YANGSHOU: Apr 2010
Yangshou, Guilin province is located in a beautiful area in the southern part of China.
It’s Spring Break and Richard joins us for another China adventure. Based on many recommendations we decide to go to Yangshou, China. This rural area is set amongst beautiful karst peaks and farmland. We stay at a simple, friendly guest house outside of town near the Moon Valley peak which is in the above photos. The guest house has delicious home cooked food, made to order when you want it - love those Chinese vegies, fried rice...
We enjoy the scenery traveling down the Li River on a “bamboo” raft - at one time the rafts were made from real bamboo, but now they are just fashioned to look like bamboo.
Moon Hill is a hiking destination for many people and there are hoards of Chinese women determined to sell you a drink along the way. Billy finally paid one woman NOT to come with us, but to wait for us at the bottom of the hill! It was a lovely hike through bamboo forests up the mountain - not too crowded or hot. At the top of the arch were a few intrepid climbers with their ropes and pitons. At the bottom Billy wanted his picture taken with an elderly woman and she consented... for a small price of course : )
We took a short hike through some limestone caves, all lit with colored lights inside.
The town is geared for tourists and there is everything you could want to purchase in small shops along and “West Street” has many choices of food. While walking back from town a lady on a motor scooter stops and tells us that she is a hiking guide and can take us on a great hike. She pulls out a diary where previous clients (from all over the world) have written their recommendations of “Wendy”. We accept and make an appointment for the next day. Wow! What a great lady she is.
Wendy takes us through the farm lands, hills and valleys of the area for a full day hike. She is an absolute treasure - raised in a rural village she never saw an automobile or bus until she snuck out of her village with some other girl friends in the middle of the night to go to a larger town a 4 hour walk away. Not formally educated, she taught herself English and started guiding tourists around the area 17 years ago. She is a compendium of rural, Chinese history - born in a time of famine she was left to die, but survived. She is alive with timeless stories of mothers-in- law, children, husbands, daily life - all intermingled with world and Chinese history. She can tell you about the time that her mother had to live in a cave for awhile, until a tiger came and ate a pig in front of the cave. Her mother refused to go on living there and went home to her grandfather. This turned out to be a real highlight of our trip. (When we went home we created a website for her business : http://yangshuocountryguides.com/)
It was a drizzly night, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying a fabulous light show on the Li River - produced by the director of the 2008 Beijing Olympic show. The show is breathtaking with hundreds of participants, all on water.
So it’s been another week to remember!