Tag Archives: Yangshuo

Our South East Asia Grand Tour – One Month Re-cap

22nd April 2015

I can’t believe that we’ve been traveling for a month. It feels like yesterday I was excitedly posting on Facebook that we had one month to go before we left Korea. Now we have seen 5 countries, 12 cities, 11 planes, 5 trains, an endless amount of buses and more delicious foods that you can shake my ever growing belly at.

So what have we been up to? I realise I have been trying to update you all slowly but here is a quick recap for those of you who, like me, are partial to the odd list.

 

8 Japan

Kyoto – One of the places I most wanted to visit when moving to Asia. It didn’t disappoint. Geisha sightings, delicious markets and bamboo forests made this place unforgettable.

kyoto2_5 Best part of the trip: Feeding the Japanese snow monkeys in Arashiyama monkey park

Best tasty treat : Our first try of Okonomiyaki

 

10 Nara –  An adorable small city where deers rule the roost and temples are abundant.

Best part of the trip : Getting up close and personal with the deers.

Best tasty treat:  Green tea ice cream

 

sorry...had to do it

sorry…had to do it

Osaka – A fast paced city full of bright lights and active locals.

Best part of the trip: Seeing the bright lights of Dottonbori

Worst part of the trip: Getting our plane turned around after we left Japan for an unexpected extra night in the city. Although not the worst city to get stuck in.

 

12 The Philippines

Manila – We only stopped off here for the airport but we did it 4 times so it feels silly not to include it.

Best part of the airport (apart from leaving it) :  WENDY’S!

11 Boracay – Absolutely stunning which makes it even more annoying that its been swamped by tauts and con men that run up and down every inch of this spectacular beach.

Best part of the trip: Discovering the quieter areas of the beaches for ‘downers’…or sunset cocktails.

Worst part : Hiding from the sun even though I love it so and getting pick pocketed by our waiter and his accomplice.

23 Bohol – Beautiful chocolate hills and lovely quiet villages.

Best part of the trip: Seeing the Tarsiers

Worst part: Lee getting horrible food poisoning/parasite that would stay with him for 10 days.

13 El Nido – Beautiful beaches, glorious sunsets and island hopping

Best part of the trip: Snorkling for the first time and being utterly lazy.

Worst part: I got hit by the evil food poisoning/parasite here that knocked me for 6.

15 China

Guagzhou – a bustling city on the up.

Best part : Seeing the Canton Tower and the great area surrounding it.

Best tasty treat: A tiramisu latte from the Hello Kitty cafe.

4 Guilin – A small town surrounded by the Chinese mountains.

Best part of the trip: Visiting the Longji rice terraces

15 Yangshuo – A small village hidden in the mountains with an almost Mediterranean feel.

Best part : The incredible mountains we saw on our river cruise.

Tastiest treat: Coconut and champagne ice cream from a street seller

Best bargain: A blue and white porcelain bracelet for £2

18 Hong Kong –

A bright, exciting mix of British culture ,Chinese food and tradition.

Best part: ALL OF IT, especially celebrating our 10 year anniversary here.

Worst part: our wallets are much lighter now

Tastiest treat: The legendary ‘Skirt Burger’ from The Diner

The Stats

Average spent on hotels per night: £4 per person

Average spent on food and drink: £15 per day but this was the expensive part of our trip with Japan and Hong Kong taking a large part of our money.

Average puppies hugged: 2 a day (it’s definitely puppy season in Asia)

Amount of local beers drank: faaar too many

Photos taken: it’s best to not think about it but I’m glad I bought my hard drive.

 

What’s up next? I hear you cry…well maybe you didn’t cry that but i’m going to tell you anyway. Our next month has a trip through Vietnam where we are spending 3 weeks exploring all it has to offer and then we are hoping over to Cambodia to see those famous temples and get our beach fix. Fingers crossed it will be as fun as the first month…just maybe a little cheaper.

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The Mountains of Guilin

16th April 2015

banner Today was the day. Today was the day we got to see the Guilin mountains. Mountains that are so beautiful they adorn the Chinese 20 Yuan note.
This was one of the things I was looking forward to seeing  since i’ve become addicted to feets of nature since our trip to Taiwan’s Taroko Gorge. Guilin did not disappoint.
We set off on our trip and arrived in a small port surrounded by pushy , scary Chinese woman. If Lee hadn’t have been there I’d have been rolled into a ball screaming ‘stranger danger’. Scared enough to buy all their oranges and flower garlands but luckily he helped me stand my ground.
We carefully boarded our bamboo boat and set off. We moved through the mountains and mist almost becoming accustom to the view. It was awe inspiring and definitely worth the trip. We were a little unlucky with the weather but not even grey skies can detract from these views. 19 20

Our favourite part of the day was making our own names for each mountains. I don’t think they would have been appreciated by the Chinese though. ‘Sulky gorilla yawning’ mountain seems to lack the poetry that the Chinese provide for these hills. 16 17 18
The trip ended and we drove the rest of the way to Yangshuo where we instantly decided to stay for the night. This pretty little artsy town is  geared towards tourists but it feels very relaxed. Surrounded by the mountains and filled with good cheap food made it the perfect stop over. We stayed in the Green Forest Hostel’s Yangshuo branch, which was even better than the Guilin branch. I wish time would have allowed us to have spent a lot longer there but sadly two days was all we had time for. 1 5 6 11 12
Later in the day we dragged ourselves from the delicious street venders (spring rolls , i heart you) and headed on a river cruise to another smaller local village. This time we were taken by a real bamboo boat that was rowed for us instead of a motorised one like earlier in the day. We also got to experience a special showing of the Yangshuo fisher men. These men use birds to fish for them. It seems horribly cruel since a string is tied to the birds neck so he can’t swallow. Once he catches the fish the fisherman takes the food. At the end of the day the bird is rewarded with fish. I still question whether this is fair or not. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even question going to see it when we bought the day trip ticket. I had seen it on a BBC documentary and surely nothing you see on the BBC can be bad?!? I did question the ethical nature of it though.It’s hard to question such an ancient art that takes years to master. There are only 5 men that still know how to fish like this so I don’t think it will last forever and to be honest I don’t know if this is sad or just. It’ll be sad for the local area when such an ancient culture disappears but then again…those poor birdies. 9 10 13 14
Once we started sailing the river cruise was perfect ..well it would have been perfect if we hadn’t have had a 18 year old idiot driving us. This boy thought it was his personal mission to talk and yell at every other boat on the river. The beauty and peace is a little ruined when your driver is wolf whistling and spitting everywhere….but we still managed to enjoy it.
I think everyone who goes to Guilin is already sure they will take the trip down the river but a stay in Yangshuo and the additional cruise (which cost us about 12 pound) is something we’d recommend. If you are going to travel all that way, it makes sense to see as much of the place as you can.  And what a place it is. 15 7 8

A last word of warning would be that Yangshuo is a beautiful place but as soono as it gets dark this place becomes a crazy nightclub town so make sure your hostel is well away from the party street…and have a good time. 2 3 4 signature