My Winter Travels, Part 4: Yangshuo

Yangshuo Picasa Photo Album
After two days in Guilin, we took a short bus ride to the nearby town of Yangshuo. Yangshuo is a very small town and not very well known in China (none of my students have heard of it when I say I went there). However, it's fairly well known to travelers because of its mention in Lonely Planet (LP describes it as a "backpacker's laid-back mecca of gorgeous scenery", which is pretty accurate). Yangshuo has even more of the mountain scenery that Guilin is famous for. Overall, I'd probably say it was my single favorite place we went on the trip. It's not a place you go to see famous sights, but it sure is a great place to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying beautiful scenery in a small town.

Chad and Krystal (two of the other teachers at my school) also joined us in Yangshuo. After visiting Harbin with me, they had visited Xian and spent a week in the Shanghai area with Chad's sister. They came to Yangshuo next and just happened to be there at the same time as us.

There's really not much to say about Yangshuo, because we didn't do a whole lot in our two days there. Our first day, we rented bikes and biked to an awesome scenic spot on a bridge surrounded by amazing scenery:








The whole group: Liu Kai, Jon, Da Yu and Drew in the top row, Chad, Krystal and I in the bottojm row.

Aren't these girls cute? They were returning home from school.



These bamboo boats were very popular on the river.

The town of Yangshuo is quite nice, too. It's surrounded by these amazing peaks, and it doesn't have the huge, busy feel of a city like Beijing. There's one main street for souvenir shopping, and it was one of the best place I've seen for souvenir shopping in China. Some pictures:










This is the souvenir shopping street.

One of the surprising things about Yangshuo was how many foreigners and western restaurants it had. Obviously, a place like Beijing or Shanghai has more, but "per capita", I think Yangshuo had the most anywhere I've been in China. We had some great pizza at a pizzeria, and also went to a nice cafe with a cozy upstairs that had games. They had Monopoly, so we enjoyed playing that our second day:



At this point in the trip, it was January 30th. I had a flight out of Guangzhou to Tokyo on the morning of February 1st, so I separated from the rest of the group so that I could make it to Guangzhou for my flight. I spent the next week visiting my cousin Tim in Japan, starting with 5 days in Sendai.
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Husband and father, musician, software engineer at SEOmoz, open source developer specializing in Ruby and Rails, world traveler and Christian.