Friday, February 6th, 2004 – Day 353 to Saturday, February 7th, 2004 – Day 354

Friday, February 6th, 2004 – Day 353

Very drunk last night. This is becoming a problem and again it was noon before I got up and had breakfast.

I took a 5.50 Yuan bus to Xingping for a river boar cruise. Its an hour bus ride.

Surrounded by a jungle of karst pinnacles, the charming, as yet unspoiled village of Xingping about 25km (15 miles) upstream of Yangshuo is being touted by some as the next Yangshuo, meaning the next backpackers’ haven, now that Yangshuo has become more of a commercialized circus. Cobblestone streets wind their ways through this quaint village of stone houses that’s refreshingly free of souvenir stores, and residents go about their daily business with nary a glance spared for the visitor. The most scenic area is the riverfront; on market days you’ll see villagers from the surrounding areas boarding boats laden with everything from live chickens to new aluminum works. Rather than sail upstream, some tourists prefer to cycle or take a bus to Xingp?ng and catch a boat downstream back to Yangshuo .

I took a two hour cruise for 40 Yuan. There was just one American and one South Korean guy on the boat. It was fine. I too a bus back and met up with the others.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Boat trip near Yangshuo (06-02-2004)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Boat trip near Yangshuo (06-02-2004)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Boat trip near Yangshuo (06-02-2004)

Another night in the pub and very drunk again. Talking about religion of all things. First time I have fallen on my arse fro drink in a long time. There is a climbing walk in the pub, which we try and climb. There is also a rope ladder to the ceiling. Another 2.00am end to the night.

Saturday, February 7th, 2004 – Day 354

Again it was noon before I got up. I decided to leave town before my liver gave up. I took a 10 yuan bus to Guilin where I purchased a 260 Yuan sleeper ticket to Wuhan.

One of the most-visited Chinese cities, Guilin (pop. 630,000), located in the northeastern part of the Guangxi Autonomous Region, has long been famous for its limestone karst hills. Formed more than 200 million years ago when the oceans receded from this area, the hills sprout from a patchwork of paddy fields and flowing streams, creating a dreamy, seductive landscape that leaves few souls unstirred. Though there are a few hills in the city that can be explored, the Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is the top attraction in town. Increasingly, Guilin is also being used as a base to visit the minority villages to the northwest. Unfortunately, the cost of Guilin’s overwhelming popularity is a degree of unrelenting exploitation and extortion audacious even by Chinese standards; foreigners are overcharged for everything.

The bus was at 6.00pm. I spend the day walking around Guilin. Again It was a fine bus but I did not sleep. They showed two Hong Kong movies before lights went off at 10.00pm. A guy to my left snored very heavily all night.

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