Dog and Rat

Trip Start Jul 16, 2007
Trip End Dec 07, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting to Yangshuo was a trek and a half. Thank God we decided to go with a tour - we couldn't have organised it ourselves, mainly due to language difficulties.
Firstly, we had to pass through customs to leave Hong Kong, then enter mainland China!  Our first of many experiences with Chinese red tape!  Then we made or way to the train station to catch an overnight "hard sleeper" to Guilin before taking a 3 hour bus journey to Yangshuo.
The hard sleeper was not as bad as it sounds - 6 very hard beds per cabin. We were the main touist attraction on the train with locals taking photos and films of us without any hesitancy. Quite amusing initially.  Think they were very interested in my freckles and blue eyes - alan on the other hand looked less different- lucky bugger!
Yangshuo is a picturesque tourist town.
On our first day we visited Green lotus mountain which was very pretty - typical chinese pagodas and beautiful mountain views.
We took a bike ride through the country side with our group on day 2 - we saw paddy fields, mountains galore and stopped off to climb up moon hill. The local venders followed us up the entire way, fanning us every time we stopped to catch a breath, in the hope we would buy something from them.
We stopped off on the way back for lunch at our local tour guides house - once again, the food was great!
We took Tai Chi and chinese painting lessons. Alan won best student award at the Tai Chi class and had to perform in front of everyone - I have it on Video!
On our last evening, we had a group dinner with an interesting menu. Some of our group members were brave/crazy and had a meal of rat and dog. Alan tried the rat but I decided against it.....
A major highlight was the light show.  We had pictured a bunch of candles floating on the Yin River, how wrong we were.  It was incredible, literally a cast of thousands, with torches and boats and amazing choreographed routines set on the river and in the mountains, all lit up by massive floodlights.  No wonder they need the 3 Gorge dam.  The show should be appearing in the Olympics in some form, apparantly.
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