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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Li River cruise and a really cool town (Yangshuo)

Day 10 of the grand China adventure found us on the move again, this time by boat. We packed up luggage again, checked out of the Guilin hotel we had checked in to late last night (I think we had only been there about 8 hours total), and headed for the Li River to board a three-story boat that would be our home for the next four hours. I didn’t know anything about the Li River (or Guilin actually) before this, and thought the city and river were stunning.

Large limestone mountains that looked straight out of a Disney movie were everywhere you looked. It was bright, sunny, and breathtaking. I know I keep saying this, but if you have the chance to boat down the Li River in Guilin, jump at it. It doesn’t look like anywhere else I’ve been in China.

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We hadn’t been moving for very long before we heard a tremendous splashing and this man popped up on the side of our boat. All of us thought we had hit him and were kind of worried until he held up some mandarin oranges and peanuts and started selling them through the window. Get out of town! He had paddled over in his bamboo raft and tied onto the big boat. Burst out laughing, then handed over some money, because seriously how could you not? Best dang peanuts and oranges we’ve tasted.

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We also saw fishermen draw up alongside the boats and hand over fresh-caught fish. Lunch was superb, by the way. We all really enjoyed it.

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Ro (red) and Ree (purple) taught Aunt Jane how to air hula hoop. They were all pretty good.
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We docked and walked down a long, busy waterfront and came to our hotel for the night. Can you beat this view from the room?!! The pool overlooks the river (which is just below the little white buildings) and is surrounded by mountains.

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We all sat poolside for a little while taking in that view, then hoofed it over to West Street (a pedestrian-only street, for the most part) and marveled at the beautiful town of Yangshuo. Wow, we could have spent a few days there, it was so full of charm, so bustling, and so picturesque.

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We skipped the group dinner and had our own New Year’s Eve party for six on a restaurant balcony overlooking the town. Fun times.IMG_3030LR_LiRiverAndYangshuo

We loved how every mountain was lit up as we walked back to our hotel.IMG_3037LR

Neat town, Yangshuo.

4 comments:

  1. I went to yangshuo in 1986. There were 2 tourist hotels and neither of them looked like that! It was a little village with a few great restaurants on its tiny streets. Extraordinary how much it has changed, I would not have recognised it. Sounds like it is still a lovely place to visit.

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  2. Do they not have the awesome outdoor theater production at night anymore? The same man who did the Beijing opening ceremony created it. It was fabulous when we went in 2007! I had to laugh, though, because the ladies in the shop kept saying, "Lady Pashmina! Lady Pashmina!" I felt like they'd mistaken me for royalty & then figured out they were selling wraps ; ) The Li River cruise & Yangshuo were a part of trip we'd love to do again.

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  3. Stunning scenery!

    And yup - I compared your dress on the boat to the others. You look toasty warm while I'd be that silly one in the centre with the blue sweater and black pants who is pretending to be warm! ;o)

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