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Day 146: We Thought We Loved Guilin, and Then We Found Yangshuo

15 Jan

Nimen hao!

After a dead solid sleep last night, we woke up early again for another adventure – Yangshuo.
We grabbed some pancakes and another Western breakfast with our coffees and were ready to head out the door by 8:30 for the 8:45 tour. We almost missed the tour because they left without us (after telling us they would come get us from the common room when it was time to leave) but after that slight hitch, we were on the bus and on our way.

On a completely filled charter bus we headed toward a “pier” about an hour away to take bamboo boats down the Li River. The bus ride was uneventful, but thankfully much less bumpy and much more comfortable than yesterday’s ride, and as we drove the scenery became progressively more beautiful.

Once at the pier, we were quickly shuffled onto motorized bamboo boats in groups of four and we were on our way down the river through some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Truly, it is astonishing. I am wary of declaring it the most beautiful place in the world (since I haven’t seen many places in the world) but I cannot imagine anything more beautiful.

The pier:
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Views from our boat:
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After our couple hour boat ride, we took a bus through some countryside (which greatly reminded me of Belize minus the ocean) headed towards our next destination. We thought we were falling in love with Guilin but then we found Yangshuo. Immediately, we were entranced by the natural beauty and then we were astounded to find what is essentially a Western village in the middle of the mountains outside of Guilin.

With a couple of hours of free time we searched for lunch and settled on a German restaurant for some bratwurst and legitimate German beer (a welcome change from Chinese food and Tsingtao). Absolutely smitten with Yangshuo, we would move there in a blink of an eye if we could. It certainly has made my “to visit again” list.

View from our restaurant (we found the sun!):
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To end our day, we took a bus ride outside of Yangshuo to go on a bamboo raft cruise where we watched a cormorant bird trained to catch fish for the local fishermen and soaked in the colors of the sunset backlighting the mountains and reflecting off the water. To end the day, I fed and rode a water buffalo before we headed back to the hostel and spent the rest of the evening chatting with some very friendly world travelers.

The river and our bamboo rafts:
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View from the raft:
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Sunset:
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I have so few words about today because I am actually speechless about all the beauty we soaked in today. The sights were breathtaking and awe-inspiring. We never wanted to leave.

Tomorrow we are going to sleep in and soak in our last day in this marvelous place. I’m sad we’re leaving in a couple of days but I am so happy we were able to make the visit. It’s been absolutely gorgeous and easily some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.

Until next time,

Alyssa

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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Travel

 

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