The Sockeyed Blog

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Yangshuo & Guilin

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I’m afraid that this won’t be an epic entry like the others, I only have a bit of time before I have to get on the Mao to Ho (Beijing to Hanoi) Express.

I have a ticket that looks like it was printed in 1962 and is entirely in Chinese, Cyrillic and (East?) German, but as far as I can tell, it will get me down to Hanoi sometime tomorrow morning. The best part is that we have to change trains at 4am (the guage is different down there), and I heard that crossing the border takes a mere 3 hours. Joy!

I am in the world’s largest internet cafe somewhere underground in Guilin. I think that it’s called the Purple Horizon, which is certainly my first choice for a name for an internet cafe. I came in by bus from Yangshou this morning. The two and a half days that I spent in Yangshou were great. Despite the fact that there are more foreigners there than you can shake a joss stick at, it’s a truly beautful place nestled among the karst hills. I actually found more of the old China in the small town and countryside around there than I felt in modern and a bit bland Guilin.

I did all the requisite things in Yangshou. The day I arrived, I went on a 1 1/2 boat cruise in Xingping, then ate at the outdoor market near the bus station. Alas, I didn’t not partake of the readily available dried smoked rat, but I enjoyed some great noodles and veggies with a French couple, Bruno and Nathalie, that I met on the boat cruise. I also watched some frogs get done in. Noisy late-night karaoke blaring up from West Street inhibited my sleep. I should mention that although there are boodles of westerners in Yangshou, the Chinese tourist outnumber them about 10 to 1 and are far, far louder.

Yesterday I rounded out my Yangshou experience with an organized bike ride, bamboo rafting down a smaller river, 2 hours in the massive Water Cave (including a swim, much to the excitement of other Chinese bathers), and an end-of-day jaunt up Moon Hill as the sun glowed orange on the horizon. Just two of us signed up for the trip – me and a woman named Louise from Malaysia who was at the end of what sounded like a brilliant trip through SW China. I had the local speciality beer fish for dinner, and had the standard Yangshou breakfast with my French friends this morning: banana pancakes, yogurt with fruit, toast, coffee and fresh orange juice.

So, next that you hear from me, I should be in Hanoi, where I will meet Jeremy on thursday. I’ll have a few days to myself there first. I plan to sleep and avoid anyplace with karaoke. Thanks for all your messages!

The fashion sense in China is actually not bad at all. The bui sook in their navy suits are close to extinct, at least around here. The young folk dress well, but the english on their shirts still doesn’t make sense. But in Hong Kong, everyone still dresses dreadfully. It’s a fullscale fashion disaster there that leaves me queasy just thinking about it. It seems like a long time ago that I was there!


Written by sockeyed

October 25, 2004 at 18:48

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , , , ,

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