Trekking Through China…Yangshuo…Cruising Down the Li River

While there’s no denying that visiting the Great Wall of China will forever be a highlight of my life for me, the day we cruised down the Li River might well turn out to be one of the most memorably pleasant days of all time for me. From the moment we got off the bus in the little village (can’t remember the name, it might have been Fuli, but I’m not sure) to the moment we got back to our hotel later that afternoon, it was just one of those delicious days that takes you by surprise and then fills your heart and soul with memories that you know you’ll cherish forever.

Daily life in the small fishing village, near Yangshuo

To clarify, we did not take the longer cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo…we embarked on a small boat at a small fishing village near Yangshuo and took a short 2-3 hour sail just around that area.

When we got off the bus, we had to walk through the small village. This ended up being a very pleasant part of the day. There were some delightful vendor ladies there who we enjoyed bartering and bantering with. Hubby bought a lot of stuff from them…a straw hat, apron and even a genuine Rolex watch (which still works, BTW!) We really enjoyed these little ladies…at one point, one was pestering me a bit and I used a ruse that we had been taught – I told her that someone at the back of the group had been looking for what she was selling. She eagerly headed back, then returned, tugging on my sleeve and laughing, and said, in pretty good English “you funny”. Somehow we connected in the laughter of that moment and enjoyed bumping into each other throughout the rest of the day.

Interesting display in front of a “fan factory” in the small fishing village (near Yangshuo)

It took us awhile to saunter through this little village. Despite the early morning hour, many of the houses were open to display souvenirs. Each table held an interesting eclectic collection of antique-y things so we had to stop and browse along the way.

Hubby looks good in his new straw hat! (this picture was actually taken earlier in the tour, but he bought several of these hats while in this fishing village as well, so I thought it fit in here quite nicely)

Hubby had to wear the apron to prove to the vendor ladies that he had already bought one from them. They thought he was hilarious.

Finally we reached the dock and boarded our small tour boat.

Exquisite scenery everywhere we looked, on the Li River, near Yangshuo

Then the magic unfolded before us, as the Li River flowed through the lush green hills with those Karst mountains ever present all around us.


It was a peaceful morning, surrounded by scrumptious scenery; a beautiful morning in every way, and I for one could have stayed on that boat all day. As it was, we were treated to a surprisingly long cruise.

Here is a sampling of what we saw along the way…

On the Li River, near Yangshuo

More of those Karst hills, on the Li River (Yangshuo)

A continuous feast for the eyes!

Daily life on the Li River

On the Li River

Laundry day on the Li River

Karst hills line the Li River, near Yangshuo

That peak in the background has a name, but I can’t remember what it is. (on the Li River, near Yangshuo)

People live there…how do they get in that front door…I hope nobody walks in their sleep! (Li River, near Yangshuo)

Water buffalo lined the shores (Li River, near Yangshuo)

Bath time on the Li River? We saw quite a few water buffalo in the water that morning.

Touching the rice at the rice paddy in Yangshuo

Our ladies were there to greet us when we returned to the dock. Eventually we made our way back to the bus and headed out for a quick visit to a small rice paddy. When we got off the bus, we were stunned to see all of our vendor ladies already there ahead of us! How did they get there, we all wondered…the little toothless one grinned and flashed her fancy motorbike keys. Aha. The glory of modern convenience, even out here in the rice paddies of Yangshuo!

At the market in Yangshuo…more picture-taking! That’s hubby and my step-daughter with two Chinese tourists.

The day only got better with a full afternoon of shopping at the market in Yangshuo. It was a cornucopia of colour, variety and curious curios, and we thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon there. I bought 15 scarves (some of the labels do say 100% silk) and a few other gifts for people back home. Again, we could have stayed there much longer than we did. Still, we were glad to get back to our hotel for a rare early evening.

It had been a near-perfect day, marred only by the supper that night which consisted mostly of rice, rice, rice, potatoes, French Fries and, yes, I think more rice. Not much else. (It’s a good thing we still had some chocolate tucked away in our suitcase, lol!)

But in the end, not even a tiresome parade of rice and potatoes could spoil the memories of our day on the Li River.

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One of the prettier McDonald’s we’ve seen…in Yangshuo

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Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2012. All rights reserved.

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About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
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2 Responses to Trekking Through China…Yangshuo…Cruising Down the Li River

  1. angelika says:

    Tugging at your sleeve Sharon…you funny.  Love your line, “ Then the magic unfolded before us….Love the photo of you and Hubby…you are a beautiful couple! And the scenery is, …Chinese. It simply looks Chinese. Exactly how I would picture it. Goodness with so much rice,…did you lose any more weight! You look thin already! Amazing that they have a McDonald’s there! GREAT great photography! By accident I discovered if I click on the photos, I get to see large versions!


    • Sharon says:

      Thanks Angelika. Yes, I lost a lot of weight there (but have gained a bit of it back since coming home). I had to use some shoe laces to tighten my pants (tied a lace through the belt loops on either side and had to keep tightening them every day!). I had tried to stick to the no-carb (or low-carb) diet while there, but was losing too much weight too fast, so had to eat more. I needed the energy! I find I’m very hungry now that the cold is gone…hungry for protein and veggies, though, which is a good thing. Not hungry for carbs at all, which is good too.

      I did try to take pictures of McDonald’s. There were lots of them in China, and lots of KFC too…funny thing, those are considered by many of the Chinese to be high-end restaurants, not fast-food as we view them. We only ate at McD once, in Hong Kong for lunch one day (restaurants were very expensive there); we wanted to be careful what we ate that day, since we were flying home later that evening.

      I’m glad the photos turned out so well…it was often hard to see what I was taking pictures of, with the glare and not wearing reading glasses most of the time.


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