On Christmas morning (can you believe that was over three weeks ago?) Tim and I got up early and took a bus about an hour and a half outside of Guilin to a city named Yangshou. Our first Yangshou adventure was a cruise down the Li River which left me speechless – and if you know me, that is rare!
The views were amazing but don’t take my word for it - check out these photos. We were blessed to have a professional photographer on our bamboo raft. Watching him take these photos was super entertaining, especially the last photo (my favorite). His camera was literally inches from the water, but it truly captured just how beautiful this place was.
I apologize in advance for the rest of the amateur photos as they were captured on a Samsung Galaxy.
Being in the southern part of China our expectation was warm weather, but we were so wrong! I wore flats, jeans, a sweater and a coat and scarf, and Tim wore just about the same, sans scarf. The only part of the cruise we didn’t absolutely LOVE was the temperature – we were freezing! I think it had more to do with the fact that is was still morning and there was a bit of a breeze, because later in the day we ate lunch outside and the weather was perfect! Thankfully, midway through our cruise we stopped at an especially scenic area where Tim bought a scarf for 30 RMB (about $5).
We passed by the scenery found on the back of the 20 RMB bill; unfortunately, we were kind of rushed and didn’t get a good picture but still, it was great to see the location in person!
We eventually arrived in the center of Yangshou and immediately began our search for lunch.
We left pretty early that morning and grabbed a piece of fruit for breakfast which did not keep the hunger pains at bay. Tim’s favorite Chinese food is dumplings so we chose a restaurant that looked clean, busy and of course sold dumplings. We ordered chicken, green beans, dumplings and what we thought was a normal sized bowl of rice (enough for one person – about ¾ cup); instead we got a giant bowl of rice that could easily feed a very hungry family of four so we definitely left feeling full and energized for the rest of the day.
Sitting outside was certainly the best choice as we were able to enjoy the warm sunshine and the gorgeous views surrounding us!
After we wore ourselves out by walking for a few hours we caught a bus back to Guilin. Since it was Christmas, we wanted something non-Chinese for dinner so we walked to a little Italian-ish restaurant which definitely had a Chinese twist.
I got eggs, toast and coffee and Tim got pizza. I know that may sound like a strange Christmas meal, but we both left quite satisfied.
The restaurant was empty as well which provided a quiet Christmas dinner.
I couldn't have asked for anything better this Christmas.
OK- except for family and my mom's red velvet cake, but given the situation, I think it was pretty perfect.