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Trip to Guilin and Yangshuo

Amy and I spent the last week on vacation in southern China and Hong Kong. The trip combined time in Guilin and Yangshuo along with a couple of days in Hong Kong for Amy's visa renewal.

Leaving around noon on Sunday we arrived in Guilin late afternoon. Similar to the surprise in finding Harbin (a medium size Chinese city) to have a population of 'just' four million, it turns out that the area surrounding city houses about the same. We walked around the lakes located in the middle of the city and had the local specialty -- beer steamed fish -- for dinner. By evening, a huge night market had sprung up on the main street selling all manner of products for locals and visitors alike.

Beer fish

On Monday we took a boat cruise on the Li River. Due to a recent drought in the region the river is not as high as usual for this time of year so it was not possible to sail the whole distance to Yangshuo. The abridged circular trip was still impressive with karst rock formations on both sides of the river surrounded by terrain that is said to be the inspiration for Avatar.

Li River cruise

We wrapped up the day with performance at Impression Liu Sanjie which was spectacular. With a theater set on the bank of the river, the performance happens on the water itself with some 600 performers, lights and dancing. In this picture, each stick figure is actually a real person. Excellent.

Impression Liu Sanjie

In Yangshuo on Tuesday we rented bikes for the afternoon. What we'd planned to be a leisurely bike ride against the scenic backdrop turned into quite an expedition on dirt roads through rural villages guided by what can only be described as a shoddily-drawn pirate map and Mandarin practice with the locals. We probably covered 30 km in total and had quite a strenuous adventure in the process.

Cycling around Yangshuo

On the final morning in Yangshuo we took a 'bamboo' boat ride down to the point where we'd turned around a couple of days before, returned to the city for lunch and then made our way to the airport for the flight to Hong Kong.

Bamboo boat on Li River


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