Day 1: Guilin
, Yulong River drifting, show of Impression Liu Sanjie
We took over-night train and arrived at Guilin South Train Station in the morning. Because we wanted to do the Yulong River drifting
in the afternoon, we took shuttle bus to Yangshuo immediately after arrival. The shuttle bus station is one bus stop away the train station. It is not far so we walked there. The shuttle bus leaves every 15 minutes and you can buy the ticket easily before boarding. Outside the train station and the shuttle station, there were a lot of touts offering unauthorized transports to Yangshuo, just ignore them and walk away.
The street where our hostel is located
About 90 minutes you will arrive at Yangshuo Station. The famous Xijie is just two minutes’ walk away. We didn’t book our hotel in advance as we planned to find a quiet and inexpensive one. Once again there were a lot touts offering accommodations in Xijie
. We ignored all of them. Finally, we found a hostel at Xijiekou no.22. It is a three-people room with hot water, TV, air conditioning, nice view, and a big shared balcony where you can interact with other guests for only 100 yuan per night. We were glad that we didn’t choose those star rated hotels in the prosperous area. They are on the low ground with windows facing the noisy street.
The view from our hostel
At noon, after leaving our luggage in the room we went out and had lunch. Here comes the nightmare. We walked into a restaurant called “Mei you café”. It looks good and it is on a nice location. In huge contrast, the food was terrible. We highly doubted that any local people would dine at that place.
In the afternoon, as planned, we headed to Yulong River for drifting. This time we accepted the offer from the tout. We made a deal with the tout that we were going to drift from Jinbao to Gongnong Bridge for 100 yuan each person. We regretted it! Should have let a local travel agent arrange it. The route was not in accordance to what we agreed on and we were forced to spend money on the boat. It was an unpleasant experience which re-consolidates our beliefs that never take offer from a tout in famous tourism destinations. After drifting, we booked a short trip to a well-known scenic spot called “Jiumahuashan” and another place for 100 yuan through a local travel agent. That was much satisfied. At least it provided transparency and we knew what we were paying for.
For dinner, we learnt our lesson and stayed away from Xijie. The girl at the travel agency told us some places where the locals go. We went to a restaurant called “Feige Laoyatang” (literally fat guy’s old duck soup). It is not far away from the town center (Yangshuo is not a big town, with Xijie as its center; bike is sufficient in traveling around the town and its neighborhood). The place was awesome. We loved the beer duck and the stewed tofu.
After dinner, we hurried to watch the show of Impression Liu Sanjie
. The tickets were booked online before the trip, including around-trip transportation for 135 yuan per person. The money was well spent as it was quite convenient. The show was very impressive and we loved it. It was directed by Zhang Yimou, Wang Chaoge, and Fan Yu, three talented Chinese directors.
The show of Impression Liu Sanjie
Finally, day one was ended and we headed back to the hostel.
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