We left our hotel in Ping’an quite early in the morning and just as we were walking through the village to get to the bus, a storm broke out.
The stone stairs and alleyways transformed into torrents and we were the only two people outside.
By the time we got to the bus stop at the entry of the village our trainers were soaked.
It was so bad Jeff threw his shoes away and I bought a pair of extra cheap (€4) Chinese trainers to wear for the next couple of days. My original shoes took 3 days to dry.
The journey from Ping’An to Yangshuo isn’t the easiest and involves different buses leaving from different stations. After a 4 hour journey we arrived in Yangshuo.
I had imagined a picturesque fishing village by the river… boy was I wrong! Yangshuo is town of 300 000 inhabitants… all aiming to make money off tourists.
We quickly realized that if we wanted to see the famous landscape and get a bit of peace we had to get out of the city.
We started by rafting down the Yulong river. The rafts are made of real bamboo and are steered by a gondolier with a bamboo stick. The river has many weirs and going through them on the raft is really fun… we just had to make sure any expensive electronics were secure!
We were surprised to see several “official” cameramen with their very own floating platforms (equipped with computers and printers) selling pictures to tourists.
The bamboo rafting was a great way to see the scenery and we even caught a water buffalo having a swim.
The Yulong River is much nicer than the bigger Li River for a bamboo raft ride.
The rafts on the Li river are made of plastic and are motorized, the current is also much faster making it less relaxing to enjoy the scenery.