Yangshou - The Eagle Has Landed
Trip Start Oct 04, 2012
28Trip End Dec 14, 2012
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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.