It’s time to continue the journey to China in Guilin and Yangshuo.
I should have added this to my list of resolutions… though I only have two more segments after this.
Hopefully if I complete them I will be able to go back because it doesn’t sound like China Boy is coming home any time soon.
However he will be visiting in a month and I can’t wait!
From Hangzhou we flew south 2.5 hours to Guilin. We didn’t arrive until midnight due to Chinese airlines consistently running late.
Early the next morning we left for our 4 hour Li river cruise to Yangshuo.
The limestone karst scenery was beyond spectacular.
We may not have cruised the Yangtze but this was quicker and I hear a lot better than spending 3-4 days on a boat. As you can see the morning haze was still looming.
It was hot. Really hot. Maybe more humid than hot.
But that didn’t stop us and everyone on the boat from getting the money shot. The money shot…you ask?
And quickly we arrived in Yangshuo. This might be as close to Boulder as one can get in China.
This is where one can climb, hike, bike and boat. It is a destination for backpackers.
We saw Jamaican bars and Irish bars and 99% of the faces were Chinese.
Lots of cats roamed the streets. The red chiles were prevalent.
The daytime streets were empty. The night time streets were packed.
We stayed a bit out of town at the Eden Garden Hotel which can be found on booking sites.
It was a lovely site located on the river and near the bike paths. They served us an awesome dinner of Drunken chicken or fish – a popular dish in Yangshuo.
This is the entrance to the hotel. Yes, it was off of a busy road, but once inside the gates it was very peaceful.
At night it was lit up and made for a pretty site. We also happened to time it right and the red flowers on the vines had just started blooming.
We were told this only happens once a year.
The next morning found us renting bikes. It was expensive, probably because of the quality of the bikes.
For a whopping 75 cents we were able to rent bikes with no brakes or steering. It was quite a deal!
We headed to the brick paved path, almost like Dorothy, that took us along the river and through the rice fields. The haystacks kind of made me think Monet in China.
Every surface of tile, or brick tends to have its fair share of toe thumpers. And always there is a section being redone!
Truly a hot, glorious ride that made for many photos.
It was on this ride I had my famous bike accident that caused China Boy to exclaim that he can’t take me anywhere.
But really it wasn’t my fault. As Manservant started to ride too close, I steered away to avoid hitting him and without a bike that steers or brakes I felt myself going down.
It really was slow motion until I got up and noticed my torn leggings and the bruises on my face.
Thank goodness I had just passed off the camera around my neck to Manservant.
It was then that the flower selling ladies crowned me, and bruised and all we continued on our path.
Two boys decided to go swimming and then the Chinese boys followed suit. I think they were waiting for them to test the waters!
Note that this was a popular spot for truck crossings, too!
And then it was a quick stop for lunch and biking back to take Advil, wash off and catch our Uber back to Guilin.
Way too fast for such a glorious spot. Oh, but I almost forgot. I couldn’t forget the rice. After all it isn’t everyday one sees rice in China.
Though we came back to Guilin the next day we still didn’t have enough time to explore its beauty.
Trying to see everything in China in three weeks is impossible.
We did manage to eat well, never any problem with that, and walked around Fir Lake, saw the twin Sun and Moon pagodas, but still there was so much more to do.
I hope to see Guilin again some day and spend more time exploring.
A Chinese Song dynasty scholar once wrote, “I often sent pictures of the hills of Guilin which I painted to friends back home, but few believed what they saw.”
There is a lot of truth in that.
Seafood and chilies were everywhere. So were the crowds.
The garlic baked oysters were incredible and I don’t even like oysters.
We grabbed a plastic stool and dove in!
Yes, those are plastic school cafeteria trays. However I’ve never seen them filled with fresh scallops!
What a full day we had. From bike riding to ubering from Yangshuo to Guilin is one day I would happily repeat-bruises and all!
We woke up Sunday morning in time to catch the bullet train to Shenzhen but not before enjoying our breakfast and one last view from the Aroma Tea House where we stayed.
I wish we would have had more time to enjoy this little gem of a hotel, but next time, I promise!
And those are happy memories to start the new year with. Now it’s time for rice which will forever be ingrained in my soul. Get it? In grained?
And because this is a post on China I will close with an old Chinese proverb, “Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.”