|On Saturday we walked back down the hill to be taken by car to Guilin and a trip down the Li River to XingPin The river is surrounded by huge limestone mountains which are all different shapes. The Chinese have names for most of them and they are truly spectacular. It was very pleasant going down the river but I did have my worst toilet experience at the public toilets before getting onto the boat. Without going into details it took me three looks inside and a bursting bladder before I got the courage to use the facility.
Our guide speaks very good English, is very passionate about his job and keen to share all his knowledge. He has a degree in civil engineering but after graduating and working for six months found it very boring. So he quit and started working, first in a hotel, then a travel agency and now has his own business. I asked how his parents felt about it and he said at first they were very disappointed at the time but he promised them he would work very hard and make a success. Now they are very proud of him. He is married and has one son 14 months old.
It was a very long day for us and the weather was very hot and steamy so we were very glad to get to our hotel. The hotel is just outside Yangshou and is very beautiful. The staff speak excellent English and the food is western style Chinese which Greg is very pleased about. We have a little balcony (our first one in China) overlooking the mountains.
This morning it was overcast and much cooler. We hired some bikes from the hotel and cycled along the Yulong River for a bit then into the town of Yangshou. The bikes had good gears so it was fairly easy cycling (stop rolling your eyes Barry) but the seats were nowhere near as comfortable as ours are. There are a lot of westerners here as this area is renown for cycling, hiking and mountain climbing. The scenery is amazing and the area where we are staying is mainly farming with lots of vegetables and rice being grown. The farmers build their own houses and it is a slow process with them working on the houses after their farm duties are finished and getting building supplies when they can afford to. Hence there are many ongoing projects along the road near our hotel.
Tomorrow is our last day in China. We have a couple of tourist spots to visit on the way to the airport. Then we head back to Oz