The pictures in this post I believe speak for themselves. For me they capture the quintessential image of China made familiar from ink drawings and Willow pattern china plates. They were taken in Guangxi province near the town of Yangshuo. They are images that were stolen between torrential monsoonal downpours, along small dirt tracks and on the river and whilst not wiping the sweat from my forehead.
Yangshuo was our last main stop in China. The end of a one month journey that had taken us across the country and afforded experiences not soon to be forgotten. It had been a place I had been looking forward to throughout our time in China, but unfortunately like that film all your mates have seen, loved and built up in your mind; Yangshuo for me was a bit of a let down.
One traveller we met midway through our time in China described Yangshuo as the most beautiful place she has ever visited. Online blogs proclaimed its charming backstreets and our Lonely Planet 2007 China edition described it as an place where people come for a few days, but stay for a week or more. However, the reality I found in mid 2009 was none of these. The place is now filled with tourist tat, annoyingly persistent hawkers and is the only place we experienced in China where people have actively tried to deceive us, or rip us off. All a bit of a disappointment; however, thankfully as the images show the surrounding country-side is still spectacular.
All up we spent three days and nights in Yangshuo. The first day was spent acclimatising to 35-40 Celcius temperatures and 85%+ humidity, not an easy task when you have spent the last three years or so living in London. The other two days were spent on or along the surrounding rivers riding bikes or bamboo rafting down the river marvelling at the magnificent limestone rock formations that rise skyward from the ground everywhere around the town.
The peaks are incredibly beautiful, especially when the fog rolls in around the towering peaks, but sadly for me in my mind it had been it was hyped up all a little too much. If you are reading this and planning to visit Yangshuo perhaps this post will help set your expectations low – you never know you might be pleasantly surprised when you arrive.
Some other pictures from our visit below. For all of our China images go here:If you enjoyed this post why not subscribe to my blog via RSS or email by following this link. Also whilst you’re at it why not follow me on Twitter .