Chengdu to Yangshuo

Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 27, 2008

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Monday, September 3, 2007

31st August was our first wedding anniversary which we spent in Chengdu.  I managed to secretly ask the girls at reception to order some flowers for Nic and at 8.20am they were delivered.  They were much nicer than I expected and thankfully Nic appreciated them.
Unfortunately the next task on our anniversary was to visit the doctor as Nic is required to have a medical for her working visa application for Australia.  So we headed off to the Global Doctor in Chengdu where Nic underwent an X-ray, urine test, eye tests (that involved putting spoons over her eyes - I mean, who can see with spoons on their eyes) and various questions and tests.

As an anniversary gift, Mum and Dad transferred some money to us so we could enjoy a nice meal out, so we headed out that night to the Bookworm in Chengdu and ordered ourselves a nice bottle of red wine, some excellent food and settled in to enjoy the live jazz that was playing that night.  A great way to spend our first wedding anniversary.

The next day we made arrangements to fly to Guilin and see the karst mountains unique to that area.  So on the 2nd September, we finally left Chengdu over four weeks since we arrived in Sichuan.  We arrived without any issues in Guilin and checked into the Backstreet Hostel. 
Fortunately for us, on the noticeboard in the hostel, someone was asking for two people to share a four seater boat to Yangshuo (over proposed destination) the following day.!! What a stroke of luck.  So we made the arrangements to meet them in reception at 8am the following morning. 
Unfortunately, the hostel we stopped in also had a cockroach problem and at 2am I was woken up by one of the little 'blighters' crawling on my back.  I am not sure what it is about me that attracts cockroaches.  It woke me from a nice deep sleep and my reaction was to bat it off me but unfortunately I did this in the direction of Nic who was woken up by me flapping my arms around.  The cockroach got lucky this time and scuttled off under a table somewhere. 

At 8am the next morning,  after a fairly sleepless night (on Nic's part), we headed off with our two Italian co-passengers to the boat.  The journey from Guilin to Yangshuo was 3 hour and again we witnessed more of the fantastic and unique scenery that China has to offer.  The mountains are the subject of thousands of postcards and pictures and have inspired artists and poets for centuries.  It is only when you see them at first hand do you appreciate why.  They truly are spectacular and with the mist from the rain they had a certain mystical air to them.

The journey flew past with lots of sights to excite us along the way.  Once we got to Yangshuo we took a taxi to Aishanmen, to our hostel, the Giggling Tree, where we had reserved a room for five nights.
Yangshuo is a well know backpackers haven but has become very busy and very touristy.  The Giggling Tree is located five kilometres away from Yangshuo and has only just opened (4 months ago).  It is surrounded by the mountains, away from the hustle and bustle of Yangshuo.  The owners, a Dutch couple, have renovated an old farmhouse and have created a very peaceful and relaxing environment surrounded by stunning scenery.

We will explore this area for the next few days before travelling to Nanning and then travelling overland across the border into Vietnam
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