Biking around Yangshuo, China

December 12th, 2008. China
Nik on the Li River

Nik on the Li River

Nik and I have spent the last two days wandering around Yangshuo, China by foot and bicycle.  The town is touristy and for the first night we slept at the Yangshuo International Youth Hostel on the main street, and it was so noisy that we had to leave first thing the next morning.  We found a great little riverside hotel that is still close to all the restaurants with a balcony, free internet, clean linens and it’s quiet after dark.  It was our perfect night time retreat.

We left the town around 10am both mornings to bike through the countryside.  We depended on the free tourist map that the hotel provided, and in hindsight, I wish we had splurged for the 2¥ detailed map that showed all of the major attractions and bike destinations.  Our free map got us where we needed to go, but on the second day we got turned around and I think we could have taken a better path.  Oh well.  Since the days were simple, I don’t have many stories to tell, but here are the photos….

West Street, the tourist center before breakfast

West Street, the tourist center before breakfast

A bamboo raft on the Li River at dusk

A bamboo raft on the Li River at dusk

Water boot

Water boot

Crops with Karsk mountains beyond

Crops with karst mountains beyond

Scarecrow in the field of greens

Scarecrow in the field of greens

Our road through beauty

Our road through beauty

Wheat drying in front of a village home

Wheat drying in front of a village home

Me.

Me*

Wooden wheelbarrow

Wooden wheelbarrow

Nik leads the way

Nik leads the way

On our first day, we stopped for lunch in the small village of LiuGong.  The owner was a fairly young Chinese man whose daughter spoke very good english and took the orders for all of the foreigners.  The dining porch overlooked the river and was full of casual reminders that all of the food served came from the land.  A huge pile of potatoes was tucked into one corner, fresh sausage dried along the hand rails, fresh greens sat in a basket waiting to be washed, and bushels of mandarin oranges and pomellos sat off to the side.  Our lunch of pork with green peppers and pumpkin was delicious.  After we finished we arranged for a boat to take us back to town, and while we waited for it to arrive, the owner took us on a short hike through the town to see a couple caves, the temple and a couple vistas of the river.  We could tell that he was proud of his village and this was an opportunity for him to show off.  I think he enjoyed our short 45 minute outing as much as we did!!

Potatoes

The view from my seat at lunch: chili sauce and coke on the table, hundreds of potatoes waiting to be eaten, home made broom resting on the wall, bike lock dangling, fake snakeskin jacket draped over the rail, and Nik's new favorite hat

The friendly restaurant owner demonstrating his skills on his bamboo raft.

The friendly restaurant owner demonstrating his skills on his bamboo raft

Much of the farmland we passed through were citrus groves.  This is the kumkwat tree we snacked from...don't tell!

Much of the farmland we passed through were citrus groves. This is the kumquat tree we snacked from...don't tell!

Nik and I follow

Nik and I follow

Our river chariot...ours was not the authentic bamboo raft...instead it was made of PVC pipe shaped like bamboo

Our river chariot...ours was not the authentic bamboo raft...instead it was made of PVC pipe shaped like bamboo

The mystical river

The mystical river

Me and the citrus.

Me and the citrus*

The mountains at dusk with a hot air balloon in the distance...Mom, you would have loved it!!

The mountains at dusk with a hot air balloon in the distance...Mom, you would have loved it!!

If I could, I would bike through fruit trees and mountains and along rivers every day.  China, you are a beautiful country.

*Photos taken by Nik. Visit his blog: Riding Bikes in Beautiful Yangshuo, China

3 Comments

Beautiful. Just noticed my link under the “BLOGS THAT MAKE ME HOMESICK” section, haha. Sorry to make you homesick!
Enjoy the rest of your travels though… things are wrapping up pretty quickly soon right? It’s a great feeling getting back to the states but you’ll soon want to do it all over again just like us!

Your photography is fabulous! i love it. This looks like a wonderful part of the world to travel with a camera, too.

kristine

i love the simplicity and pureness of these landscapes. way to get off the beaten track!!

anne


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