The final day of our grand China adventure (day 11) we checked out of our awesome hotel in Yangshuo, then spent the morning in town. The girls slept for 11 and 12 hours last night (catching up big time) and are ready for anything again.
Checking in and out of hotels and airports every day leaves you with a lot of waiting time, by the way. I’m going to do a separate “Tips for Traveling with Young Children in China” post, but you can see here how valuable electronics are during long waits. I think there are 11 little heads happily bent over two iPads here. I don’t think we ever once heard anyone ask “How much longer?!”:
The kids all went to Chinese cooking school this morn. TubaDad took our girls. They love cooking and baking (especially Ro), so this was right up their alley. (Ree has the tiny braid in her hair in case they look similar here.)
While the kids were enjoying some nice, safe cooking, Bobby, Jane, and I took our lives in our hands. We rented bikes and ventured out into the insane traffic and around the town. Eek. I kept thinking “Ok, Bobby and Jane are bikers, real hard-core bikers, so I’m almost positive we’ll live through this.” We had to cross a busy street right off the bat, I think my heart stopped a few times. Then we had to navigate a tunnel and roundabout. Whoooeeee, thrilling, to say the least.
This was my view over Bobby’s shoulder (he was piloting the rickety tandem, I was on the back):
At one point a truck veered around us and within a few inches of Bobby’s wheel:
I call this one the Tunnel of Death. See Jane’s silhouette up there ahead of us? We made a wrong turn and then had to go back through this tunnel again!:
We got lost three or four times trying to find the temple (never did find it), but did stop at the river and off the road to take in the nice relaxing view:
We saw firecracker papers everywhere. You could tell by the size of the piles who had the biggest New Year’s party last night:
After we survived cooking school and the bike foray, we piled back into the bus and the kids got to learn a little Chinese brush painting. You can see that Ro still has pandas on the brain…
Then we stopped at Elephant Trunk Hill, gazed at the sights for a few minutes.
Does anyone know what it says on the sides of this group pic? Our guide was taking our picture (a couple of people were still on the bus) and a stranger came up and took a pic also. Then, a minute later, when our group headed back for the bus, she approached me with this printed, laminated photo. Too funny. I bargained a little, then bought it:
Then we hopped back on the big blue bus:
Oh, but not before we bought some spiky Rambutan fruit. A kind of lychee or related to it, I believe. Ro and Ree loved it. You split it in half, chow down on the fruit inside the peel, and spit out the seed:
We checked back into the Guilin hotel from a day or two ago, freshened up a little, then were treated to a rockin’ New Year’s party with dancing, singing, and a delicious buffet. The little girls were fascinated with the dancers and tried to get as close as they could.
Great way to ring in the new year and a great end to our trip. Happy New Year! Tomorrow is the looooooong travel day home…
(Am putting this post and the previous Li River post up at the same time. I’m finally catching up! All Quicklinks to our China trip posts are in the sidebar at left.)