Friday, March 31, 2006

Backpacker's mecca

We're now in Yangshuo. It's about 65km south of Guilin which is famous for it's limestone peaks. Yangshuo is known as a great place for backpackers to hang out and relax. The main street here is suitably called 'Foreigner's street'. It's packed with American style bars and restaurants, outdoor stores and many souvenir stores. Almost everyone speaks English here.

Despite all that, there is actually some very nice scenery in the area. It's a small enough town to walk through and the town itself is surrounded by many peaks. It's very beautiful. Unfortunately, it's raining today and looks like it might be for the days to come. We were hoping to rent a bike and take a ride out to the rice fields and the nearby peaks but we'll have to see if the weather takes a turn for the better.

Arriving in town at night yesterday was difficult though. We didn't expect to arrive after dark and had problems finding our accomodations. Luckily, we were warned about the touts who would be waiting for us at the bus station. We were with a Swedish guy we met in Guangzhou who came out with us to Yangshuo and being Swedish, he's easy to spot. The minute we got off, a guy approached us and would not leave. He tried to sell various hostels but also contradicted himself by saying one was terrible. I was trying to get rid of him and just started walking down this street. Unfortunately we walked for a bit down the wrong street but managed to loose him after a long while. We managed to find a girl who helped us find our way back to the main area with my almost non-existent mandarin. We found out later from our hostel that if you follow the touts, they take you to their area where they demand all your cash. Gotta keep your wits about here.

Our room here is pretty decent. We ended up getting a private room here as they are so cheap! Our window looks out onto a nice big peak too!


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