So today we took a river boat ride from Guilin to Yangshuo, and it was gorgeous. Along the way we passed several land formations that looked like animals (the Chinese love pointing these things out), and even the landscape that decorates the back of the 20 yuan bill! Once we arrived in Yangshuo, we hit the hotel briefly before grabbing dinner and taking in a show with the Li River as its stage, and a cast that is 600 strong!
On the river boat we were pleasantly surprised to find a tour group that's been following us around a bit, Wendy Woo Tours! They've become our kind of intermittent friends along the way. A couple folks from Australia, some from England and even the US have kept us company in airports, on river boats, and even at dumpling dinners. It's nice to get some english speakers to hang out with every once in a while.
The boat was really quite nice despite its run-down appearance. The inside was air conditioned and that was a real life saver. (The heat has been outrageous, reaching temperatures of 100+ and humidity that has been absolutely oppressive. Our tour guides have been excellent about providing plenty of bottled water, so we've been able to keep up a pretty decent pace. ) Anyway, with a boat ride lasting almost 4 hours, it was a welcome break to have a cool place to retreat to when you've become too hot to enjoy the scenery.
Post boat trip we hit a restaurant in town (about a 5 min walk from our hotel) that our guide, Vian, recommended called Cloud 9. This place had all the awesome things you hear about in china: Pig Brains, Dog, etc -- thanks to Lucia's impulse control, I was able to avoid ordering those things. The meal ended up being delicious and we left with a full belly and food left on our plates.
Next up was the Impressions Light Show! This show takes place on the Li River and has a cast of around 600 people (mostly farmers and other workers from the near by villages). Also, it is directed by Zhang Yimou, who also directed the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics (remember how awesome that was???). The show walks you through, in a spectacular way, the lives of different minority groups in China, how they dress/etc. From a technical perspective they do some amazing things, and they even light up the mountains as a background throughout the show -- it's quite spectacular, unfortunately the photos just don't do it justice.
After the show, we were more than happy to get back to the hotel. Not because the show was bad (it was awesome), but because our cloths were drenched in sweat, and the bugs were biting.
Stay tuned for more river activities and a wrap up from Yangshuo. For now, enjoy the pictures of today's events!