Day 146: Thursday, April 22nd, 2010. Yangshuo, China. Per Intrepid notes, "Arriving in Guilin early in the morning, we transfer by public bus to the small countryside town of Yangshuo (approx 1.5 hrs).
After checking into our hotel in Yangshuo your leader will take you on an orientation walk around the town pointing out some of the things you need to know to help you get the most out of your time in here such as where to sample the best local noodles and some of the most interesting places to shop. Our hotel in Yangshuo is clean, twin-share and centrally located with laundry facilities available.
The countryside around Yangshuo is immortalised in many traditional Chinese paintings - picture immense limestone karsts dotting the rural landscape and towering spectacularly over rice paddies and the meandering Li River. The scenery here is truly idyllic and exploring the countryside, meeting the farmers working with their water buffaloes in the fields and just unwinding in the beauty of it all is a great way to spend a few days."
So, its just a reverse trip of what I did before. Get into Guilin early, grab a bus and head to Yangshuo. Then, Jerry takes
us on a 10 minute walk to our hotel, the Cotton Rose Inn
. My bag is too friggin' heavy for a 10 minute walk and mixed in with the fact that he lead us in a circle before figuring out which way to go (so a 15 minute walk), I wasn't a happy camper. Get to the hotel, I'm on the 4th floor along with the boys, and I head on up. My crabby mood dissipates when I see my room with the cute balcony. We all grab a quick shower and head back down stairs for breakfast and an orientation walk.
It's deja vu because Jerry leads us to MC Blues
which is the restaurant located next to my old Yangshuo hotel and where my old group and i ate a couple of times. Pretty good food so I was happy to repeat- just weird to be there with new people who didn't know the old stories. Oddly enough, on our way to the restaurant I ran into Rita! We knew we were going to be in Yangshuo at the same time but had doubted that we'd see each other/be able to get together. We talked for a bit while the
group dropped off their laundry and made plans to meet up later. After breakfast, Jerry leads us on an orientation walk but I head out to find an ATM since I already knew the lay of the land. I ended up walking around for about an hour because different ATM's were broken or some banks couldn't help me because they were credit unions. So, I had about 30 minutes to lay down and relax before meeting up with the gang for a cruise on the Li River
Even though it's just overcast and not raining today, Yangshuo had continued to be rainy ever since I left the first time. So, the river was quite high and the bamboo boat that we were going to take wasn't up and running. So, Jerry found us another boat and all of us (except Steve- poor man's back was bugging him so he was getting a massage) drove thru the flooded countryside to the part of the river where our boat was docked.
Once again, I truly enjoyed seeing life on the river. Most of the countries I've been in have offered river cruises of some sort and they always end up being some of my
favorite memories, this one was no exception. We saw the many karsts and even the ones that were the inspiration for the drawing on the back of the Chinese 20 Yuan (RMB). Unfortunately, during this cruise, my camera decided that it was tired of me abusing it and died. It had been acting funny since Australia- think I had gotten some sand in there and it would make very loud sounds when it turned on/automatically extended the telescoping lens. So, during the Li River cruise, it extended the lens, gave a shudder, and died. I could turn it back on but it would just shake and then the screen would read "Lens failure". Great. So not only is my beloved camera dead, it is stuck in a happy Viagra position that promises to take up more room in my backpack and make packing difficult. Hopefully I can get it fixed/clean back in the States, I love that camera. Sue and Paul carry a spare basic digital with them and they were kind enough to lend it to me for a few days. Thanks guys!
So, great river cruise and afterwards we stopped at a little town on our way
back to Yangshuo, can't even tell you the name of it. It wasn't that touristy though so it was great to walk thru and see the "real life" of China. Then, headed back to town and crashed briefly before getting together that night for dinner- can't remember where we ate, oh well. And, also due to the river flooding, our night time optional excursions weren't available. We should have been able to catch a light show on the river (which I've heard is quite good) or go watch the cormorant fishermen work. Oh well, maybe tomorrow night.
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