Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 11 - Yangshuo

I woke up this morning at about 5 am to a terrible storm - thunder, lightening, winds and torrential down pours. I prompty rolled over and went back to sleep hoping that the weather would change and be clear by the time I had to leave around 8 am. I had made arrangements to take a boat down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. The weather hadn't improved much by the time I headed out, although the thunder and lightening had stopped. Despite the weather, the boat trip was great! The rain and winds seemed to have worked their magic and chased the heavy fog away.

The river winds through some beautiful karst mountains. The scenery was spectacular. Between rain showers I managed to take a few shots as the boat meandered down the river. Photos will describe the scenery better than I can, so here are a few:
We were served a hot lunch and a local beer on the boat before we reached Yangshuo. The lunch wasn't too bad and the beer was pretty good.
I was pretty well drenched by the time I reached Yangshuo but I threw my backpack on and headed off to the hostel - the Bamboo House Inn and Cafe. It's hiden down a little narrow lane off of West Street, a long pedestrian street full of tourist shops and restaurants. The beds were much softer than Guilin, the staff much friendlier and the hot water nice and hot and plentiful!

After settling into the hostel, I headed out with another hostel guest (Jas from Calgary) to explore the streets of Yangshuo. There are lots of little ponds and streams around town and some nice little parks. We tried to climb the little hill right in town to get a view of the surrounding countryside, but because of all the rain we'd had, the trail was closed. So, we wandered around and found a little restaurant for some dinner. We then headed off to a night light show called Impressions Liu Sanjie. It was amazing! Over 600 performers participate in the show and it's all done on the water, with people floating around on rafts. I wasn't clear what the story was about, something about a village girl going off to an arranged marriage in a far off town...after that I'm a bit fuzzy. But the lighting and effects were amazing. The show is actually performed on the Li River and the surrounding karst hills are illuminated at different parts of the show. I was absolutely freezing when we got back to the hostel, but the show was worth it!


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