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The Yangshuo Li River & Moon Hill Adventures

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

What was once a sleepy village and backpacker retreat is now an insanely vibrant tourist mecca yet it hasn’t increased in size at all.

Ten years ago I first threw my pack down in Yangshuo town and back then it would have been hard to share a cold beer with more than twenty foreigners if they for some reason gathered in the same café and even less Chinese tourists gathered together to slurp their noodles. I remember choosing where to spend my evenings by what movie was being advertised on the small blackboards that stood outside each of the few café’s that catered for both foreign and Chinese tourists.

Also back then could be found small gatherings of local Chinese around several of the few television sets that could be found in the Yangshuo area.

Five and a half years ago I returned to Yangshuo to find neon signs and a KFC and the last time I threw my pack on a bed in Yangshuo was four years ago and just as it did for the previous year and a half, Yangshuo for me turned into Salem’s Lot. I spent my nights at MC Blues with Chinese Mickey (who I first met in 2000) & Canadian Derik sharing stories with many other travelers over far too many beers and noodles. We would then finish our social evenings with a refreshing swim in the Li River before retiring to our darken dens where we slept the far too bright daylight hours away.

Once the sun began its journey elsewhere we would then crawl out of our darkened dens to re-gather at MC Blues to repeat the previous night’s beery adventures.

Here I sit, ten and a half years later in what was once a sought after sleepy retreat for long term backpackers to kick back and relax over a few cold beers and banana pancakes but no longer is relaxation found. Around me are thousands of foreigners who walk beneath flashing and colourful neon signs what was once a peaceful silence has been taken away by the usual western Doof Doof music that somehow manages to gather as many wide eyed foreigners and their wallets as it possibly can.

What was once a hidden treasure is now nothing but a fat foreign family expenditure!

But….. what it has become is for no other reason other than the fact that Yangshuo town is set amongst what is some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire world. Hidden treasures set in such places can not last forever and five years ago Yangshuo opened its soul to the world and ever since has been reaping the benefits.

Anyhow, after packing our stuff and checking out of the freaky round hotel in Guilin we grabbed the first bus that came or way heading to Yangshuo. We then had to wait as a large group of Chinese tourists fought their way from the bus as after reaching some kind of decision that must have been 'get me off this gawd damn death trap’ the bus driver and his harem of touts decided to lock the door and drive off with everyone still on board.

After a Slayer Concert worth of shouting between parties they were reluctantly let free!

The journey to Yangshuo took around an hour and a half, mainly due to the bus having to scout for more passengers and after grabbing a hotel just across from the bus station we then headed down to the real glitz and glamour in search of a healthy salad to be followed by several cold and healthy beers. We found the latter at my old haunt and good buddy’s eatery MC Blues. Mickey of course wasn’t too be found as it was before six but it was good to know that it was still around.

And that its beers were still being served ice cold!

On full and happy stomachs we then made our way down towards the Li River amongst the small day time crowds that can be found as the other billion tourists are either in bed sleeping off the previous evening, dashing through the lush green rice fields on their rental bikes, filling a seat on one of the many river cruises on the Li River;

Or if they prefer, hanging somewhere off a limestone peak happily rock climbing.

We chose to let the hangers hang and to grab a bamboo seat and relax for an afternoon on a small river boat heading towards Fuli Town which then turned into Liu Gong Village as by Fuli Town all three of us had not had enough of what we found slowly passing us by as we sleepily drifted down the quiet river waters. Liu Gong is a sleepy village that was once inhabited by around one thousand five hundred people but now days most (especially the young) have left for the cities leaving mostly parents and grandparents behind to till the peaceful fields.

The village has only three sites to boast but after such a relaxing journey need you anymore?

There is a small local temple, several local houses all of which are well over three hundred years old, a small muddy cave and what are known as the three coloured ponds or pools. I am unsure if it was the oncoming storm or the fact that the first pond had a bloated dead pig in it, needless to say we were quickly ushered past and back to the village just in time for a huge downpour of rain that had us running for shelter into a local person’s home for around five minutes until it was safe to continue.

For those wanting to visit Liu Gong Village, please do so as you will get to visit a rural river side village that really hasn’t changed that much over the past three hundred years.

This village has also happily drawn back a village daughter that spent four years working in Shenzhen which is one of China super financial cities on the east coast. Due to costs she saved nothing in the entire four years she was there along with not being financial enough to go home to visit her parents led to her decision to move back to her village in hope to help her village draw future finance from tourists that visit Yangshuo. To help do this they have set up a small eatery at the village docks which serves delicious local foods along with cold drinks.

Another wonderful draw card is the fact that you are shown around the village by the mother of the adventurous and helpful daughter.

After a further several hours relaxing on the river boat we arrived back in Yangshou in the late afternoon and after well needed shower we headed back down to immerse ourselves amongst Yangshuo’s surprisingly overfilled streets. I know I have been away for four years but did someone actually advertise that the 2010 World Cup had been moved here because this really is a ridiculous amount of people for such a small place. Anyhow the World Cup my well have been moved here as not only did we have the crowds but we also had so many large screen TV’s both inside and out that it pretty much made the entire thing our reality.

To get away from it all we decided to park our butts in Yangshuo’s only Indian Restaurant where soon after ordering I had my first Indian culinary experience in five and a half years and my friends it was worth the wait as they do actually have a real Indian Chef who is actually from India.

Or so they say! He’s probably a taxi driver from Melbourne Australia for all we know!

Saturday just gone (10th July) we woke earlyish and after renting bikes for the day we slowly made our way towards Moon Hill which is also known as Yueliang Shan which is an easy half an hour ride from Yangshuo. It is a huge slice of rock with a round hole in its center and after you climb its eight hundred or so steps on a marble paved mountain path to reach it you are then rewarded with some amazing sights of the lime stone peaked surroundings. But for those who want more and huge three hundred and sixty degree views from the very top then once you arrive at the top of the stairs follow the path and soon you will come to a small wooden sign that says ‘no entry’ (or something of the sort).

Simply ignore that sign and follow the small, stony, jaggered, easy yet sometimes difficult pathway all the way to the top of the limestone karst peak that is known as Moon Hill.

When you reach the top you will be either rewarded with some of the most relaxing and amazing views you have ever seen in your life or a very tired, breathless and silent Sophie the Snuffet whom if she had a knife would stab you but for the moment is simply happy to tell you that she hates you and will stab you upon return to the hotel.

We spent the rest of the afternoon slowly making our way back to Yangshuo and by the time we returned Snuffy and I had become somewhat friends again.

That night (Saturday night) was when Yangshuo town changed back to what I have always known it to be, that of Stephen Kings ‘Salem’s Lot’ where everyone sleeps during the day and after the sun scampers to another part of the world they all rise in search of their favoured poison. Mickey from MC Blues is of course still the head Vampire and had shots and cocktails of gawd knows what lined up along the bar for us to orally inject to satisfy our nightly hungers.

The night then became hazy for us all and neither Suffy, Sean the Sheep or I remembered how we got home let along what time.

I found out last night that I returned to MC Blues around five in the morning and was still ordering Vodka Shots and other miscellaneous cocktails before making my way to and somehow finding my hotel. Upon awakening both Snuffy and Sean the Sheep found out they had visited Mc Donald’s on their way home and thankfully passed out before they could un-wrap a single burger therefore they were rewarded with cold yet well needed burgers very late in the afternoon.

Needless to say that last night was a very slow night for us all.

I spent my evening walking amongst the millions and dropped in to see Mickey for a few beers and an awesome Tuna Melt before heading home for a very early evening. Today Snuffy, Sean the Sheep and I headed to Buckland’s where I finally got to drop off my entire life’s worth and also got to say hello to Owen as he was running out the door to collect several teachers from a few hours away.

So we are hoping to catch up over many beers and a big dinner tomorrow night.

After an afternoon spent walking along the Li River I sadly had to say my goodbyes to English Sophie and Craig and believe me I was so closed to purchasing the bus ticket that would have allowed us to continue having such a wonderful time together. All long-term travellers can tell you how easy it is to find travellers that make you feel comfortable but they can also tell you how difficult it is to find a single traveller let alone a couple that actually make you feel at home. Even though I always choose to travel solo I still do meet many other travellers and most of them I feel comfortable and happy to be with yet sometimes I also meet those that feel as though they have been in my life for most of my life.

Anyhow I chose to say my goodbyes at the hotel door as I was a little too sad to walk them to the bus station and wait for the bus to arrive which was already forty minutes late so a more than huge thank you must go to Snuffy & Sean the Sheep for being such wonderful travelling companions from the northern city of Xian all the way to Rice Vagas in Guilin city to the well over populated vibrant streets of Yangshuo..

Tomorrow I hope to ride to the Dragon Bridge and then have a huge dinner with the Buckland’s Crew and upon waking on Wednesday I will most likely pack and take off somewhere close by in the northwest of Guangxi Province.

But who knows, this is Salem’s Lot after all! Usually it takes a few more nights for my alcohol system to actually need blood!

<u>Yangshuo Town</u>

Yangshuo lies in the northeast of Guangxi Province and to the southeast of Guilin City.

The special geography gives it breath-taking beauty while over 1,400 years of history bless it with a deep traditional culture. The diverse ethnic minority groups including Hui, Zhuang, Yao and others enrich it with special folk cultures represented by their various festivals while many foreign residents add exotic flavors to its fascination!

The famous Li River traverses the county and brings it the most beautiful scenery.

Along this extremely pure river, thousands of hills stand in different poses and with different expressions, such as Moon Hill, Mural Hill and Schoolboy Hill which is the natural stage of the world famous opera 'Impression on Sanjie Liu'. Sanjie Liu is a fairy singer in the legend of the Zhuang minority group. Big Banyan, a huge tree with a history of over 1,400 years, is said to be the place where her love story happened. The 'Little Li River'- the Yulong River is a paradise for a cruise because of its green hills, silky water and ancient bridges.

Streets in Yangshuo are well kept in the original style, presenting the simple and primitive atmosphere of the ancient town. West Street is the most exciting one that locals call the 'Global Village'. There are not only many foreign tourists, but also quite a number of foreign residents managing caf&eacute;s and restaurants. The exotic flavor, combined with the traditional culture, make the West Street world famous.

Yangshuo also attracts tourists with its delicious specialty foods, such as Beer Fish.

<u>Li River</u>

Originating from Maoer Shan (Cat Mountain) in Xing'an county, north of Guilin, the Li River winds its way south for about 437 km, passing through Guilin, Yangshuo, Pingle and Zhaoping, and finally meets the Xi (West) River at Wuzhou. It boasts the largest and most beautiful scenic area in China and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The 83 kilometer-long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo is like an artist's masterpiece.

The landscape is decorated with startling hills, steep cliffs, fantastic caves, farming villages and is lined with bamboo. In a Chinese poem it is written: "The river is a green silk ribbon and the hills are jade hairpins".

The Li River is the main river system of Northeast Guangx and the 83-kilometer section between Guilin and Yangshuo is the most beautiful part. It enjoys the reputation of being a "River Art Gallery".

Chinese Pinyin: L&iacute; Ji&#257;ng, pronounced Lee Jyang Source: Maoer Shan (Cat Mountain), North Guilin Length: 437 kilometers

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Buffalo Tom The album was &#8216;Smitten’ ____________________________________________________________

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures


The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

The Li River &#38;amp; Moon Hill Adventures

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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