a morning walk around yangshuo

Wednesday, January 28:  This morning, loud explosions outside our hotel jolt us out of our sleep.  We hear musical instruments, and more explosions.  We hop out of bed, scurrying to the balcony to see what the hubbub is about.   On the street below is what looks like a funeral procession.  People are setting off firecrackers, leaving wisps of smoke and a trail of red litter scattered on the ground.  A street-sweeping crew follows behind to clean it all up.  Musicians are marching beside the procession, playing lively tunes.  Some people are walking backwards, facing what must be the casket, while the pallbearers and the mourners are moving solidly forward.

a morning funeral procession

a morning funeral procession

the sweepers

the sweepers

the procession on the streets of Yangshuo

the procession on the streets of Yangshuo

I guess this is our wake up call.  Esther, our bicycle guide from yesterday, has arranged a boat ride down the Li River for the late morning, so we get showered and dressed and head into town to grab some breakfast.

Yangshuo

Yangshuo

colorful cafe in town

colorful cafe in town

Write a postcard to the future and coffee

Write a postcard to the future and coffee

Chez Valerie

Chez Valerie

It looks like another gray day, but at least at this point, it isn’t raining.

dark street of the town

dark street of the town

We stop at the Rosewood Cafe, which has a warm cozy atmosphere and a great Western breakfast.

The Rosewood Cafe

The Rosewood Cafe

Mike outside the Rosewood Cafe

Mike outside the Rosewood Cafe

Streets of Yangshuo

Streets of Yangshuo

After breakfast, we walk around the streets a bit. As usual, I admire the lantern shops.  I go into one to ask how I’d go about transporting one of the lanterns if I were to buy one.  The two Chinese people at the counter obviously don’t want to have to make the effort to understand or speak English. They look up briefly and wave their hands back and forth in front of their faces, as if to brush me away, and then they get right back to the business at hand: their phones.  Some Chinese people can be so rude!  They just lost a sale, but what do they care?  Customer service is not part of the Chinese mentality.

Lanterns galore

Lanterns galore

Darn it all, I want one of those lanterns!!  I should have just bought one and dealt with the transport.  But after the salespeople’s rudeness, I won’t buy one from them on matter of principle. I will get one, I promise, before I leave China.

More lanterns

More lanterns

The streets don’t have much action on them at this time of morning.  Strangely, outdoor tables are set up at some cafes.  Don’t the proprietors notice the heavy skies?  Don’t they sense the threat of rain?

streets of Yangshuo

streets of Yangshuo

On a nice day, you can imagine this town is really cute, with its canals, bridges, red lanterns and colorful umbrellas and signs.

Canals of Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

Canals of Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

bridges in Yangshuo

bridges in Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

Pretty little footbridge

Pretty little footbridge

Canals of Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

Canals of Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

Pond in Yangshuo

Pond in Yangshuo

McDonald's ~ It's everywhere!

McDonald’s ~ It’s everywhere! (Photo by Mike)

The streets outside of the tourist part of town

The streets outside of the tourist part of town (Photo by Mike)

Busy Yangshuo

Busy Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

After our walk, we go back to the room to bundle up some more as it’s likely to be awfully cold and windy out on the Li River.

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Categories: Asia, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin, Holidays, Rosewood Cafe, Spring Festival, West Street, Xi Jie, Yangshuo | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “a morning walk around yangshuo

  1. I would love to visit Yangshuo it looks such a charming and colourful place, is it a major tourist place Cathy? your photos make it look very inviting. Way back in the 1980’s I booked on a tour around the Li River area with a photography group that included biking and boat rides along the river, sadly they couldn’t get enough people interested so it was cancelled. So I went on an trip to India.

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    • Pauline, Yangshuo is quite a tourist place, so for that reason it’s colorful and has a lot of cute shops and good restaurants, including Western restaurants and other ethnic food places besides Chinese. It is really inviting, although this time was so dark and dreary. When I was there in October, it was packed with people, but it was sunnier so looked prettier. Well, a trip to India is certainly interesting (I’ve been there too), but it would be nice to visit Yangshuo and the Li River one day. I plan to go a couple more times while I’m here. I hope at least one time I can get perfect weather. 🙂

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  2. It is a very colourful place. It must be so different in sunshine. I like that the street sweepers follow the procession to clean up the streets – are the streets kept very clean in China Cathy? They certainly do here in Yangshuo.

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    • Yes, Jude, I posted many pictures of Yangshuo when I was there in October, and it was much sunnier (though always hazy) then. The streets actually are kept pretty clean in China. I’m surprised by that, but it’s true. Not as clean as Japan or Korea, but certainly cleaner than Vietnam or Myanmar! 🙂

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  3. Enjoyed the tour Cathy. We swapped Guilin and Yangshuo for the Chongqing region. Wish we had time to include it all. Your photos are lovely. Have never seen photos of Yangshuo streets this empty before! 🙂

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    • This was the emptiest I’ve seen Yangshuo, Madhu, but at night you’d be amazed at how crowded it was, even in the horrible weather. Even with the hazy and humid weather and other drawbacks to Yangshuo, I’d still recommend it. 🙂

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  4. I can’t stand rudeness, not what I would expect in China.

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    • Oh believe me, Gilly, if people don’t want to be bothered with trying to understand or speak English (even though they’ve all been learning it in school for years), they can be really rude. That being said, if they can even speak one iota of English and they’re not too shy, they will do their best to help. I know a few Chinese words and have a Pleco translation dictionary on my phone, so if someone makes an effort, the communication can work out. 🙂

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  5. I like the cute blue cafe 🙂

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  6. Not surprised to see cell phone towers (I think that is what they are?) perched on top of the karsts. What a shame! I still refuse to buy a smart phone but it is getting harder as they practically give them away now along with a phone package. I am glad I lived in Asia prior to the Internet and cell phone revolutions, as things were much simpler and I do think people were less rude!! So sorry about the weather, but looking forward to more posts about Mike’s impressions!! Never having been to Asia before outside of Thailand.

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    • Yes, cell phones are swamping China, and all of Asia for that matter, Mona Lisa. It gets tiresome seeing people on their phones constantly. Even while driving and riding their motorbikes! 🙂

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