How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Yangshuo: Day 17, Part 3 – Countryside

After the tea ceremony, the (rich) foreigners were whisked into a sales room. Inside, various teas were for sale, as were copious types of teapots and tea sets. Some cost almost as much as my all-inclusive holiday in Canadian dollars. I stepped back, my hands tucked in close to my sides for fear of an accident and breaking up a set. Had I noticed how many pieces made up a set? No, I’d been too petrified.

Before continuing on to Yangshuo by bus, the ladies inquired about the facilities. We traipsed down a long corridor to a small clean washroom. Inside were two stalls with pedestal toilets (wow) inside cubicles with (approximately) three-foot wide shutters for privacy installed in about the middle of the door frame. Anyone might look over the top as she walked past. The one I used didn’t have a proper latch to secure them shut. I hadn’t been this good at gymnastics ever before.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Have you ever seen such a small truck with this impossible load of wood on it’s roof?

The highways were unbelievably neat and clean. No garbage, paper or plastic were in evidence anywhere the same as all the highways we’d been on so far.

Pretty countryside surrounded us along the way to Yangshuo

Quick Facts:

  • Famous for the limestone mountains
  • Grow lots of strawberries
  • Foot massage is only $20.00 USD
  • Zhuang is China’s largest ethnic minority (about 16 million) who like singing
  • Zhuang choose lovers while singing folk songs (a means of courting)
  • They hold an annual Folk Song Festival
  • National Flower: Bauhinia
  • Li River is smaller than Yangtze and shallow
  • Also home to Dragon River and four lakes
  • Lots of nurseries: grow trees for planning
  • Land is government owned (as in all of China). Must renew lease every 70 years.

The countryside viewed from the bus: newly planted fields, farm houses and water

At last we arrived at the hotel. Time to freshen up and have dinner. The hotel appeared empty and too quiet. We were settled at a table in an empty dining room. All throughout dinner we saw only the waitress.

Dinner Menu:

  • Tomato soup
  • Rice
  • Egg pancake
  • French Fries
  • Sweet and sour pork with pineapple
  • Thin noodles with shredded carrots
  • Sliced cucumbers and sliced cooked chicken
  • Cooked sliced celery and water chestnuts
  • Cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, mixed
  • Fermented tofu
  • Chili sauce
  • Soy cakes and sweet dip + soy sauce
  • Battered banana, deep-fried, with caramel

The smell from the bathroom invaded the dining-room. I couldn’t understand such a thing in a hotel of this significance. Phew. I hadn’t been aware of anything like this elsewhere. I asked Sue about it, but she hadn’t been conscious of anything unpleasant.

After dinner, we rushed to attend an open air performance. By the time we arrived in the main park dusk had fallen. At first small clusters of people walked around us with lots of breathing space between us all. By dusk the crowd swarmed like a maelstrom with a mind of its own. I hugged my bag against my chest, arms tucked in as close I could manage. Our English Group Eight clung together with Lily, our guide, ahead of us and tried desperately to keep her in sight. She stopped a couple of times and waited. What made the situation worse was the dark. There were no park lights out in the open. I felt blindfolded. Never have I experienced this tight a convergence of bodies around me. I confess terror struck me for the first time since we’d arrived in China; terror the crowd might rip me from my fellow travelers; terror of being lost and disoriented in a foreign country and in the dark.

Lily left us to buy entrance tickets and suggested we wait while the crowd thinned out before taking us to our seats. She wasn’t allowed to sit with us. We took our seats after she explained where we’d find her when the performance ended.

Our seats were good in about the third tier up. The show was like nothing I had ever seen. This video doesn’t do it enough justice. You had to be there. The Chinese sure know how to put on stunning presentations! Enjoy.

Excellent show “Impression Liu San Jie” (in Yangshuo)

Credit: Uwe Völker

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Next on February 20th, Yangshuo: Day 18, Part 1 – Li River

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© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles