A Travellerspoint blog

Cycling in Yangshuo

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IMG_0977.jpg I thought I would interrupt my blog timeline to do a little boasting :)
I have just completed a 38 km hill ride to Xing Ping from Yangshuo by myself in the blazing sun. I only got lost once. It was the hardest thing I have done in a very long time, especially since my backside hasn't recovered from yesterdays ride. But the scenery had me smiling the whole way.

Posted by Kiwi Holly 01:54 Comments (0)

How to climb stairs in Guangxi province.

Part 1 Guilin

overcast 22 °C
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Sandra and I were picked up bright and early by Mr Wang our taxi driver. Chinese taxi drivers are punctual, well more keen than punctual, he rang us at 5.15am from outside for a 5.30 pick up. It is about an hours ride to Pudong Airport, pity it was too early for the 300 kph Maglev train.
We found out that some of Sandra's fellow Bilingual school teachers were going to the same hostel as we were, which was very helpful as Nancy and Poppy are awesome Chinese ladies. Plus there were also some teacher aides from the UK already in Guilin staying at the same hostel.
Here they are in a "Jumping photo"
I got to sit next to a karate practitioner/wise man/monk type on the plane in a blue woven Kung fu suit. Yep it's true. He even had that wispy chin beardy thing going on.

We got picked up by a lady taxi driver, it seems to be the norm in Guilin judging by the airport line up... Poppy and Nancy negotiated a driver to take us to a park that day and the rice terraces terraces the following day. The price was only a fraction of what hostels usually charge.

We checked into the Ming Palace then headed a few doors down for the signature Guilin beef rice noodles. Very tasty and at 80c a bowl. CA0408372219AC6817A5FFBA5498471F.jpg

Then the 7 of us loaded into a van and drove to Guilin's famous Reed Flute caves (Chinese: 芦笛岩; pinyin: Lúdí Yán) which have been attracting tourists since 792AD. They were briefly forgotten about for a while and rediscovered in the 1940's by refugees fleeing the Japanese troops ( there is some resentment still today- we saw a food stall that stated "Food not served to Japanese"). Btw I had to look up the cave info on Wikipedia as we were guided by a young Chinese lady with a good set of lungs aided by a speaker and a flag. I didn't understand anything. But the signs did help.
The caves were beautiful too.
They did have this strange goldfish release ceremony where everyone was invited to take a plastic orange saucepan with a live goldfish, have their photo taken with said saucepan, to release it into a pool. Now the story goes that the goldfish will swim downstream and repopulate the River Li. Umm are goldfish native? Do they live in caves? How will they swim from a pool into the River Li? These my friends are questions that won't be answered. I politely declined. But many of my tour group were keen.


The trip out of the caves was equally beautiful.
The fruit in the baskets grows on vines in the area. They kind of look like dried husks when they are broken up for tea. We were invited to taste the tea but unusually not given the hard sell.
Now for the stair part.
Well even though I do go to the gym I think a couple of years without proper fieldwork + jet lag + humidity made this climb difficult. But I did get to the top in 20 minutes, even though our taxi driver insisted it was going to take two hours, and the views were gorgeous. Better in real life than in pictures, but here they are.
The walk into Central Guilin after dinner to see the Moon and Sun pagodas was great. Did you know Guilin has the tallest copper pagoda in the world? It is the sun pagoda.

Posted by Kiwi Holly 16:11 Archived in China Comments (1)

Rainy welcome to Shanghai.

rain 19 °C
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We'll I won't start to describe Shanghai as it was cold and very wet when I arrived, and stayed that way for the day I was there.
Saying that, there were many highlights, including:
- getting picked up from the airport by Sandra Brown
- riding the high speed Maglev train from the airport and connecting to the superb subway system
- witnessing some of the most craziest traffic in the world
- seeing the thousands of cyclists braving the rain and the traffic with no helmets and various ways to avoid the rain from hand held umbrellas to whole bike raincoats (I want one)
- registering myself at the police station
- eating scrummy steam buns from Sandra's local Babi Mantou
- an hour long foot massage for just over $10
- going to a superb Shanghai dumpling restaurant that has a Michelin Star and branches worldwide. Din Tai Fung served up some amazing service and the best Chinese food I have had in my life so far. They are famous for xiaolongbao, soup dumplings- dumplings with the soup on the inside.

Posted by Kiwi Holly 00:37 Archived in China Comments (0)

Off to Shanghai in T minus 4 hours....

sunny 18 °C

This is just a check to see if this blog is working, just off to make spicy pumpkin tacos for my house sitter....

Posted by Kiwi Holly 00:11 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

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