Monday, April 19, 2010

Biking around Yangshuo

What a day! It started off a little bit slow, as I had trouble getting myself out of bed on yet another rainy day. Checked out of the hostel in Xingping and went to Yangshuo for the day. There I decided to explore the surrounding area on a bicycle. I got some ideas of a route from the hostel I stayed at previously and got a decent bike, with a comfortable seat.

Like with my Fishing Village hike, the route that was suggested by the hostel looked way more straight forward on the map. I got lost pretty much right away. The good thing was that I had a picture of the place I was trying to get to and often asked for directions. I followed the Yulong River which was really beautiful for scenery. It's quite calm so it was perfect for reflections.

The trail I followed soon turned from a paved road to an extremely muddy and narrow dirt trail. Often I questioned whether I was on the right route. I also encountered many locals who were trying to get me to go down the Yangshuo by way of bamboo raft. These guys were just horrible. Not only were they in my face about rafting, they also gave me wrong directions when I refused to go on the raft. The most reliable people were the villagers and farmers.

My destination was Moon Hill, a limestone arch formation. After a long, dirty and sometimes frustrating ride, I finally found it. I locked up my bike and bought an overpriced drink from an old lady taking advantage of thirsty travellers. This was a mistake, as she decided to follow me up the entire mountain to try and sell me more drinks. At the top she doubled her price. I politely declined and after taking some photos, I headed back down. She followed me persistantly and she was surprisingly quick for her age, but I did manage to lose her on the way down. I turned off into the bush once I was barely out of her sight and watched her run down past me then took my time enjoying the scenery. She was not too impressed when she saw me reach the bottom a few minutes after her.

I didn't have a whole lot of time remaining as I had to head to Guilin to catch a flight to Shanghai. I spent the rest of the day in buses, taxis and on the plane. I arrived in Shanghai quite late and didn't see much of the city. I'm not a fan of big cities, but I'll try and take in a bit of it before I move on.

Biking around Yangshuo:

Hiking Moon Hill:


Anonymous said...

Too bad the weather isn't picking up. At least the ceiling is high enough to see the surrending peaks. It seems to be quite an amazing trip, everything seems so different. (Except for McDonald's)


Marko said...

So far the highlights have been The Great Wall, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shangri-la and the Guilin/Yangshuo area. I can't get over how many North American fastfood chains there are in China.

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