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China - Yangshuo And It's Magic Surroundings

Published: 5.9.2010
If you would like to have a stop in a locality, where the time is passing in another rate of speed, where everyday hunt for activity and stress do not have any chance, so, you arrived to the right spot. It is Yangshuo, small Chinese town, situated in nature karst along Li and Yulong rivers.

Nevertheless, the inhabitants´ number in Yangshuo is changing all the time. It is mostly ranging to 300 000 of persons. The place became famous tourists´ destination, where the English language is being tought, even during hot summer months. The people, coming from the other Chinese towns, are gladly willing to participate on special teaching courses. So, local teachers come from different countries, and, except native persons on lecturers´ posts, you can meet the Belgians, Dutchmen or Swedes or other Scandinavians.

These persons are not obliged to teach, but many of them are working as bar managers, living there for longer time period. So, as a wonderful example, it could serve picturesque Truppers Carpe Diem or Trippers Guest House, distant two kilometres from city centre only. Mr.Tripper, a Belgian, is an owner there, together with his Chinese wife. They are able to offer you, except friendly acceptance, advice and meals of Chinese or European origin, even an accommodation in one room, which is available. From there, you can enjoy marvellous view to a nature, absolutely untouched by civilization. When returning to the town, you have the possibility to visit „Secret Beach“ on Li-river.

Nevertheless, let´s have a look at peaceful town of Yangshuo. The city is consisted of two main streets, which are connected each other with many side-streets. Here, you can find small shops, internet caffees, hotels and hostels, and market place, of course. Except various sorts of spices, twigs from rare trees or from its roots, you have the chance to buy there fruit and vegetables, in fresh or dry form. The same situation is, as far as the meats are concerned. Except fish, snails or crayfish, you can get there chicken, pork, beef, or even dog sorts of meat. And just the dogs became local delicacy (which is much more expensive).

The animals are kept in small aviaries and are killed in accordance with wishes and choice of customers. Speaking about market place, we cannot miss various souvenirs, such as little sticks made from various materials or horns from water buffalos. Even cheap jewels from Tibet silver do not miss there. The subjects resemble the tin (anyway, it is not original Tibet silver but an iron covered with silver). The town of Yangshuo, influenced with western civilization, does not forget its roots (origin), so, you can easily find here many counterfeits, starting from watches of very bad quality, via handbags up to cloths and dresses. An undivisible part of shopping is formed with price bargain. You have the chance to obtain the goods at 20% level from originally stated price! Anyway, you can reach half-price level from originally offered price.

To another products and services belong, no doubt, the chance to go along with bamboo raft on stream of Li-river, or you can rent a bicycle. And really, you have a big choice, from so called folding bikes up to mountain bikes or even tandem bicycles. Nevertheless, you are advised to pay attention at traffic jam! It is true that the streets are full of signs and traffic lights do not mean that all these would be respected carefully. In narrow streets as well as wide mains streets, personal vehicles, buses or motor-cycles are passing quickly. However, red light does not mean: “Stop!“, full line is no wall and ordered way direction does not order something at all. It could happen that you meet vehicles surpassing from left or right side or even driven in opposite direction! Motor-horns make terrible noise and crowds of two-cycle engines, cooled by air, border the streets. Nevertheless, let´s forget romantic brands, such as Italian Vespa or Lambretta: On local motor-cycles the brands of Ianshe, Luyuan or Guana prevail.

 You cannot meet pretty girl from 1950 or enamoured couple, but you see (to your big surprise!) four-member family, including dog and shopping subjects on board! Another necessary supplements, such as helmets, are missing completely. On the other hand, you can note that an umbrella or parasol do not miss there, as the ladies try to be sheltered in front of sun-rays even during a drive. White hue of the skin, reminding the alabaster, is the most attractive one. If local shops and markets will be tired for you, so, it could be the best time period (after good lunch or relax) you can continue ahead with your next activities. Except tourist walking or cycling, you can lease a raft for wild parts of the river, or canoe for calm river-sections. On the other hand, more courageous persons could study fighting sports or investigate local limestone rocks. You can find there more than 300 marked and secured paths, and local guides are always at your disposal. So, the mounteneering found there its respectable place in 1992, when Todd Skinner, an American climber, arrived to Yangshuo. So, the American paths´ classification is being used there (5.0-5,15b). 

Since 2001, the Australian company Chinaclimb is active in this town. Anyway, walking through city centre, you can meet X-Climber or Spiderman Climbing Companies. Moon Hill (Yueliang Shan) became a famous place, not only for mountaineers but for all lovers of hikes and circular views. And just there, Mr. Todd Skinner marked his most known climbing paths. This rocky bridge is situated in distance of 8 kms from city centre. This steep hike up to its top takes 30 minutes approx, but the view is worth to be done. Nevertheless, in Yangshuo surroundings, you can find another local attractive places, such as the caves (Assembly Dragon Cave, Green-Lotus Cave), the bridges or night fishing. The Ancient Guilin Show or the excursion towards Long-Ji rice-terraces, situated in distance of 200 kms from the town, could be recommended, too. But, keep in mind that local maps do not maintain any scales!

And what about the boarding and night life in this busy town of Yangshuo? As mentioned above, the town became a famous destination for travellers, known as „ruck-sacks passengers“ or travellers from West. So, except traditional local restaurants, you can meet pizzerias or places where you can receive steaks or classical West kitchen (meals). To most known restaurants belong, for sure, popular Rock´n Grill or 7th Heaven Cafe. As far as night bars are concerned, you can choose in accordance to your music wish, from reggae, via dance or techno style, or life performances, where you can be shocked with local pop scene.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that whatever you eat or drink, your stomach could not be perfectly adapted to such local meal composition. So, you are recommended to take some packets of  prophylactics and another packs of suitable medicins. You have to take into consideration that a certain time you will spend in WC (in better case, you meet so called Turkish WC, in 90% of cases!). Another advice is quite simple: do not wash away your toilet paper! This paper belongs to rubbish basket! Do believe, that toilet could be completely blocked. And afterthat, the help, assistance and service of Chinese plumber is not a pleasant matter, you can spend with such activity, loosing the whole day in suchg way!

Text and Photo: Amy Challen a Jan Lidmaňský

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš



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