16 October River Li Wonders

 OMG! We are so not the jaded tourists after today. 
Happy are we

Who have sailed on the Li 

In the lap of luxury!

Tang Li meets us at our hotel right on time. We come down ten minutes early but there she is already! Chinese people are known for punctuality. We walk over to the car (we are staying on a pedestrian only street, remember) and head off into the Monday morning traffic. It takes a good half hour to get to the dock where we go through airport type security which includes showing our passports with boarding passes and the standard X-ray of baggage. We board a very fancy four star boat. Our large leather comfy first class seats are on the upper of two decks. The outside viewing deck is one level above. Soon we are headed off down the river. It is very shallow. There are about 30 or so boats strung out in a long flotilla. They all cautiously snake their way along the deepest channel between navigation markers. The scenery gradually becomes more and more like that of a crazy fairytale. The most unlikely steep wee mountains stretch way along the river. These are the limestone karsts and they are quite fantastical. We stand at the rail for hours admitting an ever changing, always surreal, scene unfold around us. There are a four other North American tourists onboard. A couple from Texas and another from Connecticut. We do not mention the Twittering Fool. We enjoy some easy English language conversation with them while watching the incredible landforms around us.
We have an excellent lunch – all sorts of odd dishes of various mysterious items. All very tasty except a sweet-sticky-rice-packed-into-a-package-of-bamboo-leaves. Kinda dull eating after considerable effort to get into it.

We disembark in Yangzhou. This has been talked up as a lovely ancient town. Hmm – essentially it is a mad house of tourist traps. I learn to say “Boo yaho chay chay” that is a poor transliteration meaning “I don’t need it thank you.” My Chinese vocabulary is now a total of six words. Tang Li offers us some time to wander and shop but we decline and are soon back in our car which as come to meet us for the quite long drive back to Guilin.

That’s enough chatter from me today.

I’m going to send a few pictures – likely over a couple of blogs as four seem to be the maximum I can load at any one time. Now to choose which ones of the very many I took!

5 thoughts on “16 October River Li Wonders

  1. Hi Kim,
    Enjoying your blog. I am re reading “The River at the Centre of the World” by Simon Winchester. I read it several years ago before I went to China in 2007. Had meant to re read it on my return but never did until I was without a book at Wilson’s. He has a copy so I started it. It is the perfect accompaniment to your blog! Walking with Pat tomorrow unless it is raining too hard.
    Love and hugs to you and your Dad,
    Marianne

    • Hi Marianne,
      Sounds like I should be reading that book too.
      Enjoy your walk with Pat.
      I’m finding our physical inactivity a bit trying. Thankfully there’s so much to see to keep me otherwise fully occupied!

      >

    • Oh Donna I would so like a coffee right now. There is a Starbursts across the bridge – but coffee doesn’t seem be a thing here.
      The tourist traps are really no different here than many places that rely on the tourist trade to make a living. In a way, here is somehow less of an affront. All that kitch we see being sold in other countries that is made in China is illegitimate in other places, but the genuine fare here! LOL
      The Chinese venders we’ve come across so far are way more polite and much less in-your-face pushy than those in many places. That may change when we go to Shanghai.
      I think the biggest pit falls can be our own expectations.
      Enjoy that coffee!

      >

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