Bamboo (PVC Pipe) Rafting on the Li River

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our first full day in Yangshuo and we got to sleep in!! You don't realize how tiring travelling is until you've been gone for a few months. The novelty of packing up and going to a new unknown place kind of wears off after so long so we were happy to have booked a whole week's stay in Yangshuo.

When we did finally get up we went for lunch at a nearby dumpling place. There was a group of Chinese girls sitting at a table right by us and after we ordered one girl said hi and asked where we were from. She turned around but then a few seconds later turned to us again to talk some more. Soon her and another girl were standing by our table chatting away to us about their school and promoting their english speaking abillities and so on; we were very amused. After they introduced themselves as Mable and Lillian, and got our names, Lillian pulled out a necklace to show me (Jackie), or I thought she was just showing me it until she said gift and handed it to me! They also of course asked to get their pictures taken with us and with their whole group of girls, and told us to go to Changsha where they live and if we did Lillian kept saying "you can, call me!" and put her hand up to her ear, we thought it was very funny. Before they left they asked for our e-mails and then they offered us some tarts they had. They were egg tarts and they were delicious! These girls were very kind and we enjoyed getting to chat with them.

Afterwards we booked a bamboo boat ride for the afternoon from our hotel. They lady walked us down to the bus station and got us on the right bus that took us way out into the countryside and to the docking point for our raft (on the way there we noticed how amazing the countryside smells around here; it's like walking into a flower shop...of course with the odd whiff of rotting garbage stinging your nostrils to bring you back to reality). When they say bamboo boat ride though they actually mean PVC pipe raft, haha, we had read about this though so we weren't disappointed. The float down the river took about 2 hours and was just a relaxing ride that allows you to take in the beautiful karst scenery. One thing that is greatly disappointing to us though is all the smog that seems to be out here as well. Even on what should be clear days we don't get the full beauty of the karsts because they are grayed out by the smog. Nonetheless the ride was good, minus of course the riverside stops at various hawker's tents trying to sell us things. Most of the hawker stands provided costumes and fancy cameras to take your picture and at one stand I decided to put a costume on. The lady taking pictures got me dressed and then had me do a bunch of "classic" chinese poses, meanwhile I was laughing so hard I looked ridiculous. We just took our own pictures though and paid for the use of the costume as we would probably wreck a picture if we got one from them. Also on the ride we got a lot of waves along the way too from all the chinese tourists in other boats. They love to wave and say hello to any white people they go by.

When we got to the end and pulled up to the shore we immediately noticed all the tuk tuks and touts standing up by the road. The lady at our hotel said it was a small village and there was only one bus station so we should be able to find the bus back to town easily, she didn't mention needing a tuk tuk ride though. After the tout we led us up to the road told us it was a 40 minute walk to the station though we did remember that the lady had said something about a half hour walk. We decided we would try to haggle with the tout for a cheap ride though and if it didn't work we would just walk. He first told us it would be something ridiculous like 20 yuan each but we knew the bus all the way back to town was only 7 yuan so there was no way we were paying that. Eventually I got him down to 10 yuan for the both of us (which is just over a dollar canadian) and off we went. Another tout that was beside us and heard what we were paying started talking to us in Chinese rapidly and saying ten and pointing at us; I thought he sounded angry and was trying to get us both to pay ten but James said he gave the thumbs up so he also might have been telling us we did good in our haggling, not sure though.

When we got back to town we realized we were exhausted and just ate at the same dumpling restaurant by our hotel and went to bed.
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Glenda on

Awesome pictures guys, looks like your having a blast

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