China, Day 5: Yangshuo, Tourist Haven

Mountains reflected in a lily pond in Yangshuo

Mountains reflected in a lily pond in Yangshuo

Day 5 – China Travel Journal

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 – Yangshuo

Morning:
We’re sitting on the tarmac. Our flight to Guilin is delayed by a half hour, although we don’t know the reason. Perhaps it’s weather? They are serving tea and we listen to the constant cacophony. I’ll never get used to the sheer numbers everywhere we go. We thought, for instance, this flight would be half-full, but lo and behold, now it’s filled to burst.

It’s funny how my eye is drawn to other foreigners. Are they as lost in the sauce as me? Do they speak any Chinese? Are they business people? Do they live here? Do they like it, or is it all for the money or the promotion?

I don’t know if I’d want to live in Shanghai. It would depend on my living conditions. If you had a lot of money, could maybe afford a taxi everywhere, it might be okay.

Now I’m truly not occupied with thoughts of home or my normal life. I have only space for the journey and all this newness around me, like chicken feet shrink wrapped for sale at the corner store.

Night:
Now at En Attendant Godot Hostel in Yangshuo, off the main drag. Quieter than the main thoroughfare, but that’s not saying much for China.

We arrived about an hour and a half late and splurged 350 RMB, about 60 USD, for a cab here to Yangshuo. Not too bad split between 3 people. Beautiful, dreamy, lush scenery, though it was a long ride into town.

Once we’d dropped our bags, we walked around town. We toured an open market.

Market in Yangshuo

Mushrooms galore!

Market in Yangshuo

Color everywhere!

We went to a little park with scummy ponds and a pagoda high on one of the mound-shaped mountains. The views up there were amazing, even though it was a little cloudy.

View over the town and mountains

View over the town and mountains

After that, we went for a drink on a second floor terrace. Overpriced, but it was for the mountain views and the unparalleled people-watching. After sunset, neon lights came on. China, a curious mix of old and traditional with the new and boisterous. We left once the terrible singers came out. They are actually paid by the bars and apparently they attract visitors. Ouch, my ears!

Clouds over a downtown street in Yangshuo

Clouds over a downtown street in Yangshuo

Shawl stall in Yangshuo

Shawl stall in Yangshuo

Now we’re getting our packs ready for the next few days of hiking in rice fields a few hours outside Guilin. I don’t really have a firm grasp on what’s going on, the plans in German roll over me like wordwater. The forecast calls for rain, rain, rain. Oh, my.

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