“I have visited more than 80 countries and over 100 cities. I have found that no city can surpass the beauty of Guilin. Guilin is really a bright pearl in China.” — Richard Nixon
Word up bro. Guilin is, as they say, “the shizzle”. If you like water/mountain combos or rock climbing read on! For reference, this post is the 2nd in Photo Series 1: My Stories From China. So get outta here abstract photo composition theory! Let’s just talk. For double reference, Guilin is located in South Central China so it feels much like the Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Vietnam, etc.). The geographical closeness to SE Asia + nature combo makes it a tourist hot spot. Let’s check out why:
Relax, You’re On A Raft
After a night in Guilin, I took a couple-hour raft ride down to a nearby town of Yangshuo. One of the top 10 most relaxing chunks in my life.
My feet, relaxed. 2-person raft made out of PVC pipe. Other person (and shoe on the right) is a 35-year-old MBA’ed Dutchman. [Li River, China]
Others chillin’. Perfect temperature. Perfect sun. Perfect sounds from flowing water. [Li River, China]
Chinese tourists tour too! (And for some reason buy the kitschy flower headband.) I like it when people hold their legs like this. [Li River, China]
Wedding photos are a BIG DEAL in China. High-class folks （土豪呢?) get the best photos. [Li River, China]
The water was damn clear. Reflection looks like shark teeth. Or stalagmites/stalactites with the y positions flipped. [Li River, China]
Love this picture. Bubbles in top dark water look like stars in space. [Li River, China]
Whaddup Local Old Folk?
Old people often retire and don’t go back to work. But in Tourist China, it doesn’t make enough financial sense for old folks to stay in retirement. These guys told me they work a couple hours a day, make mad bank and can still get their chill on. The life.
My raft ores-man had a ridiculous stutter. And it was awesome for me. Most Chinese would speak too fast, but this guy spoke at perfect speed! e.g. “Where are you-oo-oo-oo-oo from?” [Li River, China]
The local fisherman train cormorants to pull fish out of the water and bring them back to the fisherman. Cray. Now it’s just a tourist show, but still damn cool. [Li River, China]
Pulling a fish from the bird’s mouth. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. Surround that man with tourists and he’ll also pay for his children’s college tuition. [Li River, China]
Karst Rock Climbing
With the raft ride over, I got into Yangshuo for a 3-night stay. This place has a bunch o’ karst rock formations. It’s real good for climbing. Best in China good:
Moon hill. Some climb (I hiked) to the top. [Yangshuo, China]
I like when plant life scales the rocks. [Yangshuo, China]
I Climb, Hard
I’m on the wall. My belayer was pro. Climbed 5.13a with flip-flops. Disgusting. Love the colors in the foreground. Pic taken by Jose Luis (friend I met from Luxembourg). [Yangshuo, China]
Ugh. So much more rock to climb. Pic attribution to Jose Luis again. [Yangshuo, China]
Proud resting on my 5.small. Props to Jose Luis again. [Yangshuo, China]
Real Climbers Climb Real Climbs
Maneuver on Moon Hill. [Yangshuo, China]
Pants blend in. [Yangshuo, China]
3 blues. He’s paying attention to the guy above (in real life and on this blog post). [Yangshuo, China]
The photographer from above (Jose Luis) leads a 5.10.
I like her angle, especially with respect to the rope above.
Until Next Time
Some people spend weeks in Yangshuo. Others arrive and never leave. In many ways, it’s the perfect getaway. Touristy enough for partying/English. Nature-y enough to retract into the countryside. Highly recommended. When you go to China, go off the beaten path. But also, go to Yangshuo.