Friday, May 7, 2010

At last...the real China.

I am out of the city FINALLY and in inland China :) My mom, aunt and I flew to Guilin and are staying in a beautiful hotel in the middle of mountains and rivers in Yangshuo. What a crazy day we had today! (Friday)

We woke up at the crack of dawn and headed out to the Li River. After the 45min car ride, we pulled up to the edge of the river and took a quiet boat ride surrounded by uniquely shaped mountains. There were no other boats out and we had the river all to ourselves! We even went to the spot where the picture on the 20RMB bill was drawn!

After the relaxing ride, we walked through a quaint town and had an amazing western breakfast. Across was a local famous painter and a musician so we bought some paintings and the musician taught me how to play a Chinese instrument.

Then, we headed into Yangshuo again and got bikes! These heavy-duty mountain bikes were perfect for the rough terrain we were about to encounter. We rode 30minutes along farmland and mountains on bumpy trails leading up to a bamboo raft ride. I can't put into words how authentically chinese this was but we were pushed by 1 man on the back of about 7bamboos tied together with 2 chairs in the middle...thats it.

We meandered down the river (while local Chinese had floating stations in the water trying to sell beer, saying "Hello. Hello. You want? Beer. Good." Then they would ask if we wanted to buy beer for our driver...hahaha. YA RIGHT. There were about 10 random waterfalls that we would go down. The whole front end of the boat would go under the water!! At the end of our 1 1/2 hour ride, we were taking a group picture then all of a sudden, another boat comes besides us and the man slashes us all over with water!! He wanted us to smile in our picture :) it worked.

If things couldn't get any better, our bikes were waiting for us at the end and we rode to another destination point called Moonlight cafe and had the BEST chinese food of the week!! So fresh and locally grown.

Our relaxing morning was followed up by excercise! We hiked up over 800 steps to the top of this mountain which had a wonderful view of the city, mountains, and greenery. We climbed down and took a 1 hour bike ride through the small, intimate villages along the farmlands and locals. What a BUMPY BUMPY ROAD! Our butts were sore!

MORE TO COME! We love it here. Don't want to leave....the air is so fresh and


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