I was warned by my guidebook that I’d get stuck in Yangshuo for longer than I thought, and planned on arrival to stay for six days instead of the two or three I’m spending everywhere else. That was ten days ago now, and with a day left there are still a long list of things to do before I go.
The first few days were a writeoff due to torrential rain and illness. I was so feverish the first night that I had the most intensely emotional dreams I’ve ever had. I think I must’ve been talking in my sleep as the girl in the bed next to me refused to speak to me before she left the next morning. On the second day I got out of bed only to go on a futile trip to the doctor, and a subsequent more fruitful one to the chemist, to buy some (possibly fake) antibiotics. Those seemed to sort me out, and fairly soon I was eating normal food and drinking beer.
It was a shame that I couldn’t appreciate Yangshuo when I first arrived, as it really is a spectacularly beautiful place. The second half of my time here I’ve mainly been cycling around the area. Take a look at the photos to see why. I could try to describe the hills but I doubt I could do them justice.
On Tuesday I caught the bus to the next town up the Li river, Xingping. It was market day, but I didn’t particularly feel like buying anything. A local woman spent the hour that I was there following me around and trying to persuade me to take a bamboo raft down the river to a fishing village, and she eventually cut the price low enough for me to relent. It was a bit of a drizzly day, but I did at least get to see the hills on the 20 kuai note.
Yesterday I went to see the famous local sights with a Chinese-English girl who was staying at my hostel. We went on another bamboo raft, up the famous Moon Hill to see the famous view, an down some caves where I swam in a mud pool. I’d thought it was “the thing you were supposed to do”, but have since found out that it’s supposed to be a summer activity. Still, didn’t get sick, so no harm done.
Today I went to the Yao minority “Dragon Bone Rice Terrace” but that deserves an entry of its own, and I don’t have time right now.

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