As Yangshuo is supposed to be a relaxing few days, we had nothing on the itinerary before 10:30 AM. I slept in and relaxed for a while before our Chinese cooking class!
We met our cooking instructor at our hotel and she walked us across the street to the market where we saw a variety of live animals, meats & vegetables. We saw all the different kinds of meat & animals first, so a few members of our group decided to wait for us in the vegetable area. We saw a dog from farther away and there were some cats that we did not see.
The market had various types of meat
We then rejoined the rest of the group in the vegetable area, all of whom were very happy they skipped our part of the tour. Our instructor had already purchased the meat for our meal as it needed to be prepped, but we bought the vegetables we would cook with.
After the market, we headed to the restaurant to cook our lunch! We each had our own cooking area complete with its own wok. The instructor gave us baskets with all of our ingredients and we got to work!
Some of the cooking ingredients
We made our own eggplant & green bean stir fry, pork dumplings & kung pao chicken! Surprisingly, my food turned out really well and I ate it all. Normally, as soon as I touch uncooked I food it becomes exponentially worse!
The dumplings I made
My kung pao chicken & stir fry
After lunch, I went and picked up my laundry and took it back to the hotel & took a few pictures along the way.
One of the main streets in Yangshuo
Beautiful limestone formation near a pond
Small alley in Yangshuo
Then, I turned back around and went to go get a massage. It started pouring rain in the 15 minutes it took me to get to the massage parlor – by the time I got there I was absolutely soaked. I arrived a few minutes early and saw a few of my friends having a drink under cover at a restaurant next to the massage parlor, so I joined them. As soon as I sat down, it started raining even harder – so hard that the alarms on one of the motorbikes started going off!
I only had a massage once before, but the massage in China was a bit different. Instead of having our own room, the room had about 5 tables in it and they separated the men into one room and the women into a different room. I was the only one that got the relaxation massage in my room, the other two guys decided to get a therapeutic massage. My massage wasn’t exactly relaxing, but it did feel good!
After the massage, most of our group decided to head back to the hotel, but I decided to walk down to the Li River & enjoyed the beauty of the town after a rainfall. As I mentioned in my earlier post, it poured for the 3 days before our arrival so the river was flowing very quickly. Normally there would be tourists kayaking, on bamboo rafts or on sightseeing boats, but everything was not running.
The town was so beautiful after the rain
A local buying food off a street vendor
One of the main pedestrian streets
After the river, I strolled around town for a bit. It was very nice just to walk around somewhere with no set itinerary, no specific sites that need to be seen. It was beautiful.
After my stroll, I went back to the hotel for about an hour before meeting up with my roommate to grab a bite to eat. As we were eating, there was another downpour. We were under cover, but a lot of people got caught in the rain.
We had a beautiful view during the rainstorm
Then, we met the rest of the group at a bar that caters to Western backpackers for a Contiki Panda Themed Party. I just wore a panda hat, but other people went all out. Our tour manager put her hair into two buns and did her makeup in a way that made her look like a panda!
At the bar, we met another group of travelers that were on a tour of China. They were on a tour run by G Adventures with a similar itinerary, but the tour company caters to people who are not on a time limit because they are on gap years. Instead of taking flights, they take overnight trains and buses everywhere. It’s always fun meeting fellow travelers – their group was very diverse in that there were Norwegian, American, Italian & British travelers!
I stayed at the bar for a while and left around 2:00 AM with the final members of our group that were still there. Thankfully, it didn’t rain on our way back to the hotel!