It's all about the rice terraces. That's all I'm going to say. What an amazing place the Longji rice terraces is. I've lived in China for a total of almost 2 years but until today I didn't feel like I'd seen the real China. The scenery was absolutely stunning for as far as the eye could see. Terraces upon terraces of rice fields. It was an awe inspiring moment. Today I saw the real China and finally feel worthy of saying that I live here.
We had a local tour guide show us around. At first we didn't want anyone to help us, but her persistence paid off: for both parties. We were taken to the best scenic spots in the area by someone who really knew their way around. For only a small fee we got to see what tourists seldom see (at least that's what she said and it's what I would like to believe). The local woman in the area are well known for their incredibly long hair. I kid you not, it is down to their feet. But for convenience they keep it neatly tied up in a bun. Our guide was a lady in her late fifties. She was very informative and even sang some traditional local songs to us. I asked her if they had a local dialect (of course they did) and proceeded to ask for some examples. All I can say is that it sounded more like an African tribal language than Chinese. A lot of guttural tones. Completely unintelligible with Chinese. Just a fantastic educational experience.
After an incredible day at the rice terraces (and a total of 4 different buses and 8 hours travelling) we ended up in Yangshuo. A beautiful village-town located an hour an a half south of Guilin. We arrived at 21:00 to streets filled with people. So much so that it was incredibly difficult weaving through the reams of people to find our hostel. We got to our hostel ideally located near the night life. Once we checked in we decided to go onto the rooftop bar for a drink before exploring the town. Now although the town has a very impressive night life it has two downfalls. Unless you drink at the hostel or buy alcohol from the local supermarket you are forced to pay up to five pounds for a small can of beer, which for China, or at least a club outside of Beijing or Shanghai, is very expensive. The other downfall is that every thing shuts at 02:00! We have learned from our mistakes and have decided to hit the town a little earlier tomorrow.
Plan for tomorrow is to spend a relaxing morning waking up and wandering about before hiring some bikes to cycle up the riverside and take in the breathtaking scenery. Now, it's time for bed. Will keep you posted tomorrow. Good night!