A Travellerspoint blog

Yangshuo.....It's Bloody Gorgeous Mate!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

You're off to Great Places, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go. You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft and never mix up your right foot with your left.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they're dark. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win? So...be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Place.

Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way! Oh the places you'll go……………..……Dr Seuss.

Forgotten beauty!

Honestly, it amazes me how a person can actually forget the breathtaking beauty that Yangshuo offers. After boarding the south bound train at the beginning of July I lay in my little bunk thinking of all the places I could visit and found myself wishing that I was actually heading anywhere but my mandatory destination. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love Yangshuo, but I have been eating banana pancakes and drinking cold Liquan beer here since December 1999 and have now lost count of how many times I have returned.

Forgotten beauty. Sometimes it really can slap you on the upside!

After unpacking, having a deliciously huge catchup lunch with Owen and his family and I was riverside bound. Upon arrival I found myself gazing at the Li River through the moments I captured frozen in time way back in December 1999. The last several times I’ve returned to Yangshuo it quickly changed into a town I only saw at night by colourful neon’s, vibrant and populated bars along with cafes and street food that could tempt any Sulky Suzie on an 'OH MY GAWD, I’m 40 kilo’s, I’m so fat’ diet!

For me Yangshuo always turns into Salem’s Lot and all too quickly I find myself getting caught up the whirl wind of nightly good vibrations that end with a hazy swim just as the sun begins its morning yawn, and as it gathers its strength all the party people began to squint and find the sun not all that friendly anymore. So with glowing eyes we flash our fangs towards the suns goodly presence and quickly slither back to our darkened holes where we sleep the dreamless sleep of the (brain) Dead until the shadows mold and stretch into the comforts of darkness once again. This time as I first gazed out over the Li River I had that same un-measurable excitement I felt the first time I gasped and took in its beauty twelve years ago. I found those same butterflies fluttering around my stomach and over the past several weeks I have quickly found that even though things still seem the same on the top, they have changed greatly below. Many of my old haunts have either disappeared or are now catering to the new money spinner, the domestic Chinese tourist where once it catered for its foreign backpacking tourists. There are still some café’s and bars that draw mostly foreigners but the new draw card is to have a solo or three piece band playing each afternoon and evening which definitely attracts the Chinese like a Westlife or Back Street Boys unplugged event.

The saddest part for me is that MC Blues after dark now caters only for the Chinese.

Yes, Mickey (my oldest/longest friend here in China - twelve years now) gave in, moved the bar upstairs and now downstairs he has a duo or three piece doing their Chinese musical thing at far too many decibels for most foreigners to contemplate visiting.

Anyhow, back to Salem’s Lot/Yangshuo. This visit is somewhat different and I’ve actually been staying clear of any of my ‘still around’ old haunts and checking out a heap of new cafes each evening for dinner. We now have Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Thai, Bar 98 still puts on its Friday ‘Aussie BBQ’, and I’ve become good friends with Mac, the owner of the new Indian Restaurant. He’s always up for a fun time and after a few too many 7.5% Kingfisher beers he likes to bring out the Johnny Walker black label.

Along with a few other things that I won’t mention. Anyhow not so long ago a few of us stayed up a little too long and had a few too many ‘things’ and some ended up sleeping in KFC for a bit, another made it all the way back to the hostel but couldn’t quite figure out how to put the key in the lock (so he slept on the front stairs) and yours truly decided that a kip in the park would be a happening thing. I woke with people doing TaiChi nearby, others playing musical instruments and a few others had even thought my idea a good one and were found stretched out on benches and grassy areas.

Yours truly though had chosen to sleep kind of under but more in a bush and woke with a trillion mosquito and ant bites all over….needless to say that I slept for the next few days.

The days, which have been anywhere between thirty to thirty seven degrees with ‘total’ humidity have found my sandals and I walking along the river, out in the rice fields, swimming or just relaxing at a random café reading. Most evenings have been spent relaxing in the Korean Eatery (I love Korean Food!) with new friends chatting, kicking back with a few beers reading at The Alley Bar or five floors up at Mojo’s Roof Top Bar which opens late afternoon/early even and it offers an absolutely stunning 360 degree view of Yangshuo.

Epecially when a monsoon electrical storm hits.

The staff is awesome and willingly participate in all games which include beer or any other liquor that is involved at the time. After dark at Mojo’s it’s all about playing pool, the dance floor, foosball and getting to know fellow travelers over a slurpy game of Beer Pong (love Beer Pong! see photo’s). There are a handful of other roof top bars and each offers its own vibe. Monkey Jane’s is a very small yet a total travellers environment, it is housed above Monkey James hostel and it is filled with backpackers so it is perfect for travel info. The Showbiz Roof Top Bar I have visited several times and found the company really cool and opened minded about where to go and where they have been.

As for the near future…I’ve had my health check (which took almost two weeks) and thankfully all was well and I’m not pregnant nor do I have AIDS. So now just waiting for ‘the second step’ to be completed (another week) and then it will be another week or so for my passport to be sent off, my VISA processed and my passport returned.

You must be wondering if all this time is bothering me? HaHaHa, for now, no it is in no way bothering me!

This morning I received a sleep filled confusing text message from my girlfriend JiangNi (Lisa Jane - who has had her long lushes hair cut off and still remains the most beautiful girl in the world!) that told me I should hurry and get up as she was hungry. Sneaky little Snacky boarded the train from Shenzhen last night to give me a surprise visit and what a surprise it was! We brunched on ‘Yangshuo Beer Fish’ and then spent the afternoon lazily bamboo rafting the Li River and catching up with our feet dangling in the cool water and as there are so many rafting opportunities here I’m sure the next many days will be spent doing the same so I will leave the rafting until the next blog.

<u>OK, About The Next Months Blogs</u>

As I’ve been here a number of times, I’ve decided to simply walk, ride, eat and drink my way through the month and at the end of my stay here simply divide all the photos into the numerous rides that I’ve already selected and throw them into the date that I first rode each ride. There is no doubt that I will ride each several times due to not only meeting new comers to Yangshuo that want a riding partner but also due to the sheer beauty of this place. All the photos for the 2012 Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure have been and will continue to be shot with my new Nokia N8, 12 megapixel phone camera which so far has been an outstanding purchase!

As for social shots they will be in some sort of real time order. This way I won’t have to blog each and every single day.

<u>Now For a Bit on Yangshuo</u>

Located seventy kilometers from Guilin in the northeast part of Guangxi Province, Yangshuo is littered with karst terrain. The sixty kilometer river section in the Yangshuo area is the essence of the famous Li River cruise which makes Yangshuo one of the most famous tourist destinations in China. It boasts breath taking natural scenery, ancient dwellings and an insight into a diverse range of cultures.

It is most popular for its incredible karst scenery, beautiful mountains, rivers, caves and temples as well as its laid back cafes and bars. As a result (and as you would expect), there is no shortage of mainland Chinese tourists, ex-pats, other foreigners along with a KFC and Mc Donald’s or two but even with the combination of the above Yangshuo still manages to remain &#8216;not your typical Chinese town’. It remains air and noise pollution free (besides all the Doof Doof), very clean (by Chinese standards) and does not &#8216;usually’ suffer from the endless massive traffic chaos. It still has its backpacker friendly charm with wonderful restaurants and shops and it does still manage to capture its reputation as the foreign backpacker haven in Southern China and remains a major stop on the trail for most, if not all independent travelers.

The heart of the place is West Street which is the oldest street in Yangshuo.

It has a history of more than one thousand five hundred years, is situated in the center of Yangshuo and since the 1980's has offered a window of east meets west culture along with being the largest 'foreign language center' in all of China. Each year around one hundred thousand foreigners drop in on their travels to either attend or advance their Chinese cultural studies or simply kick back and eat Yangshuo Beer Fish and at times there must be so many foreigners here that the Chinese must think that they have dropped a sneaky acid trip and believe they are in a foreign country.

Whilst meandering around the West Street area, you are surrounded by an array of traditional folk and amazing international elements. Various craftworks shops, painting and calligraphy stores, backpacking shops, cafes, and Chinese Kung Fu academies all jostle for your attention. You will also find a multitude of items from embroidered silk cloth, wax-painted weaving, to tiny shoes worn by women before the liberation of the People's Republic of China in 1949. You will of course find many bars and cafes, many run by foreigners and decorated with bamboo rafts, fish baskets, wax-painted tablecloths etc all to make your visit feel believably that you have really spent time in the &#8216;real China’

Yet you haven’t really stepped beyond the Great Wall! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Motorhead The album was &#8216;Welcome to The Bear Trap’ ____________________________________________________________

Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days


Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Beautiful Yangshuo Days

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login