After a morning at the market and learning to cook some Chinese food, I went shopping. Yangshuo has an incredible market with unique handmade crafts. We took a bamboo raft down Li River. The raft could carry six people. We were surrounded by limestone karsts, water buffalo and people in grass hats fishing and collecting moss. I saw a hairdresser cutting hair by the riverside and someone carrying a baby on their back wearing an bare-bum baby grow. In the evening we watched the Sanjie Light Show. The production is acted out on the Li river with lit-up limestone karsts as the backdrop. It was created by Zhang Yi Mou, who also created and directed the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The show features over 600 locals, mainly from the Zhuang minority, including farmers and fishermen (and water buffalo) singing and performing simultaneously. After the show we went out for dinner and I had a very tasty roast duck with peanuts and dipping sauce.
On our second day I went for a bike ride with Fleur, who was also in our tour group. We cycled through the countryside, past rice paddies, streams, orange, lime and pomelo fruit trees, sesame seed, peanut and cotton plants and noodles hanging out to dry. We also also saw a few headstones in fields. In China if you live in a city and die you have to be cremated, if you live in the country you can be buried anywhere, so a lot of farmers are buried in their fields. If you have money, you have a headstone, if not, you go without. We climbed the 800 steps up moon hill until we reached the crescent shaped hole in the hill and took in the misty view. When we got back down the heavens opened and it poured with rain for the rest of the afternoon. We somehow managed to convince a tuk-tuk driver to take us back to town with our bikes. Our group went out for beers in the evening.
On our last day I took a calligraphy class in the morning. I learned to write my name, happiness, long-life and numbers 1-10. In the afternoon I bought trinkets at the market and fruit: granadillas and longans which are similar to lychees but have a hairy shell. And then we caught our overnight train to Hong Kong, our last stop in China. I shared a cabin with our guide Louis and found out that he and his family grew up in a cave on a cliff until he was 14 and he is now in an arranged marriage.
Last Stop: Kunming
Next Stop: Hong Kong