Yahoo, it’s the end of the series! It pains me to see how long it’s taken me to finish blogging about my adventures in China this summer. The longer I left it, the more the memories have faded, and the less detailed my posts have become. So I’m sorry. But I really need to stop apologizing for things I don’t need to be sorry for. So I’m not sorry. Sorry.
Goddammit, I’m such a Canadian.
Waking up to misty mountain air.
On our last day in Zhangjiajie, we relaxed through a rainy morning before cramming onto a small bus, bound for the airport. Not knowing where to go before our late flight, we staked out a small bakery, steadily replenishing the trays in front of us as we settled in and became absorbed in our respective books, dramas, and blogs (guess which one was me… so hard).
A chubbier boy with his friends, all around the age of 10, peered us curiously until he got the courage to pipe up with his questions.
I can’t really remember the conversations we exchanged that day, but it certainly will be very hard to forget the way his eyes scrunched up into crescent-moons every time he turned back to his friends and giggled over his own audacity to talk to strangers like us.
He was so damn adorable I wanted to take him home with me.
We arrived to Old Phoenix town, having barely made the last bus (not surprising given our trends). By the time we finally found our accommodation and healed our famished states, we looked up from our plates to see the beautiful lights of the area against the dark backdrop of the river.
The beauty of this was refreshing. Literally, because I plunged my foot into the river by accident.
In good spirits, we bought ice cream, drinks, and did some light-souvenir shopping. We even bought some floating candles from a grandpa to make wishes and watch them drift down the river.
A very sweet moment in theory, but a disaster in reality.
Gushing over and taking pictures of our own individual candles, the old seller urged us to place them in the river before it was too late. As half the candles went out, and the other half went up in flames, the grandpa packed up his stuff and fled the area. Hahaha. We didn’t blame him, and instead had a good hoot at the scene on the river.
At least Katrina’s candle stayed in one piece! I hope you made a good wish, love.
View of Yangshou from our room
We woke up to the sound of heavy rain the next morning. Our plans for our only full day in Yangshou suddenly proved to be a challenge. You see, I had one request and one request only for this trip: to go for a bike ride in the countyside.
You tell me that we don’t have time to try stinky tofu, that we can’t fit in a trekking trip with homestays? Fine. But to tell me I couldn’t do the one thing I look forward to the most on all my trips? I could not tell you how sad I was.
Still, the girls stayed optimistic, suggesting we try and wait for the rain to stop. The rain lightened, but it never stopped. Consulting the bed and breakfast owner, Sam, a kind and generous young man, he informed us of a nearby trail that led right into the countryside.
“Do you really like to exercise or something? ” Sam asked, puzzled by our flaming desire to go for a bike ride despite the rain.
And so we went for a bike ride.
Bike riding through the rainy countryside of Yangshou
Turns out I’m really, really bad at adulting and blogging at the same time. So here is the continuation of the series on my trip in China, only a million years later//
Okay, now where was I?
Last time I left off, we were still in Guilin. Anyway, due to our traveling fail (as discussed in PT II), we left our cozy little hostel and moved to an apartment. As soon as we got to the gates, we spot a older gentlemen behind the gates of the complex. The “security guard”, if you will.
After spending a few minutes trying to get his attention in the heavy rain, he finally puts down his newspaper, peering at us over the top of his glasses.
“Niiiiii haoooooo”, he greets us, drawing out his words and interrupting Margaret, who was already in the middle of explaining who we were and had to start all over again. Getting up, he presses the button for the automatic gates, which then, of course, runs over his foot. Continue reading
Following our therapeutic break in the cafe, we ventured out to go watch the highly recommended 變臉 (face-changing) performance in a Chengdu night market. The area was a total tourist-trap, with street vendors selling all sorts of knickknacks and paddywacks, and they got us good. Curiosity also got the better of us and we got a dish called beggar’s chicken for dinner. The experience made us feel like savages and had us fairly amused, chuckling at each other as we tore apart a whole chicken with gloved hands.
Watching the face-changing performance at the Chengdu night market
With our mini milk cartons in hand (left out for us by the sweet hostel aunties), we headed to the airport first thing the next morning to catch the flight to our 6th stop, Guilin. When we finally arrived, I was astounded by the scenic landscape, how the hills and mountains surrounded the seemingly tiny city in comparison. Driving by, I felt as though I could reach out and touch the mountains. We spontaneously spent the day on boats, cruising along the river to admire the scenery.
The night time visual was gorgeous, but by the end of it all, my lack of sleep caught up to me. Both Kat and I passed out on the boat, lulled to sleep by the gentle waves. Continue reading