Tag Archives: China

Kunming Stone Forest / Last Day in China

KunMing (昆明)

…all I remember from my Lonely Planet about it is something to the line of “there’s nothing to see in KunMing proper”. Well, I sent my LP home already in the package from YangShuo, so I don’t have it anyway. And all I wanted to do in KunMing was to see the Stone Forest, which got quite some praise from various people, last from Rita and James. Continue reading Kunming Stone Forest / Last Day in China

YangShuo (II) Bamboo Rafting on YuLong River

Oh…YangShuo is so great a place to just hang out… I had always wanted to spend a day on the bamboo rafts crossing up and down the rivers. As Rita was a bit handicapped anyway and the weather was great again it was the perfect day to get driven out to YuLong River, hop onto the bamboo rafts, and get slowly moved down-river through stunning scenery. Views are comparable to Li River, if not even better. And no annoying loudspeaker announcement or engine sounds around. Just silence. Or water fights… 😉 Continue reading YangShuo (II) Bamboo Rafting on YuLong River

GuiLin (III) Li River

Li River (漓江)

Despite the money it costs and the bad weather forcast I had opted for accompanying Rita and James on the Li River cruise once again. A great decision! The weather forecast proved completely wrong and it was a nice sunny day with very good views on all the limestone hills along the river. Not that we could identify much more of the rocks named by the Chinese, but just the scenery as such, without names, was great enough. Compare these pics with my first tour here in February! (Organization was similar this time, but the bus not full, and I had an iPod to block out the unavoidable guide’s talking 😉 Most surprising: No bamboo rafts selling souvenirs on the river!)

The tour was organized via Rita/James’ hostel and for cost reasons we chose the Chinese tour. It was nearly 200 RMB cheaper than a western tour. We just endured the half hour talk on the bus, waited patiently at the unavoidable jade shop, got on the boat and enjoyed the scenery ourselves. Arrived in YangShuo we didn’t even bother finding the bus but just directly checked into our respective hotels.

GL_20070722_110337.jpg: At the very beginning: One man in official looking uniform takes a nap in a position I would not obviously consider comfortable.

GL_20070722_115851.jpg: I was there! And I was not always closing my eyes…you may want to compare the clothing with what I as wearing in February… 😉

GL_20070722_120122.jpg: Now while writing, I am surprised to see that there is a full hour time difference between the first two pics…but certainly the scenery started off earlier than this picture.

GL_20070722_121045.jpg: And it continued for a long long time…

GL_20070722_125718.jpg: Just enjoy, …

GL_20070722_131416.jpg: …even without knowing…

GL_20070722_131804.jpg: the names for all these peaks.

GL_20070722_132419.jpg: Once more peaks.

GL_20070722_134647.jpg: And then water buffalos taking a bath.

GL_20070722_134738.jpg: A last great look back.

Today’s Lesson: Don’t trust the weather forcast…it can be better!

Categories: AsiaGuiLin

Originally Created: 07/24/2007 04:45:47 PM

Last Edited: 07/24/2007

YangShuo (I) Cycling in the Fields

YangShuo (阳朔)

…again. I did this very same tour already once in February this year. But it was exactly what I wanted to do again when coming to YangShuo once more. No difficulty convincing Rita and James either. And so we got 3 bikes and set out. With me now knowing the way we could save some detours and everything went very well and nice, until….somewhen later.

YS_20070723_110646.jpg: Harvesting rice in the ubiquitous rice fields arond YangShuo. The rice in the fields was in very different states of maturity, some ripe to be harvested, other fields just harvested, yet others looked like half-way through, in yet other fields farmers were just planting new plants. We quickly got the impression that they are farming here all around the year.

20070223_123701_Yangshuo.JPG: To confirm or counter this theory I thought of a picture I had taken in February, which is this one (5 months ago, nearly eactly to the hour),..

YS_20070723_111207.jpg: …and did basically the same picture again (though I forgot that the original one was portrait, not landscape…sorry) at the very same spot, looking into the very same direction. In February all fields are just empty. Now in July some fields are empty, but they look like just harvested (some stalks still protruding through the water), other fields have fresh green plants.

YS_20070723_112003.jpg: Anyway…at the moment you find all kinds of maturity, embedded in the every same beautiful landscape.

YS_20070723_112011.jpg: Yea…as said…rice fields in beautiful landscape.

YS_20070723_112240.jpg: Or ducks.

YS_20070723_113924.jpg: But mostly rice fields 😉

YS_20070723_115739.jpg: We met very few other bikers, it was pretty hot. Quite OK as long as you moved, but if you stopped for a good picture you could cut the standing hot air with a knife. Rita and James ahead of me on the road here, some farming device parked to the left, the ubiquitous limestone hills forming the backdrop.

YS_20070723_120309.jpg: These farmers emerged from their lunch location shortly after we passed and briefly rested in the shadow of a tree. I have a series of 4 pictures how they walk up the street, and the smiling front guy keeps smiling through all this pics, though he cannot possibly know that he got photographed as I did these picture hidden as hip shots to preserve the farmers naturalness. Especially watch his oversized golden front tooth, possibly the reason for his everlasting smile 😉

YS_20070723_120324.jpg: He again against a backdrop of house ruins and hills.

YS_20070723_121530.jpg: Ripe rice fields…until the limestone hills cut off the horizon. Doesn’t look unlike wheat fields back in Germany, in the end its all some kind of descendant of grass.

YS_20070723_130133.jpg: Harvested fields next to fields, of which I cannot identify what’s growning on them. In the background the Li River and…yea…limestone hills.

And not too long thereafter our attention turned away from taking pictures: Rita fell off her bike unluckily and for no reason we were able to reconstruct. Nothing really serious happened, but on the stone-covered dirt roads she suffered from some bad cuts, which we could only very provisionally look after and which must have hurt badly. One cut was especially deep and urgently needed to be properly cleaned and desinfected by a professional. Rita stood it great but understandbly couldn’t go far any longer.

As it so happened it was shortly before reaching our planned turning point, i.e. as far away from YangShuo as possible. We turned around and could for good money convince the owners of a truck to bring Rita, accompanied by James, including their bikes, back to YangShuo to a hospital. I returned on my bike. In the end we happened to return our bikes nearly at the same time with Rita been seen to by a doctor. The rest of the day was mostly a relaxed search for coffee, dinner, and beer. We found all 😉

Today’s Lesson: If something happens, you’re as far away from home as possible.

Categories: Asia, YangShuo

Originally Created: 07/24/2007 04:04:55 PM
Last Edited: 07/24/2007

LiJiang (I) A-Maze-ing

LiJiang (丽江)

LiJiang is a charming little town in Yunnan, of which especially the old town is amazing in its litteral meaning: It’s a maze of cobble-stone alleys and paths and you will get lost for sure. Don’t worry…you aren’t the first one and you won’t be the last one either. It’s just fun to dive into the alleys, get lost, emerge somewhere, find something seen before, and after 2 or 3 days even find short-cuts. Continue reading LiJiang (I) A-Maze-ing

EMeiShan – There are 5 Million stairs…

EMei Shan (峨眉山)

11 hours hiking, incl. 1 hour lunch break, 25km distance only, but 2.500m altitude difference, netto…with all the ups and downs we probably did 3000m up. In one day, which was yesterday (12-JUN-2007). It is doable given the steep stairways on EMei Shan. It is no fun on the way, partly due to these very stairways. It is one of you best possible experiences after you reach your destination: Golden Summit. Continue reading EMeiShan – There are 5 Million stairs…

ChengDu (V) WenShu Temple / Further Plans

Just a quick note so you won’t declare me dead: Today was a lush day in ChengDu. Just in the evening I had a brief visit to WenShu Temple, which is actually just a 10 minute walk from my hotel, but into the other direction, where also Payam’s hostel is.

I won’t be able to do a long update tonight as we are sitting here over one or the other beer and plan out the next days, but let me give you a quick heads-up and outlook on our future plans, as in the future the updates here might be a bit more infrequent:
Continue reading ChengDu (V) WenShu Temple / Further Plans

ChengDu (IV) Eventually…we start to become friends!

With a lot of investment on both ChengDu’s and my side the two of us came to agree that there are indeed nice places in ChengDu! Lonely Planet will require an update as will some tourist maps. But lucky as I was (or: as ChengDu was ;)) I passed by some park-like grounds in the taxi, which had brought me from the airport to the hotel. And the map I got in my hotel, an all-Chinese map, not actually really well suitable for touristic purposes, had in about the area where I saw these greens out of the taxi window indeed chartered two parks and some pagodas. These areas were my goal today. And I just took a deep breath after I noticed that I selected no less than 27 picture to be published today, record for a single day report! Continue reading ChengDu (IV) Eventually…we start to become friends!