Yangshou - The Eagle Has Landed

Trip Start Oct 04, 2012
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14
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Trip End Dec 14, 2012


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Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yangshou is considered by many Chinese to be the most beautiful place in China. It is without doubt a unique and stunning setting but as it hasn't stopped raining since our arrival on Wednesday, I don't think we've seen Yangshou at its best.

On Tuesday, I travelled from Shangri-La to Guilin. It was a long travel day, firstly snaking through the mountains for 4.5 hours to reach Lijiang, fly to Kunming and then onto Guilin where I met up with Dad, Uncle Henri and Auntie Lourdes who had flown in from London and Mauritius respectively.

As we drove from Guilin airport to our hotel, Helen our guide sang us a traditional Zhang welcome song. We had other priorities however and as soon as we arrived at the hotel we went to dinner at a rather odd restaurant called MacFound - no relation to any other Mac type restaurants.

After dinner we had a very quick welcome drink in Dad's room and were all grateful for an early night. After all, the next day we had an 8.30am check out and a boat to catch!

It's a 5 hour cruise down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshou through mystical scenery. A dramatic karst landscape with lush plumes of phoenix tail bamboo lining the banks of the river. Mist clings to the enormous limestone peaks and each bend in the rivers offers a more bewitching vista than the last. Hence the excessive number of photos taken on the cruise. Apologies.

A very grim buffet lunch was served on board but that did not seem to dampen the spirits of a large group of Argentinians, who broke into a post prandial song and dance session. Personally, I think they'd been on the snake wine at 2.00 a shot!

Yangshou is a pleasant place to explore. There are markets, plenty of local and tourist shops and all good value. We did a bit of retail therapy on Thursday morning, mainly for waterproof clothing before an expedition out to the ancient village of Xingping.

The journey there and back was along one of the worst roads I have ever experienced. Knee deep mud and huge craters the size of small cars provided a bone rattling obstacle course. We sat in a long queue of vehicles for 40mins as buses, huge lorries and cement mixers negotiated a broken down coach. Carnage.

Xingping is an atmospheric ancient village reminiscent of Port Louis circa 1950, so my Aunt and Uncle tell me. We had a good stroll around before the bone rattling journey back Yangshou.
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Comments

cecile on

Hi the adventurers,

The cruise n the river must have been fantastic, it reminds me of Halong Bay but I imagine bigger.

Ine bien gagne frais!!!!

Enjoy the rest of your stay! Bernard coming back tonight. We are also celebrating mum's 81st.

Cheerio,

Cecilexxx

mauraleongson on

Wonderful pictures of all of in such a special area. Pity it was wet however those macs kept you all dry. The 60p noodle lunch I hope, was perfect after the river trip. We love the mountains veiled in the mist and fog, it was Sally's favourite place on their trip 20 years ago.

susannavkempe
susannavkempe on

Is the snake wine any better than the rice wine and other horrors to date?

Bernard on

Hi All,
It's looking quite adventurous. I am back in Mauritius. Pls ask U Henry for his schedule in Shenzhen. Eric my friend in Shenzhen will be waiting for them.
Ganbei !!!
Bernard

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