Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Adam, Uncle Manny, and I just returned from a weekend in Yangshuo, in southern China. Despite the rain (we were prepared this time!), it was a fantastic weekend adventure.

We arrived in the middle of the night, after a 3 hour flight and 2 hour drive to our hostel. Upon waking up in the morning, this is what we saw; it's pretty much what the entire town and surrounding villages look like:
(the white clouds are Fog, not SMog!) 

The first thing on our agenda was kayaking down the Li River.  This was my first time, so it took a few adjustments before I figured things out (and I was soaking wet!). Luckily, Uncle Manny and Adam are pros, so they gave me a crash course, switched an oar, and we were good to go. 
Because of the weather, we were the only people on the river, except for a few locals checking on their fish nets, washing clothes, or riding in their bamboo rafts. The views were spectacular, and it was a great way to see the area. Actually, the picture on the back of the 20rmb bill is from the Li River!
After arriving back at the hotel, we decided to opt of out mountain biking due to the continuous drizzle and mud. Instead, we rested for a bit and went on a long walk. We passed water buffalo,
 rocks and what looked like ruins with gravestones,
and several bamboo rafts on part of the river.
Turns out that this was the only way across. Thus, we were rowed across the river by women using bamboo. It was great!
After walking by several gardens and small farms, we walked across a bridge to hear a guy shouting towards the river. When we looked, we realized he was calling...ducks! Here they are swimming towards their owner: (who knew ducks were so smart?!)
They waddled up onto land and then along a path, past the 3 of us, into a little hut. It was both bizarre and absolutely hilarious. This is the best picture I could get of the ducks barreling towards us:
As we continued walking, we happened upon a family restaurant--tailgating tents set up with tables and chairs underneath. There was no menu, so Adam and I fumbled through figuring out what they had with the help of the family's teenage daughter. We had no idea what we were getting, but it turned out to be a delicious meal. The best part was that after we finished, the girl motioned towards a van and asked if we wanted to use it. We negotiated a price and the girl, her very excited little brother, and father got into the car and we piled in after. It turned out to be a very good thing, as it was dark and probably about 4km back to the hostel. 

Our plan for Sunday was to take a bamboo raft down a different part of the river, but apparently the president of China was going to be doing the same thing on Monday, so they closed down the river. Love it. Instead, we drove to 2 neighboring towns and walked around. The first had a huge market, full of vegetables, fish, leeches, chickens, and pretty much everything else. It was not until we happened upon our first hanging skinned dog that my stomach dropped and I was ready to go. Ughhhhhh. (I shielded my eyes and walked the other way, but Adam took some pictures. Since I refuse to look at them, I will save you from seeing them as well).

The second town was much bigger with a thriving old town. We walked through, took some beautiful pictures, and avoided throngs of Chinese tourists taking pictures near the river. We found a quiet place for a yummy lunch before heading to the airport to catch our flight.

The weekend was a wonderful getaway from the coooold and smoggy north. It has been a lot of fun to have another family visitor in China!

No comments:

Post a Comment