Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guilin Journal Day 16 Yangshuo Around Town Part 2 of 2

Welcome to this week's episode of our China trip! We continue our search for the Mini Mao Cafe in Yangshuo but stumbled upon this side street instead. Amongst the healthy growth of banana plants and mature trees, a small alley too narrow for cars was accessible by people, bicycles and scooters. It instantly reminded me of my visit to a small village in Indonesia.Back on the main road, a glimpse of local activity that prompted another memory of Indonesia. A man balanced a pole with bamboo baskets on his shoulder, one of them was empty while the other held a lonely hen, I guess someone is having chicken tonight.
More delivery of food in baskets steadied on poles, this lady is selling mandarin oranges. We did not witness any transaction, I wonder if they would conduct business on route or only at the market?
Another lady whose merchandise was local vegetables, one arm held the pole in place while the other carried a scale. The weighing instrument is typical of the ones used in Singapore markets.
A family of four moving two carts ever so slowly but steadily on the street grabbed our attention, brother and sister were riding the bikes while father and mother were pushing behind. One was stacked with foldable chairs and tables, the other with cooking equipment and dinner ingredients, a portable restaurant. They were headed in the same direction as all other vendors, I bet the food would be very tasty and the prices very reasonable.
Just steps away, a group of laborers rested on their bikes at the end of the day, they were chatting idly away and joking amongst themselves until they saw us. When I pointed the camera at them, the man on the right sat up and exclaimed loudly, as if surprised a foreigner like me would find this setting picture worthy.

One of the reasons why we visited China is to see how the people lived. It was delightful to record so many daily activities, scenes considered mundane to the locals are rare in our Western culture, they are cherished and are very picture worthy indeed.
Back on the street, a big and red fire truck with sliding doors to access and store fire fighting equipment. We were surprised to find the ones here looked just like the ones back home!
A different kind of red truck, a couple rode slowly amongst the traffic with their stash of scrap paper, flattened cardboard and bags of sorted packing material. I'm certain they are in the recycling business.
The traffic quietened down, the sun was setting fast and the light getting dark. We had ventured too far out of town with no sight of Mini Mao Cafe. Too tired to walk we wondered how to head back. Just then I spotted a bus stop, just like in Beijing it showed all the stops, after a couple of minutes, the bus came.
At its last stop, the driver kindly directed us to the bus terminal where we will catch another bus to Guilin. On the way we came across this yellow vehicle pictured below, the same kind we rode on just seconds ago! Small and compact in a happy color, it comfortably seats 15 passengers. Ours was filled with grandparents picking up their grandkids from school to daily commuters. At only 1 RMB (15 cents Canadian), it ran quietly and frequently.
As we continued to the bus terminal, we saw some 3 wheelers hard at work, packed very efficiently with various tourists' luggage it also offered a ride for its handlers.
Following the luggage bike gang, a lady was transporting a tub filled with neatly folded clean laundry, they looked like bed sheets. Was she part of the staff heading to the same hotel?
A construction site, the peak through the open gate revealed the early beginnings of the project.
On the surrounding wall, an artist's rendition of the finished buildings, they did not look too tall or enormous. I was relieved to see they were a practical height, Yangshuo is far too pretty to be covered up with ugly high-rise.
We passed by a thick grove of trees, an opening gave way to the view pictured below. Simple homes by a quiet and calm pond amongst the beautiful mountains, this will be my lasting image of Yangshuo.
Below the sight as we neared the bus terminal, someone pointed out it was just past the distant buildings.
On closer look, the buildings looked interesting, the ones on the left has an interesting roof structure that's very Chinese.
Even the ones here nearby were fascinating too, especially the ones on the right.
We finally found our bus, one way fare to Guilin on the non-stop route is 14 RMB per person ($2 Canadian). Below one last shot from our seats, a bicycle hard at work with the biggest load of luggage we ever saw! The bus filled up in about 10 minutes and off we went to Guilin. Dinner was at a restaurant we found on our walk back to the hotel, sweet sour Li River fish, local vegetables and all you can eat rice for 82 RMB ($12 Canadian). Back at the hotel, as we got ready for bed we planned for a whole new day in Guilin, check back next week to find out!


  1. That light there is beautiful..

  2. wonderful photos and description.
    i love to travel with you.