After one night in Guilin the next day started with a boat cruise on the Li river in order to go to our next destination: the town of Yangshuo.
Lijang River originates from Cat Mountain in Xing’an County in the North of Guilin. It flows 437km down through the towns of Guilin, Yangshou and Wuzhou. The distance between Guilin and Yangshou is about 83km. Along the river banks we travelled through spectacular landscapes composed of hills, towering peaks, cliffs and odd-shapped crags, all reflected in the water of the river.
It was impressive to see this picture of wild and pure nature which created a relaxing atmosphere. A local expression calls the river “one hundred miles Lijang River, one hundred miles art gallery”.
The ship ride took us around 3hours, during which we could admire the breath-taking landscape: peaks covered by large forests, we can mention the green lotus peak, local animals such as water buffalos and lots of small waterfalls. We could also see local inhabitants in their very origin way of live, fishing on their small boats made of bamboo, washing their children in the river and tending their cattle. After a few hours we had lunch on the boat – typical fresh Chinese food.
In the early afternoon we finally arrived at the small city of Yangshou where Peggy our guide was waiting for us. Like always, we had lots of local inhabitants around us, sniffing their chance to make a good deal with the “rich” foreigners.
Yangshuo lies south of Guilin and is quiet small with approximately 300 000 inhabitants. The main activity there is tourism. Due to this is the beautiful landscapes around the city and also the old culture.
But coming back to Peggy, we should first introduce her. She is a Chinese farmer woman who learned English in order to be a guide for tourists.
She organized a bike ride to show us the amazing landscape around the city. We drove through the real countryside with our bikes and arrived at her house. Peggy and her husband invited us for some cold beers and local drink specialities. We rested on the roof of her house from which we could admire the whole village and the nature which surrounds it. Thanks to this journey we could discover how farmers live in China, building their houses with their own hands, farming and eating what the nature provides them.
We came back to the hotel in the early evening after an exhausting afternoon and had finally some free time.
This day was quiet different from what we experienced so far, as we came in touch with the authentic rural culture.