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Published: June 12th 2015
Wednesday 20 May - Yangshuo
We were supposed to enjoy and experience hiking in an early morning, the sunrise on the summit of Longji Rice Terraces. However, I set the alarm clock, got dressed at 6.15am, walked down stairs and looked outside. It was pouring with rain. So I turned around and went back into our room and went back to sleep!!!! I bit disappointing but we had a great viewing the day before.
We then had to walk down the steep steps in the rain. We took it slowly and all went well. Fortunately, we had a different local bus driver who drove steadily and cautiously down the mountain back to where we had stored our larger bags. We were all very relieved!!
We got back into our minivan and drove to Yangshuo from Longji, 3.5 hrs. Everywhere we were noticing how high the rivers and creeks were due to it raining all night. This subtropical area receives over 2000mls rain per year. Later we had to take different routes as several roads were flooded. We learned that around Yangshuo, it had been raining for the past week. The River
Li had broken its bank in Yangshuo.
On the way, we drove through stunning scenery. We were surrounded by a mountain range that was made up of multiple mountain peaks. It looked like Halong Bay in Vietnam. Absolutely stunning!!
The hotel we stayed in was the Green Lotus Riverview Hotel - an excellent, 5-star facility. After a lovely breakfast, we all hopped into the van and drove through this beautiful rural countryside. Then we travelled along the river, passing through several small villages on our way towards Guilin.
On our arrival into Yangshuo, we were supposed to go on a raft boat to enjoy the most beautiful part of Yi River but all boats were tied up and not running. There was too much debris in the high, fast-flowing, flooded river. Our optional evening entertainment (Impression Sanjie Liu) was also cancelled. This was the Impression Sanjie Liu which is a performance that expresses the beautiful scenery of the Li River, the colourful culture of the ethnic groups in Guangxi and the brave imagination of the excellent artists in China. This large scale performance consisted of 600 plus actors and
lasted for 70mins. Unfortunately, the stage and 1000 of the 3000 seats were under water.
So instead we went on a chairlift up the side of the highest mountain peak (Yaoshan Hill Park) overlooking the city of Yangshuo. This was a long ride but well worth the spectacular view when we reached the top. Foot paths run to the summit, however the chair lift provided us with an effortless way to attain the top and enjoy the scenery.
There were extensive views of the surrounding area from the summit. We noticed a wheeled toboggan running down part of the mountain. The crowds were very big here but with our guide, we were able to get into a short line at the best time of the day. While there was a bit of haze around (probably from the clouds) we still had a good view of the surrounding area and one side of the city. Michael told us it was a very popular spot for the locals.
Back in the city after we had checked into the hotel, Michael took us for a walk down West Street which is a tourist street full of
shops, restaurants and night clubs. We had another lovely Chinese meal and then soaked up atmosphere of West Street which was packed with people. Tom & I had a great look around the town, including walking along the river to see the effects of the flooded Li River.
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