The following day we took the bus to XingPing, further up the Li River as the landscape is supposed to be the nicest in that area, however the weather was overcast, ruining my hopes of amazing sunset photographs.
We had the choice between renting bikes or a scooter, knowing Chinese driving we opted for the bikes. With hindsight, a scooter would have been better as we would have been able to travel more distance and see more.
We stopped to snap a few pictures of the view featured on the 20 Yuen note and continued our journey through fields and farmer hamlets. We saw buffalos, cows, dogs, fields, Karst Mountains and quite a few westerns on rented scooters. There weren’t that many people around and it was a nice change from the crowded and smelly Yangshuo city.
I had imagined that the road would be alongside the river, but it wasn’t, meaning we caught only a few glimpses of the water.
Compared to the Yulong River, the Li River is wider, more powerful and has many cruise boats.
I personally preferred the Yulong river as it was more peaceful and we got to see the landscape from fairly close.
We had seen amazing pictures of the bend in the Li River taken from the Lao Zhai Shan Mountain, so asked a restaurant owner about it.
The man told us that the path was made of stones loosely arranged as stairs that would be slippery in this rainy weather. He also said the way up was a bit tiring but the way down was a breeze.
Soon after we set off, we realized that the path wasn’t a staircase, but rather big stones thrown on top of each other. Once we got half way up, we noticed that going up wasn’t an issue, going down was. The way was steep, slippery with not many areas to place our feet.
We decided it was best to turn back, instead of going all the way up and trying to come back down with exhausted knees.
It took us way longer to get down, we had to use our hands for grip and I got an awful amount of insects’ bites along the way.
Once we got back down from our adventure, we asked locals about cormorant fishermen. We were told than none of them fished anymore, they would simply pose for tourists during peak season, so none of them would be around at this time of the year. Once again, my hopes of awesome photographs were dashed!