Yangshuo, a small town near the city of Guilin in Guangxi Province, is a very famous landmark of China and one of the InternChina Zhuhai office’s favourite travel spots. Philippe, our office manager, has been there all of seven times, and he likes it so much he will probably continue to go many more times.
For most of the 20 people who went on last weekend’s trip though, it was the first time, and we had high expectations. We left on Friday night and took off on an 8-hour bus ride, which we weren’t too fussed about because after Zhangjiajie, eight hours felt like a piece of cake.
We arrived early Saturday morning and stopped to eat traditional Gui Lin Mi Fen (Guilin rice noodles) for breakfast. Though it wasn’t cold, it was raining, so again we donned our ponchos. We were taken to the wharf and got on the boats for a tour along Lijiang River. Even though the rain and fog did not allow us to see much of the mountains around the river, it was still a nice ride and we were having fun trying to see whose boat would make it to the other end first.
One of the most famous features of Yangshuo is the spot on Lijiang River that is printed on the 20 Yuan notes, and of course, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to take some pictures to show we’d been there!
After the boats we took a walk along Xingping Town, a small town with narrow streets full of little shops where all kinds of souvenirs can be bought. Some of the interns bought amazing scroll paintings picturing the beauty of Lijiang River and its mountains.
Then we were taken to the Yinzi Cave, a huge cave full of stalactites and stalagmites in all kinds of shapes and sizes, which are made even more beautiful by the colourful light effects that surround them. Here you can also buy some special local products such as chilli sauce and chunks of solid honey, straight from the honeycomb.
After the cave we had lunch and then, since it wasn’t raining anymore, we decided to head over to Yulong River (also called the ‘Little Li River’), where we got on bamboo rafts again but this time, we had a mission: a water-gun fight! The funny part was that it took a while before all our rafts were assembled and ready to go, so while we were waiting we started shooting water at each other and by the time we actually got on the boats, most of us were already soaking wet. The rides were also a lot of fun, trying to aim at our friends from far away and even engaging in fights with other Chinese tourists who were more than happy to play around with us. Some of us even jumped in the river for a swim, the water was so clear and fresh we could have stayed there all day.
Then it was off to our hotel, where we took quick showers and headed to a local restaurant where we were served a feast of all kinds of dishes, including snails and the traditional Beer Fish. We were also given some of the local bai jiu (rice wine), which some of the interns drank with enthusiasm while others stuck to the safer option: the local Liquan Beer. After dinner we walked over to Xi Jie – bar street – for a night of dancing and bar-hopping.
The next morning, after breakfast, we visited the Butterfly Cave – another cave which goes up the mountain – and the Banyan Tree which is said to be 1000 years old. Afterwards we had a lunch of duck hot pot, and finally we were taken to West Street in Yangshuo Town, where we spent about an hour walking and looking around, eating fresh passion fruit and shopping for cool Chinese clothes and souvenirs. Then it was back on the bus and back to Zhuhai!