Thursday, February 07, 2008

Yangshou

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On our last full day in Guilin, we went on a Li River cruise, along the river that runs between Guilin and Yangshou and a myriad of other places besides. It's such a pictoresque place and I have no regrets for doing it, if only because in that two hours, I got a wonderful selection of pictures, such as one imagines when one thinks of China, as in the paintings most commonly found on restaurant walls. But I couldn't help thinking that:
- It would've been a sight more deep blue and bright green in the summer months
- The cold and lack of warmth in the boat marred the experience a TAD
- After a time, mountains do start to look rather same-y :P
Also the guide left us in the middle of nowhere between Guilin and Yangshou just pointing in a direction. A little worrying for a short space of time! :P

Yangshou Tales:

Chinese New Year was ok, a little boring actually. We had dinner in a very Chinese place (through pointing and my very stunted pidgin Chinese I'm being the spokesman of the group, I don't know if I'm getting better or I'm just very good at pointing) where we had the local specialty, beer fish. It was ok, but I've had better in Guilin. People were letting off fireworks near the riverfront, but just small families, there was no massive firework display as such! We tried hard to find a good place to get a drink, but failed! Everywhere was just too empty, too crowded, too pricey or too outright gay! Not sure any of us bar Will wanted to go into the place with the gay grinding guys with cowboy hats. He claims he wanted to bail when he saw them.

We ended up, at the stroke of midnight, in an OK place with dice and a couple of Aussie girls we met at Guilin. Had some jokes talking about the differences between our two fair countries (we're POMs, they're crims), dissing various accents (apparently I sound like Hugh Grant, and I retaliated with a stinging comeback about their appalling syllable elongation. Well not so much much elongation as creation. Dammit, 'ear' and beer' have ONE syllable each!) and general bant-astic times. But the Aussies hated the Buble, which was a shocker to say the least. Not pleased. We met some other randomers from Israel and Germany who were nice enough. The phrase from Fight Club came to mind, they were perfectly satisfying 'single serving friends'.

Today, we got up a deal later than we had to and walked the 8 odd kms (it was meant to be like 6, but we got lost along the way. Ahem. Chinese roadsigns are misleading!) to Moon Hill, so called because at the very top, the loop of the hill or mountain resembles an upside down crescent moon. It was a pretty tiring trek up, but well worth it for the views, and we rather tragically felt a few Lord of the Rings comparisons. Felt obliged to yell "Buble!" off the top. Obviously mine echoed the most... Will's was just plain feeble. Lots of wonderful scenery along the way, I was a terrible, and probably immensely annoying, camera slut, taking photos of absolutely anything I deemed even slightly photo-worthy.

Tomorrow should be awesome as we're going to the Longsheng Rice Terraces. Though we do have to meet outside the tourist office at 7.20 in the morning and the trip is 3 and a half hours there. Better charge the old iPod, eh?

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