Saturday 23 March 2019
We were up and ready for our taxi at 0730 for the drive to Guangzhou nan (south) station, where we jumped a high speed train heading northwest to Guilin. Stacey, a colleague of Sylvia’s also joined us as we headed to Yangshuo for a short weekend. Sylvia’s daughter, Beka, and her boyfriend, Tom, had climbed in the area about 5 years ago and have often spoken of its beautiful scenery.
I was surprised at how quickly the land turned rural as we headed northwest. Lots of bush covered hills and scattered villages lay alongside the track.
A bit over halfway into the journey the land changed into thousands of small sharp mounds (limestone karsts). Dismounting the train at Guilin (population 4.7m, and a small, 3rd or 4th tier city in China) we drove through what felt like a small town with few high rise buildings, then into some very picturesque countryside, reaching Yangshuo at about 1.30pm.
We settled into the very nice Yangshuo Mountain Retreat and enjoyed some lunch. We watched as bamboo rafts drifted down the Yulong river.
After lunch we took a stroll up the river and just below a weir a huge number of bamboo rafts were gathered.
After finding the ticket office and being escorted to the start point I was put on a raft alone while Sylvia and Stacey shared one with a somewhat aggressive rafts-man. Interestingly we had seen a sign warning about not having fun in the river so we were quite amused as we were poled along crossing the add weir along the way.
We were dropped off at what appeared to be an entertainment area and from there we strolled up a road to find Moon Hill, a place Beka had told Sylvia about. Several hundred steps and a well kept path took us to the rock. Tom had had has his photo taken here standing on a post so we did the same. (Although he managed his photo balancing comfortably on one foot on one post!)
Back at the hotel we enjoyed a light snack before retiring early as both Sylvia and Stacey were tired after a very busy week.
Sunday 23 March 2019
After a reasonably early breakfast we headed off on some bikes to explore some more of this rather picturesque area. There has been lots of money put into this area to upgrade both paths and irrigation canals. Interestingly there are many partially finished buildings around the area.
Returning to the hotel just after 10am we were picked up by a driver for our trip back to the Giulin train station. On the way we stopped to check out the 600 year old Yulong bridge, which was surrounded by more bamboo rafts and people trying to sell local stuff to the many tourists.
All around China one sees lots of interesting and and sometimes rather amusing signs.