Randomness

Having been in China for quite some time now I think I might have become almost immune to the unexpected or unusual sights.   One afternoon recently when strolling across a bridge over the Pearl River, duly accompanied by cars and buses whizzing past I saw this guy pushing his fully laden bicycle along the far…

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Shanghai World Expo 2010

The focus of Shanghai in 2010 is clearly on the World Expo and if you are anywhere in its vicinity during the next few months then a visit is mandatory, if only to see what all the fuss is about. My initial idea that I would pop in for a few hours, take a quick…

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Yangshuo: a threatened wonder?

Being Popular in the World’s Most Populous Nation Brings its Challenges.   An article in Wanderlust magazine discusses the “Threatened Wonders 2010”, which sees Yangshuo as number 2 on the list.   Needless to say I found some of the comments quite interesting and thought I might toss my opinion out there.   Most of China’s…

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Jiuxian Garden Village Exhibition Centre

A few weeks ago I posted a slideshow on the raising of a building out at the Jiuxian Garden Village project under construction just outside Yangshuo.   Things have definitely been progressing with this unique and attractive structure now taking shape.    The bamboo side walls are in place as is the beautiful red wood roof and…

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Yangshuo to Longji Rice Terraces (4)

    Day 4 – Butterfly Valley to Pingan  (48 klms)   The hotel in Butterfly Valley is in a surprisingly beautiful location, next to a Yao minority village some 4 kilometres off the main highway in a gorge filled with luscious foliage and a gushing mountain stream.   For me, today was the big…

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Yangshuo to Longji Rice Terraces (3)

  Day 3 – Guilin to Butterfly Valley  (82 klms)   An easy ride this morning out of Guilin, we make our way through some wonderful little villages and classic rural China countryside under chilly but glorious blue skies and sunshine.    The karst scenery ended not far out of Guilin and for a short time…

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Yangshuo to Longji Rice Terraces – Rest Day

After yesterdays cold and wet weather we find things have deteriorated even further with a top forecast of only 8 degrees today.   We decide to postpone our Guilin departure till tomorrow (Friday) and return to Yangshuo to pick up warmer clothes.      This turned out to be a fantastic decision, not only for the…

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Yangshuo to Longji Rice Terraces (2)

    Day 2 – Xingping to Guilin  (72 kilometres)   Just the slightest feeling of fatigue and a case of raging saddle soreness were dominating my mind for the first 20 minutes on the bike this morning.   This all dissipated quite quickly as we emerged into a valley and cycled directly towards a row…

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Yangshuo to Longji Rice Terraces (1)

    This time of year in Yangshuo is usually a fantastic mixture of warm, dry days that are perfect for cycling.  So I decided to head off for a few days on a cycling research trip with one of the Directors over at Bike Asia    .   For the most part the route we followed was…

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The Raising of a Building

jiuxian – Images by Jillian Mitchell Beams of timber that have been shaped and shaven for the past few weeks seem to lay in a disorderly fashion about the site. I am assured that this is an uninformed view and that the carpenters know exactly which piece is which and where they should go, slotting…

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The Cycle of Rice

  The cycle of rice has passed through its final phase with the 2nd harvest taking place throughout the countryside.     These times of intense activity witnessed during planting and harvesting make exploring the countryside just that little bit more interesting and alive.   Dry warm weather with fields of burnt gold contrasting superbly against…

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Mid Autumn Festival

Considered to be the second most important festival for the Chinese, mid-autumn festival (Zhong Qiu Jie 中秋解 )  is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar calendar.   It is believed at this time the moon is at its fullest and brightest.   Dating back some 3000 years this harvest festival celebrates…

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Another Golden Week is Upon Us!

The build-up to the National Day Holiday this year has all been a little feverish with rumors abounding that many hotels have been fully booked weeks in advance, making for the busiest week ever!   Of course, the town does get very busy however accommodation capacity in Yangshuo is pretty huge these days with an…

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Yangshuo Specialties – Osmanthus

  The Guilin region is very well known for an abundance of Osmanthus.   The city also derives its name from these evergreen trees.  (guilin = osmanthus forest)   Renowned for its many health benefits, the sweetly scented flowers feature in a range of specialty products such as Osmanthus wine, Osmanthus tea, Osmanthus candies and Osmanthus…

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Yangshuo Specialties – Pomelo

  One of my lasting memories of the journey between Guilin and Yangshuo were the villages that seem to specialize in just one thing.   There is the village that makes cane/bamboo furniture, with chairs being the most popular item on display.   Then there was what I called “pomelo town”, clusters of pomelo pyramids neatly arranged…

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Cycling in the Countryside – Avoiding the Tourist Masses in Yangshuo

  On the road that goes past my house I see packs of bike riders cruising by.   Even more so on weekends and public holidays.   It is a beautiful ride on a paved road that doesn’t get too much traffic – it is popular for good reason.   However you will find that the packs start…

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Places to Stay – Avoiding the Tourist Masses in Yangshuo

  Stay outside of town.   There is a fantastic range of guesthouses and hotels just outside Yangshuo.   Most are within a 5 kilometer radius so you are out of the hustle and bustle, but close enough to visit and enjoy if you want.     Each one has a great location as well as its own…

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When to Go? – Avoiding the Tourist Masses in Yangshuo

  Pick your time.     Weekends are busy in Yangshuo with Chinese tourists, so visiting mid week should help.   Visit outside peak season.   Everyone of course wants the best weather but if you have an extreme aversion to other tourists then don’t visit during this time.     Same also goes for the peak Chinese…

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Swine Flu Feng Shui

  Swine flu seems to be the hottest topic around at the moment.   China is of course in the thick of the controversy with its very enthusiastic quarantining.   Here’s hoping it doesn’t go the same way as the economically devastating SARS.   Memories of being greeted by border authorities wearing head to toe white…

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Crowds Descend on Yangshuo

It is like Yangshuo has been slipped a couple of steroid pills with the arrival of May holiday crowds.   Transformed from a sometimes busy tourist town into a thronging beast that is nearly bursting at the seams.   Town is buzzing chaotically. Traffic diversions attempt to control the vehicles as the masses wander the streets…

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Golden Week

In the natural world thousands of animal and bird species migrate each year, heading for greener pastures, warmer weather, etc .  Here in China there are mass migrations of people 3 times a year, more commonly these are referred to as “Golden Weeks”.    By far the biggest migration is during Spring Festival (Chinese New…

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