October 9, 2015
Yangshuo, China has wiggled its’ way into my heart and has claimed the titled spot as my current “most favorite place in the world.” This place is magical on so many levels. The western cuisine such as burgers, pasta, and pizza is just the beginning of the magic. Spending thirty hours of my life traveling to get to this unreal destination was time well spent. The mountains- let me repeat- THE MOUNTAINS – are unlike anything I have ever seen before, nor will they be a sight that I shall soon forget.
West Street (a.k.a. the best street) makes all the dreams of my inner shopaholic come true. “You don’t need to buy anything in Yangshuo… just spend money on doing things- not buying things,” my inner voice told me. I hushed that girl up just a few times this trip. From my elephant shirt to my knock-off blue aviator ray bans, I don’t regret a single purchase. Also, after going back to the same store about three times as a prospective hiking/backpacking backpack buyer- I did some bargaining, I did some thinking, and I walked out with a new purple hiking backpack with all the bells and whistles for $28 USD. That may have been my best purchase in China since I’ve been here (next to all of the expensive western food I’ve been too weak to turn down).
Unfortunately, there was a typhoon happening in a district of China nearby and it rained every single day we were there. However, the greatness of all that Yangshuo had to offer couldn’t be rained out. For the first time in my life I went white water rafting.
That experience has been my greatest memory abroad so far and there was no better place to do that than the tropical, jungle-like environment of southern China. On a surprisingly sturdy raft, we held on with all our might through an hour-long excursion through the green and rainy mountains of an extraordinary river in Yangshuo. We rode mopeds through the insane traffic of China in the pouring rain, swam through thick mud and heated up in some hot springs, and spent our downtime journal writing in cute coffee shops.
We got our butts handed to us during hikes, but also saw astonishing views from their mountaintops. Our muscles were worked from all our exploring but not as much as when we received Chinese massages. We can’t forget the time we ran into a poppin’ club on West Street and hoped on their raised platform of a dance floor to have our very own dance party in front of a bunch of filming Chinese vacationers. There’s no shame when we say that we dinner hopped one night and it was one of my most positive meal experiences in these last two months. For an appetizer we went to an Italian place: Garlic bread = 11 CYN. For an entrée: grilled chicken, salad, and fries at an American restaurant = 50 CYN. (I DON’T THINK YOU UNDERSTAND HOW RARE AND BEAUTIFUL THIS MEAL WAS) Dessert number one = Waffle balls for 15 CYN at Mango Mango. Lastly, dessert number two was 15 CYN gelato at a gelato stand on West Street. An “expensive” four-course dinner meal in China: $14.44 USD.
Yangshuo, China is unlike any location I have ever experienced.
Below is a video I have put together of my week there. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed adventuring through the city to make this.