We are now in Yangshuo, a city near Guilin, South China.. Yangshuo is a fairly large town, much bigger then we expected. And we don't notice much of the communism. There is an abundance of shops and traders here, the prices are free, and you have to negotiate everything. Everywhere people are persuading you to come inside and have a drink. Capitalisme rules here, I would say!
The shops here are open from early morning to late at night. Not that it matters, because our backpacks are so full there is no room for shopping. I guess that's good for us for a change! The food here is amazing. Every day we eat "bao-tse" some kind of steamed bun filled with meat, vegetables and rice. We haven't eaten dog yet (that we know) but we did eat stomach… yes, the translation is in fact "meat" as well! We ate it, but maybe I would't have chosen it from the menu if I would have known!
The Chinese like to cycle and the lazy Chinese ride electric bikes. You see those electric bikes everywhere. Public transportation is also very cheap. We have rented a bicycle several times, and we also take the bus. This morning, when I arrived downstairs, Marcel's bike wasn't there anymore. Of course it gave me a fright, thinking it for stolen for a moment. When I went looking for it, it turned out… it was towed away!!! It was parked in front of the wrong hotel, so it got towed away….. luckily we didn't get a clamb on our wheel, just like you get in Amsterdam! :-))
The scenery is really pretty here. Yesterday we cycled to the Dragon bridge, along the Yulon river. It was really beautiful, like we where cycling in an old Chinese movie. Ricefields, mountains, little villages along the way. We watched water buffalo's and farmers working, and children running with us while screaming proudly "hellooooo!!!" to us. Needless to say, we took many photo's along the way.
When we arrived at the hostel "Climber's Inn", Lilly the owner took us climbing on a nearby crag only hours after we arrived. That's what i call a warm welcome... Climbing here is great! After a hard start because we needed to get used to the rock here, are we back in shape. We have been to Moon Hill twice already. This is a climbing area with rock in the shape of a half moon. You have to climb 700 steps in order to get there, but it's worth it! :-) On the stairs two old ladies sell ice-cold cola and mango juice. One is 56 and the other is 73 years old! Every day they climb all these stairs. Marcel went climbing with a South African man named Herman. Together they climbed "Moonwalker" a 7C. I climbed a very pumpy 6A+ and a 6B. The gradation is by the way a little harder then we are used to, but maybe we also need to get used to the rock a little more. We also went to White Mountain, one of the major crags here. This is a huge wall with a big steep section. On Moon Hill we also met a group of Chinese tourists. They where from a different part of China and did not see so many foreigners yet. "May I take a picture with you?" times 30 ;-) We will be famous! :-))