a dark & misty bamboo raft ride down the yulong river

Sunday, May 31:  This morning, Erica and I awake to a steady downpour of rain, but as we walk to the Cosy Garden’s sister restaurant for breakfast, the rain magically tapers off.  The mist doesn’t disappear though, not even remotely; even though no rain is falling, it is still exceedingly damp.  After nearly a year of living in Guangxi province, I’m finally coming to the conclusion that the province is ALWAYS damp.  That’s why you always see pictures of the karst landscape in Guilin and Yangshuo with misty clouds draped protectively over the fantastical mountains.

After breakfast, we check out of the hotel and wait for our ride to the Yulong River, which we arranged yesterday.  When we arrive at the boat launch, an altercation with our driver ensues.  We had asked when we arranged the ride if we could leave our bags in the vehicle while we took the raft ride down the Yulong River.  We are heading directly to Guilin after our boat ride, so we didn’t want to have to return to the hotel, which is quite out-of-the-way.

The driver has apparently not been apprised of this arrangement and keeps arguing with violent gestures (he doesn’t speak English) that we cannot leave our bags in the van.  It gets quite ugly, but we insist on leaving the bags. I have a smaller bag in which I carry my camera, money and passport, so I carry that with me on the raft, but Erica has only one bag, a big one, in which she has everything, including all her valuables.  She wants the driver to lock the car, but he refuses.  We end up leaving the bags there anyway, as he marches us angrily to the boat launch.

We situate ourselves on the rafts and before long, we’re underway.  It’s a dark and dreary day, not ideal for pictures, but… it is what it is.  This is Yangshuo and this is more the norm than not.

bamboo raft central on the yulong river

bamboo raft central on the yulong river

pulling away from the jumble of rafts

pulling away from the jumble of rafts

Our raft on the Yulong River

Our raft on the Yulong River

Every time we come to a drop in the river, shown below, we have to ride over and splash into the lower level of the river.  It doesn’t look very steep, but we can really feel it when we go over.  It’s quite exciting!

the first drop

the first drop

misty morning

misty morning

Erica can speak a little more Chinese than I can, so somehow she gleans from the captain of our boat that his home is right along the river.  He points out his homestead as we go past.

our bamboo boat captain

our bamboo boat captain

It’s fun to watch the mostly Chinese tourists who are floating along with us downriver.  They repeatedly want to take pictures of us, while we in return take pictures of them.

karst landscape on the Yulong River

karst landscape on the Yulong River

bamboo boat jam

bamboo boat jam

The boat captain in the picture below ends up dropping his pole in the river, and as we go on, we wonder what will become of him and his passengers.

fellow travelers

fellow travelers

the bamboo boats

the bamboo boats & Chinese girls

It is a very cloudy day, but it’s still lovely.  The pictures don’t turn out so well though, sadly.

mist-covered mountains

mist-covered mountains

the boat captain's house

the boat captain’s house

At some points on the river we encounter a few pile ups.

traffic jam on the river

traffic jam on the river

And of course there are always the ubiquitous Chinese girls taking selfies.

picture-taking time

picture-taking time

green mountain majesty

green mountain majesty

reflections

reflections

bamboo rafts

bamboo rafts

the Yulong River

the Yulong River

more views from the river

more views from the river

magnificent karst landscape

magnificent karst landscape

karst heaven

karst heaven

rafting down the Yulong

rafting down the Yulong

bushes and karsts

bushes and karsts

We pass by the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat on our way down the river.

Yangshuo River View Hotel

Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

wonderful rafting

wonderful rafting

Yulong River scenes

Yulong River scenes

When our raft ride is over, we have to wait nearly an hour for our driver to appear to take us to the bus station.  Because our bags are in his van, this causes us some consternation.  Luckily we have the phone number for the woman who sold us the bamboo boat ride, and she is able to contact him and hurry him along.

In the end, we make it to the bus station with enough time to grab some lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant.  Then, we’re on the bus to Guilin and from there, on the train back to Nanning.  It’s great to have had a little adventure with Erica, as I’ve traveled alone on all my adventures this year.  I’m glad I got to share what little I know of Yangshuo with such an enthusiastic friend and colleague. 🙂

Advertisements
Categories: Asia, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Travel, Yangshuo, Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, Yulong River | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Post navigation

17 thoughts on “a dark & misty bamboo raft ride down the yulong river

  1. Lovely atmospheric pictures – but I’m not quite sure I’d want to trust myself to one of those rafts!

    Like

  2. Now that’s an interesting way to travel. Were you worried the raft might tip over?

    Like

    • It was an interesting way to travel, Carol, and no, I never worried about the raft tipping over. Luckily, most types of boats don’t scare me as I love being out on the water! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder about the rafts as well, they look precarious as it is without going down the drops!

    Like

  4. wow, you were brave, leaving all your bags with that driver. Nice blog, Kat.

    Like

  5. I love these misty karst photos – they are so atmospheric. Those rafts look as though you have to sit very still on them!

    Like

  6. Just love that scenery, very photogenic. Reminded me of going down the Mekong in Thailand on rafts (I think it was the Mekong???)

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Pauline. It probably is similar in many ways to the Mekong. I know Halong Bay in Vietnam also has the karst landscape, which is gorgeous. I just wish the weather had been better. 🙂

      Like

      • I think misty overcast suits that landscape, but not so good for you

        Like

      • I think you’re right, Pauline, the misty sky does suit the landscape. After all, look at all those traditional Chinese paintings of the karst landscape, always draped in mist. I would have just loved one clear day while I was there, but I think days like that are very rare!

        Like

      • It is the sort of landscapes that encourages artists

        Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Romancing Reality

Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Jill's Scene

A small town take on the big, wide world

eatprayjade.wordpress.com/

eating and traveling in pursuit of la dolce vita

Japan Wonders

Exploring Japan's popular tourist spots and off-the-beaten path

A lot from Lydia

You can learn a lot from Lydia...(It's a song, not a promise.)

Ink Arts by Carol

My site for offering my alcohol ink arts

I see Beauty everyday

Blessed be the ones that see beauty where others see nothing

BOOKING IT

Debra's Excellent Adventures in Reading and Travel

Marsha Ingrao

Traveling & Blogging Near and Far

PIRAN CAFÉ

Notebooks from a trampfest. Travel tips, tales and images, online since 2006.

Word Wabbit

Wrestless Word Wrestler

Cardinal Guzman

Encyclopedia Miscellaneous - 'quality' blogging since August 2011

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

sloveniangirlabroad.wordpress.com/

A blog about expat life and travel adventures written by an Slovenian girl living in Switzerland

Let Me Bite That

Can I have a bite?

Running Stories by Jerry Lewis

Personal blog about running adventures

Finding NYC

exploring New York City one adventure at a time

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

snippetsandsnaps

Potato Point and beyond

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

The Eye of a Thieving Magpie

My view of this wonderful and crazy life - as I travel and explore.

renateflynn.wordpress.com/

A (Mostly) Solo Female Exploring the World

NYLON DAZE

From London to New York, living in an expat daze

%d bloggers like this: