Monday, May 09, 2011

Yangshuo: Rain, mountains and more!

Hi folks, readers and avid followers.

No doubt you have all been waiting for my next blog, and here it ism via proxy and Australia. Why?

You may well know that Facebook is blocked in China. Well, that ain't all! Yes, apparently some blogging sites are as well. Including blogger/blogspot. So no pictures, This is a cut and paste job done through family.

So I left Hong Kong on Wednesday. I think... seems longer ago. Yes, the metro line takes you to China proper. You don't need a visa for Hong Kong, but you sure need one for mainland China. At the end of the metro line - Lo Wu - there are all the border formalities one would expect. And then into China proper. More formalities, you can even rate the performance of the immigration officers!

Then x-ray the x-ray the bags - everyone just goes for the machine, no waiting in line. In Japan people lined up on the platform to get on the train. In China people don't seem to care about others getting out, it's the 'every man, woman and child for themselves' policy!

Then there was a 14 hour train journey over night to Guilin. I booked into soft sleeper, so i was pretty comfortable.From Guilin there was a bus to here -Yanshuo.

Without photos it's hard to describe this amazing place. I have a great Guesthouse here with 3 meals a day. The countryside is punctuated with countless sharp mountains rising rather vertically from the ground. The roads and rivers wind around them, its a very rural setting here, stunning scenery. The first day here... well I slept. And today has been a total wash out! BUT - I rode a bike for around 25km on Friday, that was great. I visited the 'Assembly Dragon Cave' which you boat and walk through. Lots of colours, all the other tourists were locals/Chinese were very keen to be photographed there. Lots of rocks for sale as well. In the middle oft he walk all of a sudden - souvenirs!

Yesterday I did a combination of rafting (no not like it sounds, slow rafts made from pvc pipes) and hiking. I took the raft someway down the Li River, then hiked for around 8km or maybe a little more, then another raft down to the village of XingPing - famous in China because the view from a certain spot is the art on the 20 Yuan note. This spot is extremely popular!

So tomorrow I start another long train journey, this time to Shanghai, after that, Xian. I will try and update the same way again in a few days time.

Until then......

No that's just how I'm leaving it!

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