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October 28th 2012
Published: October 28th 2012
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We weren't nearly as active in Yangshuo as we had intended. Instead of long hikes along the river, we found ourselves aimlessly walking around Xi Jie (West Street). There were shops of every kind, restaurants with all types of cuisine, and street vendors filling in any gaps that were missed by the other store owners. Fresh donut with chocolate and peanuts drizzled on top? Fresh mango smoothie? Potato chips on a stick? Breaded and fried chicken drumstick? Duck meat wrap? Street food is the best!

The majority of the locals spoke English and for once we welcomed the touts for things like bamboo raft rides. Of course we still declined but it was nice to be able to come across a familiar language again. A couple of times we found things we wanted to buy but the prices were pretty outrageous. Apparently the abundance of English that lures in western tourists also dramatically increases the price of souvenirs in Yangshuo. Again, we didn't mind, we just politely declined and saved a couple bucks.

While the streets kept us occupied most of the time, we found a very friendly place to stay. Monkey Jane's Guesthouse is renowned for its crazy
View from the roof of Monkey Jane'sView from the roof of Monkey Jane'sView from the roof of Monkey Jane's

It was very humid the whole time we were in Yangshuo. You can see how thick the air was.
parties and the things written on the walls were evidence of that. “Drink triple, see double, act single” is one thing that comes to mind. There were beer pong tournaments every Wednesday (singles) and Saturday (doubles) nights and drink specials every night of the week. It was a very happening place!! We had a room on the 4th floor just below the roof-top bar and if we hadn't both grown up falling asleep to loud music we probably wouldn't have been able to stay more than one night. The bed wasn't very comfortable and the room was really small, but the price was right and the staff were so accommodating that we stayed at Monkey Jane's the whole time we were in Yangshuo.

Monkey Jane herself is quite the character. She told us about her favourite noodle place (which quickly became our favourite noodle place) and other great spots to get deals. She was trying to lose weight so she wasn't supposed to eat the noodles, but she went there for dinner the day she told us about it. Too funny! All in all, Monkey Jane's was a perfect fit for us. You might be surprised to hear we didn't actually party that much, nor did we play beer pong, but the social aspect was almost as wonderful as the view from the roof.

One of the days we tried to go for a hike but couldn't find the trail along the river we had been looking for so we turned around after only a few kilometers. A hike isn't very pleasant when you're on a fairly busy road with buses and motorbikes whizzing by. The next day Tyler went out for a bike ride with the aim of making it to Dragon Bridge some kilometers out side of town. The ride was amazing, through farming and fishing villages, always following the Yulong River. After some missed turns and a few extra km's added on to the ride he made it to the bridge and was rewarded with some stunning scenery of emerald green karsts sticking up like fingers alongside the winding river. Rebecca decided to opt out of the bike ride because she wasn't feeling all that great. When Tyler made it home we both got massages. Another perk of staying at Monkey Jane's was 20% off spa treatments. We were both looking forward to the massages because we hadn't had one since Ubud (Bali) about three months ago. They were some deep tissue massages and we both left feeling a little beat up.

Our last full day was pretty quiet, not sure what we really did but it flew by just like the rest of the time. In the evening we went cormorant fishing!! Don't freak out we weren't fishing for birds, but instead the birds did the fishing. The fisherman went out on his "bamboo" raft with seven or eight trained cormorants and was giving them commands and prodding them along with his bamboo pole. The birds would dive under the water and search out fish, surfacing when they caught one. They had strings tied around their necks just tight enough that they couldn't swallow them, and when they hoped back on the fisherman's raft they would spit the fish into a bucket, occasionally they would get one to eat to keep them motivated.

The next morning we were up for breakfast and then on our merry way to Nanning, our last city in China. Sorry there wasn't much to share about Yangshuo, while we could have filled every day from morning to night we decided to not plan much, not stress much and just let the days take us where they wanted.

xoxo Ty+Becs

Additional photos below
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Sidney who?Sidney who?
Sidney who?

Some Canadian pride hanging from the roof at Monkey Jane's Roof-top bar.

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