Life in Old China
Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
42Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
This Old Place Int'l Youth Hostel
As soon as we landed in the Guangxi region we could tell that this place was special. It finally feels like we are seeing real China and not just the middle of another huge city. The villages and towns we are visiting this trip are on the Lijiang, or Li River. It is famous for being one of the most beautiful places in China
Sadly, it rained nearly the entire time we were there. This is the driest month in the region on average. We left warm, sunny Zhuhai for temps in the 40's and 50's and nearly froze our toes off. It doesn't take long to become acclimated to a mild subtropical climate, however, we were feeling homesick and enjoyed the chill in the air that reminded us of December back home in Oregon. I know, I know, the temps there are way colder now. Anyway, the rain did not deter us from having a fabulous time. The misty clouds added to the allure of the landscape, and we were afforded occasional, shockingly beautiful glimpses of the hills.
Xingping, itself, is a wonderful little village. It was established around 1800 years ago. There are only 2 main roads, and only one of those is wide enough for car traffic
The first night surprised us with a power outage just after sunset. We actually had a lot of fun in that unexpected event and hung around the hostel for the evening. The staff handed out flashlights and extra blankets and we all stayed in for a cozy night in the candlelit, yet dark, hostel. There were only a handful of guests and almost an equal number of staff so we all huddled around a little, portable coal-burning stove playing cards and 20 questions. That game can be much more entertaining when playing with people from at least 5 different countries. The most amazing part of the night was meeting a man from Bend!! Well, he was actually Venezuelan but his daughter was born in Bend and he moved to China from there only 3 months ago. He now lives only a few hours from us. So crazy! It is such a small world.
The power ended up being out for about 15 hours
On our final morning in Xingping the weather was even worse, and to top it off, the river was closed to boat traffic all morning. We didn't find out why until later that day. So, we packed our bags and jumped on the bus to Yangshuo. Check back later to read about stage two of our trip!