Yangshuo (May 2012)

Yangshuo, lies on the Li River. Compared to Kunming and Guilin it is a tiny town with just enough restaurants, shops and people to seem lively yet maintain its charming character. We stayed 2km outside of Yangshuo at the Li River Retreat (#5 hotel on Trip Advisor). I highly recommend as well. It offers quiet serenity and amazing views of captivating peaks right out your window for an inexpensive price and the staff is very helpful and provides all the service you would expect from a 4 star hotel.

Li River Retreat

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We arrived near sunset so once we got settled into our room we went for a walk up the road away from the town of Yangshuo and out to the countryside.

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Sunset walk in Yangshuo

We had dinner at the hotel and made plans to rent bicycles the next day to ride around and see more of the rice paddies and mountains. The hotel is conveniently near a bike rental shop managed and operated by an old Chinese lady who gave our bikes a quick check and sent us on our way. We rode through the busy streets of Yangshuo and found the road leading to Moon Hill, which we had passed on the boat ride to Yangshuo the day before.

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It was blazing hot that day so we made a pit stop at the Dragon Assembly Cave to escape the sun and cool off a bit. It was worth the admission for the short boat ride and the much cooler temps inside the caves.

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We continued our ride and found a cafe for lunch near Moon Hill. Somehow we missed the turn to find the path up the hill and road passed it but managed to take a few snaps of Moon Hill and even had a nice encounter with on an old Chinese man who was kind enough to stop and fix my bike when the chain came off the gears.

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We were pretty wrecked after the bike ride so opted to have dinner again at the hotel and give our legs a rest. The make pretty good pizza at the Li River Retreat.

The next day i woke up to this amazing sunrise just outside my door.

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We had a great breakfast al fresco and rented scooters to drive around.P1070014

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This was my favorite day in China so far. We were able to see lots of landscape and the rice terraces and farms Yunan is famous for. I literally wanted to pinch myself at how wonderful the scenery and adventure turned out to be. We parked our scooters for a bit and walked through an ancient stone village.

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We took the scooters into Yangshuo and had a late lunch in town. The town had tons of eating options so we ventured out at night for dinner. The streets were all lit up fromw the various neon signs and there was lots of acoustic music and Bob Marley in the air as we passed by restaurants, clubs, cafes and bars.P1070072

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The next day was pretty overcast so we slept in and hired a tuk tuk to the Dragon Bridge late in the day. Everyone kept trying to get us on the bamboo rafts but we were happy to just look at the river and drink tea. P5222118

Since it was our last night we had dinner in town at a hot pot restaurant. We went for the double taste special that came with a clear broth and a spicy broth. We cooked noodles and tofu in the soups and managed not to burn ourselves to badly. The spicy made our mouths burn but it was a good pain.

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