Belatedly, our trip to Yangshuo and Guilin

26 07 2010

So we thought we’d be amiss if we didn’t finish our blogging on our trip to Yangshuo, Guilin and on to Hong Kong. After doing so, maybe I’ll be nice and throw in a couple pictures of our wedding. If you’re lucky. That’s right, we got married. In the United States. What will happen to the One Billion Plus Two blog after that? Well, I’m not sure. Maybe it’ll become Three Hundred Million Plus Two. I guess we’ll find out.

Due to China’s bizarre school scheduling, I finished teaching with my finals at Nanjing Foreign Language School on June 11, then I had two more days of classes (to congratulate kids on finishing their finals? I don’t know…) and then was off for a week. THEN I had to come back and turn in my grades by June 22. Missy, meanwhile had class until June 11, then had a week off for Dragon Boat Festival, before returning to teach a couple classes the final week. So our plan was to go on our pre-wedding honeymoon trip to all points south before heading back to Nanjing so Missy could teach, and we could pack up everything.

Guilin is a small city of, I don’t know, 1 million people in southern China, and it’s famed for its mountainous terrain. Most Western travelers eschew the city to make the one hour journey to Yangshuo, a small town in the mountains which is well-known for its back-packing and scenery. We did the same, just because we’ve seen plenty of mid-
sized Chinese cities, and they all tend to be the same. With that said, though, Guilin was actually a fairly nice city. Anyone, moving on …

So after a long and extremely taxing taxi drive from Guilin, where the driver took several wrong turns and ended up dropping us off at a random spot in town, from where we just ended up paying a guy with a van to drive us to the hostel, we ended up at our hostel, Outside Inn, which was in a small village outside Yangshuo near the Yulong River. Yangshuo has two rivers near it, the Yulong and the Li River, both renowned for their boating. Unfortunately, it was raining the whole time – and pretty serious rain, as it turns out, with several people in the Guangxi Province dying in flooding. Our hostel was fantastic, though. A group of ranch houses far away from the noise and lights of Yangshuo proper, complete with mosquito nets and farmers walking by with water buffalo. Here is a picture of the hostel.

And here is a picture of me near the small village where the hostel was located. Nice, eh?

We spent three days in the Yangshuo area. Due to the pouring rain, we could only do limited hiking, boating and biking, though we did manage to get out on a small boat on the Li River, where we had an excellent view of many of the karst peaks the region is famous for. Here’s one such picture!

On the boating trip, we were able to hop off on a small island and walk around a bit before returning to Yangshuo. Look at this here!

The only other big activity in Yangshuo besides watching the World Cup was when we took a cooking class. The class was relatively cheap (I think $15 each), and in addition to cooking and eating the food, we also took a trip to the market, which we’d already seen, for the most part, but this market had dog carcasses hanging on cooks, which neither of us was too into. Oh, Southern China. The cooking class was great, though. Good food, easy directions, and we made some friends from Finland, who we would see again, but more on that later. Here is some delicious Missy-cooked dan jiao (Egg dumplings):

After a couple days, we caught the bus to Guilin, where we would be catching the train on to Shenzhen, a big city that serves as the gateway into Hong Kong. Guilin, as I said, was a nice city. Bigger than Yangshuo, but still with some nice picturesque mountains throughout town. We had dinner, before moving on to the train station, where we took the 11-hour overnight trip. But more on that soon.

-Jeremiah

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