Sunday, 16 March 2014

17th January 2014 Yangshou delights

Li River boat cruise to Yangshou  

17th January 2014

The Li boat trip was spectacular. The towering single peaked limestone hills that sat beside the river was awesome. We took a bus first, part of the way to the boat because the water was low in season. As it was the boat scrapped the river bed at times so no worries of drowning then :-)  
There were in total seven or eight boats in a precession down the river. The whole trip took three hours.  The landscape was misty but very very pretty, I took far to many misty photos :-)   On arrival we moored at Yangshou jetty and wandered through the pretty town to our 2nd 'Green Forest Hostel. A great place with a large common room and tv with a wide choice of dvd films, guess where the kids spend most of their time!
The weather was around 8 degrees and sunny, It felt warm enough for us to be sitting around in our tee-shirts , especially after being in -26 degrees in Siberia less than a month ago.  Our friend Naveed was buying gloves and a woolly hat because he had come up from south of china which had been hotter than yangshou.

 Arriving in Yangshou Provence

On the river front 
                                The fishermen train the birds to dive for fish

Being in the centre of the town meant we could wander freely We went for a walk down west street and found the seventh heaven restaurant which we used frequently.
Our green forest hostel 

 Yangshou was mostly pedestrian so it was nice to wander around. There was one very busy main road that ran through the town.
                    Our breakfast place '7th heaven restaurant' 
                                          yummy candy floss

 We stayed for two days and explored Yangshou. There is a large pedestrian area full of crafts, local art and food shops and stalls. the little town was inundated with bars, pubs and restaurants to choose from.  
It was very touristy but also very pretty, but we were longing for countryside, peace and quiet so after the two days we moved to 'The Beautiful Houtong Hotel'  a couple of km out of town. 
The kids thoroughly enjoyed our five night stay here as they had 10\15 other kids who were learning English to play with. In fact this was an English school for Chinese with a small hotel business on the side, fab for us.

So we joined in with activities like going on a traditional Chinese picnic ,, where we smothered eggs in mud and baked them and sweet potatoes in covered  earth fires. Yum 

One day we hired double bikes and cycled along the Li river with Naveed another english tutor, hi  Naveed :-) 
We bought local honey, ate local fish on bamboo rafts and visited the villages along the way

                                      Eating fish on the river with Naveed

                           such views 
 we even managed to walk up moon hill which was miles up! But had great views! Phew

Leaving around 10.30am Our next journey was taken by a sleeper bus, an eight hour day trip to Guangzhou where we then stayed for 1 night in someone's house turned hostel. Home from home :-) 

Night bus to Guangzhou
Naveed travelled with us and as a muslin he had struggled to find a place in Yangshou  where he could eat halal meat, so desperate .. he was about kill a chicken in his special way just so he could eat meat, lucky we found a fab halal  restaurant in guangzhou, so the chicken was saved, For now :-) 

Saying a fond farewell to Naveed we headed from Guangzhou east station metro and onto the train to Kowloon mainland and  Hong kong island. 

The two hour trip seemed very smooth and short after our long journeys through China. On arrival we needed to orientate, find some Hong Kong dollars and the we braved the metro for one stop to East Tim Sha Sui . Then walked to Tim Sha Sui for the metro to Hong Kong Island. Then one last change to the island line and a crowded two stops to the causeway. Hong Kong here we come.

        As you can tell, we really enjoyed travelling though China.                              It was an amazing experience.
                                                   Good bye China 

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