Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rain, rain go away

We were reflecting recently on what a tremendous effect the weather has had on our enjoyment in the places we’ve visited so far. It may seem obvious but it really hit home for us when we reached Guilin a few nights ago in the pouring rain. Similarly to Beijing, the cold weather made us want to curl up inside, but even worse it was rainy and foggy for the few days we were there, making it difficult to appreciate the dramatic landscapes Guilin and Yangshuo are known for.

First, we took a day trip to the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces (also one of the top trekking destinations in China according to Lonely Planet) where we enjoyed hiking but couldn’t see much because everything was shrouded in fog. The next day we headed to Yanghsuo where the landscapes are dominated by amazing karst peaks formed by enormous caves whose tops have collapsed leaving the massive sides standing looking like unnaturally tall, skinny mountains. We really enjoyed seeing the cool landscapes of Yangshuo though they were tough to capture in photos; we went cycling through some of the villages nearby to get a better look at the countryside. It was definitely an adventure trying to navigate our way on the unmarked path, asking directions of villagers who spoke no English, getting lost on a farm, riding along narrow, muddy paths and getting a flat tire all before heading back to Guilin to catch an overnight train back to Hong Kong!

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