Sunday, October 17, 2010

Guilin Day 1 & 2

During the Chinese National holiday I spent five glorious days escaping the hustle and bustle of city life in Beijing.  Along with five other teachers, I traveled to one of China's southern treasures: Guilin.  We spend one night in Guilin City, two nights in the touristy town of Yangshuo, and one night in a tiny farming village called Longji. Mountains, rivers, and rice fields as far as the eye can see.  It was a perfect vacation in Southern China.

Guilin city was more of a pit stop on our way than anything to write home about.  We arrived, were met by by our private tour guide with our private bus (yes- this is why I love traveling in asia), went up Yao mountain on a chairlift to see the view, did a bit of shopping, and went to bed.  The Yao mountain chairlift was a bit of an adventure, if only because I'm a bit afraid of heights.  The view was well worth the death grip I had on the chairlift bar.  Another noteworthy moment from Guilin was watching Tim, the only male companion in our party, bargain with an 8 year old while shopping.

Yao Mountain 

Tim pulling out his top bargaining skills 

The following morning we woke up early to catch the boat for our Li River Cruise.  The Li River is China's fourth largest river. The scenery is famous for a reason- it's breathtaking. The photos I took don't even begin to capture the magic of it.  The river winds through limestone mountains, past fisherman and their cormorants,  and past the water buffalo enjoying lazy afternoons.

The Li river is famous for the Cormorants trained for fishing. 

Illegal vendors on small bamboo rafts would pull up alongside our much larger boat, and try to sell their wares.  Our tour guide cautioned us that this is dangerous for the vendors, and he has seen many fall into the river with their rafts still attached to our boat while trying to make a sale.  They can swim- but certainly not fast enough to catch up with the boat and therefore lose their raft and goods.  

The cruise took us all the way to the town call Yangshuo, where we spent the next two nights.  To end the day we walked around Yangshuo's very touristy West Street, and took it easy.  Stay tuned- more to come!

Walking down a very busy West Steet alongside a man selling fruit

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dear Neglected Blog

I am back in Beijing after a wonderful summer at home.  I had plenty of time to spend with family and friends, and do some of my favourite summer time things. Of course, I made sure to spend plenty of time at the beach!                                

Unfortunately, I've been very busy since my return and have completely neglected doing any writing, but I'm making myself get back on the blogging bandwagonI write for myself- but I hope that anyone who comes across my little corner of the web enjoys what they find!  I'd love to hear your comments :) 

P.S. I don't know what is wrong with the formatting of this post.  It looks normal in the draft, but is posting all wrong.  Anyone know how to fix that?