We left our hotel at 6:00 AM and headed straight to the airport. Our flight was only delayed an hour this time and we landed in Guilin about 2.5 hours later!
In Guilin, we boarded our bus and had a two hour drive to the town of Yangshuo. The drive was absolutely beautiful – there were limestone mountains jutting out of the otherwise flat landscape. We passed numerous rice paddies during our drive and even saw some farmers hard at work.
Yangshuo is a tourist destination for both, Chinese & international travelers. It was one of the first places for Westerners to come when China opened its doors! It is exactly what I imagine when I think of “small town China” – bustling streets with locals going about their daily business, motorcycles and scooters everywhere and amazing scenery.
It had rained for 3 straight days prior to our arrival, so one of our optional activities was canceled. It was a show directed by the same person who directed the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies and has over 700 performers. The stage is the Li River and the backdrop is the limestone mountains. It would have been amazing, but I now have an excuse to go back and visit Yangshuo!
When we arrived, we dropped our laundry off at a wash and fold place and headed out for a late lunch. Our tour manager took us to an Indian restaurant and it was delicious – my first time eating Indian! We got a bunch of different plates to share, so I was able to try a variety of dishes. My favorite was the garlic naan.
Pond in Yangshuo
After lunch, we stopped by a massage parlor to make appointments for the following day. Then, we took a leisurely stroll back to our hotel. We stopped at a park where people were playing cards and hanging out.
Park in Yangshuo
The limestone mountains that surround Yangshuo enhance the beauty
When I got back to the hotel, I was exhausted so I took an hour nap. A group of us met around 7:00 PM to walk around town. It was so hot and humid that we stopped for an ice cream!
After our ice cream, we went to a North Korean bar, DMZ Bar, which was surprisingly Western. It was very small and we were the only ones in there, so we played a few card games and had a few drinks. I tried a North Korean liquor – it tasted like peach, but I don’t think I’d order it again!
We all called it a night around 10:00 PM because we were wiped!