Welcome to China. After a long four trains and an even longer 13 hour bus ride from Hong Kong to Yuangshuo, China on a tiny sleeper bed I was woken suddenly by the driver yelling at me to get off the bus as I had reached my destination. I was then hassled by tuk tuk drivers as soon as I stepped out and in the whole busy commotion I managed to leave my laptop and all my Hong Kong photos on the bus. Silly me. Despite the efforts I made calling the bus company they simply “could not find it”. Oh well, you loose something and then you learn from it.
Despite my stupid first experience of China, yes it was entirely my fault, I was excited about visiting the Motherland and diving straight into the culture (and of course the cuisine!) As the bus drove past Chinese neon signs, they illuminated my sleeper bed window and the hustle and bustle of everyday life, shouting and car horns outside were enough to keep me awake.
First stop Yuangshuo, a picturesque little town scenic enough to earn a spot on the back of a 20 yuan note. The town next to a large lake with huge rock pillars that protrude from the lake which is clean enough to swim in. The scene is unreal and looks as though someone has painted it onto the sky.
The town itself is a little town of cobbled stone streets and little intertwining alleyways enjoyable enough to get lost in. It reminds me a lot of Kathmandu in Nepal with winding narrow streets and hidden boutique and cute coffee shops around each corner, and also unfortunately a huge amount of tourism.
|Yuangshuo's version of KFC|
And beware when swimming in the lake of your belongings on the shore. Keep your valuables locked up securely so you don’t loose any of your bank cards, money, phones or any belongings, like Doug, my American friend I was traveling with.
After bumping into some familiar fellow travelers I was invited to a dumpling party at a nearby school to help the children to practice their English. They were all so sweet and it was great to learn how to make the dumplings, even if mine were all terrible (its harder than it looks!)