had left us and it was a free
Besides the horrible angle and the filthy backpacker look, this caputres the whole bamboo raft trip. Nobody around and mountains everywhere.
for all in the cave. The best part was the way back. To get to the cave you take a small boat guided by a bamboo stick. But to get back a few Chinese people and me and Matt guided our own boat back. It was a total joke since somehow me and Matt were in the front and got handed bamboo poles. Let's just say the Chinese had a good laugh at us. We rode back to the hostel later and crashed after one very eventful day. This has been my favorite Chinese city so far, great people and gorgeous scenery.
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