Checking out in HK on the 1st of September, heading through the customs to arrive in Shenzhen, hopping on the nightbus to Guilin – in GDP-wise poor, image-rich Guangxi Province – the hub to a backpacker paradise… Life’s good, but always busy somehow 😉
We had a good time in HK meeting up with Yvonne (I know her from 2010 Chinese summer language program in Shanghai) and Sasha (a kind guy, who’s doing his master in HK – we met up in Taipei in August this year during ICLP in National Taiwan University). We experienced delicious Dim Sum, went to Stanley Market on HK island, Temple Street in Kowloon with another culinary experience of great seafood, had drinks in Ozone on the 118th floor – highest bar in the world so far – visited Bubba Gump Shrimps on Victoria peak and the infamous Lan Kwai Fong, where the British influence should become quite obvious, shouldn’t you have noticed already that HK is super-western. We wasted one day for wannabe Las Vegas – it was more interesting when I went to Macao the first time. Wanted to accompany the boys though. Enough of concrete, skyscrapers and smog, let’s inhale some of what mother has to offer – that’s what occurred to us after visiting probably THE metropolitan spot of the whole world.
And we weren’t disappointed. Guilin had to offer a nice hostel and a bus to Yangshuo. That’s a little commercialized city giving way to great expeditions to the marvelous scenery in the province – and some rooftop parties for mainly foreigners. Put briefly: it’s quite touristy there. You get Weisswurst, Continental breakfast and surprisingly delicious authentic italian pizza, on top nearly everyone speaks at least basic English there. A little knowledge of mandarin is never in vain though!
On the first evening in Yangshuo at Mojo rooftop bar, we got to know a local girl while playing beer pong (quite popular even outside of the States obviouly). Her name was Sue and she works in a climbing shop. We rented a scooter and she guided us to some remote places and nice little villages around Yangshuo. The day after we had an exhausting Kayak tour on Li Jiang (Li River). The weather was perfect for it, we probably should have put on some more sun screen 😉 Heading back to Guilin the same night we booked a tour to the Longji Rice Terasses, on the so-called dragon backbone – a place I wanted to visit badly after my first longer stay in China in 2008. It paid off, the place would have been even nicer in Spring though, when the terasses are flooded. At this time of the year harvest is about to happen, actually.
Following that trip to the scenic rice terasses of Longji, we’re now lying on a hard sleeper bunk heading to Nanning and then Hanoi. It’s the 7th of September and we only have one more month left for basically whole South-East-Asia – nothing is impossible, just keep on running and never look back. It’s my shift to watch our belongings, so I’d better be attentive – it doesn’t really seem dangerous, neither does it feel very safe though – Transsiberian railway-feeling comes up again.
Stay tuned for some oakilicious stories from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia!