Fools Paradise – An evolving cultural masterpiece

Branded a fool over his decision some 13 years ago to create a large scale art park amongst the ethereal landscape of Guilin, Rhy Chang Tsao’s pet project, affectionately named “Fools Paradise”, now boasts more than 200 magnificently sculptured artworks that dot manicured grounds like rare species of flowers. Whilst it may be somewhat difficult…

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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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Drifters in Yangshuo Closed Down

An era came to an end in Yangshuo with the popular café and hang out joint of Drifters being closed down. It has always been one of my favourite places in town and was almost an institution during my tour leading days. While I was unfortunately not in town for the final party, I was…

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Charming Hoi An

Hoi An has not lost even one iota of its charm. There have been many but few changes to this ancient World Heritage site over the past 10 years. I still found myself gasping at just how beautiful and appealing the architecture is in the old town. It also took me a day to realize…

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Train from Nanning to Hanoi

  The overnight train service running daily between Nanning and Hanoi is very comfortable in Chinese soft sleeper carriages however don’t look forward to getting too much sleep.   Departure from Nanning is currently at 6.45 pm, with arrival in Pingxiang a little after 10pm for Chinese border control formalities which took around 90 minutes.   …

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Segways Come to Yangshuo

I have just been out for a ride on what I hope becomes the latest trend or activity to hit Yangshuo.   The Segway is a green, eco friendly people transporter that is quite novel to ride and perfect for a visitor to get a great intro to the delights of Yangshuo and surrounds.  …

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Fall Colour in Yangshuo?

I love lush green landscapes however the gorgeous colours of Fall or Autumn which take over the landscape with reds, oranges and yellows are a spectacular sight.       Whilst out cycling, I realized that it is unfortunately something that doesn’t happen with any real effect around Yangshuo.  Most of the plant species are either…

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The Curious Persimmon

  It is persimmon season throughout the Yangshuo region.   I find this fruit quite a curious one as it more than just a pretty orange ball crowded onto bare branches.  With a skin smooth like a tomato and a fleshy, fibrous inside when very ripe it’s slightly sweet in taste.   On doing a little…

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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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2010 Calendar – China in Black & White

2010 “China in B&W” Calendar – Images by Jillian Mitchell China offers an extremely diverse range of beautiful scenery and traditional culture that make for a truly exotic destination. These are the images I have selected for my 2010 Calendar – China in Black & White. A3 in size and printed on 200gsm high quality…

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2010 Calendars – **NEW**

I had loads of fun putting together my 2010 Landscapes Calendar the other week and one thing that was very clear was that I wanted to use way too many photos! So I have put together 2 more calendars in black & white.   They make fantastic gifts and it the season is rapidly approaching!

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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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Yuzi Paradise

The melding of bold, modern art with an ethereal landscape is what Yuzi Paradise is all about.   Featuring an eclectic array of more than 200 artworks from some of the world’s most well known sculptors the park is literally a treasure chest laid open amongst beautiful karst landscape.   It is also the location of…

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New Restaurant in Yangshuo – Ryleys

  Now this is something to get excited about!   Mick from Drifters and his lovely girlfriend, Riley, have opened a new restaurant on West Street opposite the Stone Rose.     The food is fantastic and the best Western food I have had for quite some time in Yangshuo.   The menu has a number of…

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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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