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China part 1 - Nanning and Yangshuo

Karst mountains, rivers and the Chinese...

DSC_0085_1.jpgDSC_0098_2.jpgDSC_0101_2.jpgDSC_0115_1.jpgDSC_0113_1.jpgDSC_0110_1.jpgDSC_0108_1.jpgDSC_0075_1.jpgDSC_0050_3.jpgDSC_0015_1.jpgDSC_0067_3.jpgDSC_0032_2.jpgDSC_0026_1.jpgDSC_0047_1.jpgDSC_0054_2.jpgDSC_0043_1.jpgDSC_0037_1.jpgDSC_0029_2.jpgDSC_0904_1.jpgDSC_0906_1.jpgDSC_0898_1.jpgDSC_0050_3.jpgDSC_0018_2.jpgWe caught an overnight train from Vietnam into China, Nanning. It all went surpringly smooth at the border. No delays, no questions, and managed to get a decent sleep too. We used Nanning as a city to acclimatise for our first day in China. I slept, a lot, and Jason went exploring a little. When I did venture out it was to have a beef burger...authentic chinese...my stomach still wouldn't face any Asian food just yet. Also Nanning's delicacy is dog hot pot and I did not want to experience the eating dog culture either.

The very next day we caught a train and bus to get to Yangshou. The train was amazing..smooth, fast, efficient. We hope they're all like that. We are staying at a beautiful little hotel called Cosy Garden, which is in a gorgeous setting amongst the limestone karst mountains.

On our first day we hired some bicycles to explore the local scenery. Unfortunately we had a miscommunication with the man from our hotel and ended up struggling up a series of hills in the baking heat. We argued virtually the whole way...me claiming I was at risk of heat exhaustion and Jason telling me to get on with it. (For those of you that don't know , our last big bicycle ride together in Scotland nearly ended in divorce as Jason made me continue for 50miles in the heat until we had to give up and get rescued). We found a local shop to give me a Coca Cola sugar fix and the old Chinese man pointed to where we were on the map...I could have cried... we had hardly got anywhere. So, at last, we turned around to head back. I had cheered up at this point and enjoyed the scenery on my downhill back to the hotel. Stunning landscape! Thankfully we have access to the Ly River to enjoy a refreshing swim in once we'd got back. Bliss!

So for a more successful day 2 in Yangshou we decided to hire a motorbike to explore. Again, more gorgeous scenery after the other. Miles of karst mountains and rolling green hills alongside the river. We made a couple of stops at the river to enjoy a drink and to watch the Chinese tourists enjoy themselves on the bamboo boats as well as making sure we caught a glimpse of the Moon Hill rock formation. We must have covered miles on the bike, with only one blip where it lost all power, and it was simply nice to enjoy the scenery along the way.

Its our last night here and I'm writing this relaxing in the garden of our hotel. I've had a lovely afternoon chilling after our morning of rock climbing. So glad we did rock climbing, it was hard work but loads of fun. Jason will claim that he was the best (because he got to a slightly higher point on a trickier climb) however I think I had the more natural ability and did most of the climbs with more ease than Jason. We definitely want to try more climbing if we get the opportunity.

Yangshuo has a pretty hectic night scene. Its full of Chinese tourists and they seem to love the tacky souvenirs; laser pens, plastic games, putty, etc. The only time we've seen people crowding like they do here is at a music festival. I sort of really like it, I can easily fill my time people watching. There's also quite a good collection of street food that we tried; dumplings, pork filled buns, spicy wraps, bacon pancakes, chilli noodle soup. We have also got addicted to a place called Topcup (I'm hoping its a juice chain shop that we can get throughout our trip in China) and have already sampled a lot of their drinks; mango, passion fruit, blueberry, green tea & red bean, lemon.

We've really enjoyed our first stop in China; the scenery, the food, outdoor adventure; and yet again have high hopes for the rest of our trip in this country.

Our experience of the Chinese so far (jason here)...
Every time we've been a bit stuck, there has been a good Samaritan to help out.
They ALL stare and as a general rule don't smile or break your gaze when you look back.
Personal space means nothing.
Hacking their guts up and gobbing it out is acceptable in any situation.
They are LOUD!
They will seemingly eat anything, very loudly and pretty messily.
They have little feet.

Posted by bloorsontour 03:56 Archived in China Tagged climbing cycling yangshuo

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Comments

Sounds like a completely different cultural experience and the scenery looks spectacular! Very jealous! ☺ xxxxx

by Ma and Pa

Looks amazing. The Chinese sound interesting !! Xxx

by mutsi

Fantastic.No wonder the Chinese stare at two very tall,good-looking people, especially the blue-eyed red-head!

by the wrinklies

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