Yangshuo, China, on a Bike!

Southern China is filled with many splendours, not least of which is Yangshuo and the area around it which is green, lush, with amazing mountains like Rio – seemingly out of solid rock, and the gorgeous Li River, so beautiful people get their wedding photos taken by it and they put it on the 20 Yuan note.

It’s a few years now since I visited, but I firmly remember the day I hired a bike and rode around 40 kilometres (it could have been more) on a bike. Now, China is certainly a place of many bikes! Not that cycling is my thing. I mean – chaffing! Eeeek! SO unpleasant. But all in all it’s not a bad place to go cycling. For starters, there are loads of cyclists on the roads and path and so it’s not so dangerous. In China, it’s a way and part of life.

Okay, you’re not likely to end up on a top-end Tour de France bike, but I wouldn’t know what to do on one anyway and I’d rather not end up wearing lycra anyways.

The day was, well, pretty sweaty. It’s a very humid part of the world, southern China, even if in April it’s not too hot. The day after my little bike jaunt, it rained and rained and also rained without let up. From road, to unsealed road, to paths, through the farmland and around the craggy mountainous rocks, then back to the main road with a stop in the Dragon Assembly Cave.

I thought for something different I would give you an abridged excerpt from my diary of the time – so written on the very day I took the bike to the region around Yangshuo!

… So up the road I went. The bikes were rented from a little place that may well be a laundry as well. 20 Yuan for the day, back before 10pm. 500Y deposit – pretty good all told eh?

I took off down a path/road. Suddenly it was rural. Those big rocks/hills are everywhere here. Yangshuo is built in and around then. Now it’s rice paddies and little villages and the smells of farms. Lovely scenery, the cameras are in overdrive.

I met 3 Chinese students from Nanning (I think) who were looking for the Big Banyon tree . We needed to cross the Yulong. Wait, no we didn’t. I wanted to. But I had lost my map! Way to go me! Possibly wouldn’t have been much help to be honest. A lot of trails out there, most not on the map I would guess. Before meeting the three students I had gone down a little path into one of the numerous villages – small and mostly deserted and hit a dead end after riding through some mud.

We found the river and followed it southward (ok that’s a guess) before I stopped for photos – they didn’t. I saw Moon Hill and decided to get to it. Lots of people on bamboo rafts. The sun started to peep out from behind the clouds. I found a bridge and crossed it. I saw the hill – with the hole in it – tried to make for it. But I kept hitting dead ends. Eventually I decided enough was enough. I may have had the wrong hill anyway. People fishing, nice spot.

Found my way back to the road and the Assembly Dragon Cave. [which I visited] …

And the Dragon Assembly Cave – well, it’s quite a unique place. That’s for another day though. It was an enjoyable, beautiful day.

Thanks for stopping by today – May the Journey Never End!

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