Globe Trotting and New Beginnings

Yangshuo, China

Posted on: November 2, 2009

Yangshuo is a small city in Guangxi Province in the south of China. It is surrounded by karst peaks and bordered on one side by the Li River.

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Next to the Li River with Karst Peaks in the background

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Bamboo raft boat on the Li River

The day we got here we just hung around town, walked chilled ate some really good sichuan spicy chinese food.

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In the hotel, before heading out to check out the city

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Goofing off in the city

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Dinner – Chicken Hot Pot and Mapo Tofu – YUMMY!

The second day, I signed up for a Chinese cooking class. We started off this class by walking through the local farmers market where we saw all the vegetables we cooked with. In this class we learned how to make 5 dishes-

1-   Stuffed Steamed Veges (appetizer)
2-   Eggplant Yangshuo style
3-   Beer Fish (local delicacy)
4-   Cashew Chicken
5-    Stir-fried Bok-Choy (chinese cabbage)

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With the cooking instructor

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(Clockwise from top) Beer Fish, Cashew Chicken and Stir-fried Boy-Choy

This was a fun and interesting class. The only problem was that we used oyster sauce in almost everything we made (since that is the typical style of cooking in southern China). So I will have to improvise that when I cook these dishes at home since Sahir is allergic to Shellfish.

After I got back from class, we rented bikes and went around town, we biked about 10 km to this place called Moon-Hill and the Big Banyan Tree and back.
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Destination of our trek – Moon Hill

Moon Hill, a hill with a natural arch, is located on the outskirts of Yangshuo. It is so named because of the semi circle in the middle of the hill that looks like a moon. This semi circle is all that remains of what was once a limestone cave. When we got to Moon Hill we locked our bikes and hiked up to the top.  The annoying part of getting to any tourist destination in China is the touts. They followed us halfway up the hill just to sell us a bottle of water. These touts also asked us to promise them that when we were back we would buy souvenirs from them. The key is just to ignore them and keep walking. We have heard stories about tourists being yelled at when they promised a tout and did not keep the promise. It is also really funny to see the way Sahir interacts with them, he talks really fast and they speak just a little bit of English and he just says silly things like “Don’t follow me, I’m married we cant do this!” And the funnier part is that all women have gray hair and are atleast 65 if not older.

The ride to Moon Hill and back was very exciting since we had to find our way on a map navigating the streets of Yangshuo. China has a very large bike lane (almost the size of a full lane for cars) on the side of the roads to accommodate the extremely large number of people that ride bikes everyday. Biking across roundabouts with heavy traffic was a bit of a struggle and a little bit of a culture shock since neither of us are not used to it. On the way back we had fresh sugarcane juice. It has been a very long time since I had sugarcane juice and it was yummy!

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On my pink bike 🙂

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Sahir enjoying his Sugarcane juice

We were really tired when we got home so after a nice hot shower and dinner we called it a night.

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2 Responses to "Yangshuo, China"

Sounds like one eventful day. So cool that you took up a local cooking class. You could always use “vegetarian oyster sauce” instead of the real stuff if Sahir is allergic to it. It’s mushroom based and I hear it imitates the counterpart pretty well. Try it! 🙂

Rits – Love the pic with the hat – it was nice chatting with you guys today – and am glad you met up with my friend and her hubby in Thailand 🙂 Happy Birthday again!!

Sahir – you can get all the thepla’s you want when you get to Canada.. smart a$$

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