Sorry for not being with you for a weekly dose of fun in a while. As I said, I’ve been traveling around China again to see a little more of the country. This week is Guilin- a beautiful southern city in Guangxi province famous for its stunning natural scenery. I have been told off repeatedly for using a potato of a camera and this has still not got any better, but I’m in the fortunately position of being able to not take this criticism to heart, so I’ll apologise again and move on!(I have been shamed into searching the internet for a more accurate picture of the area, however… so the first picture is just that).
Guilin is famed for it’s incredible backdrops and it seemed best doing a spot of climbing in order to see some of them from above. For an extremely reasonable sum in the nearby town of Yangshuo we armed ourselves with the aforementioned potato, a cheap of chips bag of exotic fruit and a rope. Donning a pair of climbing shoes tighter than an Olympic diver’s Speedos., we set about scaling a nearby rock. This one, actually.
Although I was pretty much a novice to climbing rock, oppose to the indoor/ artificial ones that I did at scout camp in my youth, I was slightly disappointed with my efforts. I have literally no idea how I got into this position, but I do know that it was uncomfortable, as well as having my left knee and right elbow in my own mouth at one point.
Back in Guilin, the locals pride themselves on a rich culture, which is being exploited by the touring masses. In fact, there are new villages muted for taking over from Guilin as the new untouched areas of natural beauty, once Guilin has been overrun by tourism. It’s a shame, as the city itself is charming and really rather romantic, which is difficult to appreciate in any sense when traveling with your brother… The city is pleasant enough to simply stroll around mindlessly without doing anything really, the area does all of the serious touristing.
The spectacular scenery continues in the shape of the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces in Longji, just North of Guilin. Cultivating a wide range of crops , the terraces stretch out for as far as the eye can see, comprising of 3 sets and rising to 1000m in some places. There’s very little point in my wasting your time by explaining more, so let’s just get to the pictures.
The mountain folk are gentle and welcoming, offering beds for the night and woven local produce. They work for sunup to sundown in most parts of the terraces in order to supply crops and they have become much more than subsistence farmers, with the same families working the fields for generations, dating back roughly 650 years. A truly remarkable lifestyle and one of my favourite parts in China.
So, a little on the South of China this week… Next week the Yellow Mountains as we made our way Eastward towards Shanghai.