On the back of a ¥20 note there is a great scene from China – the Li River cutting a path through the wonderful Karst scenery of Yangshuo County.
Today’s mission was to find that scene.
We got on our mountain bikes and headed for the bus station about 10km away. Steve – the owner gave us a 10 minute head start before catching up on his motorbike and leading us -along the highway to the station.
We locked the bikes up and Steve put us on the local bus – the destination was the boating dock up river.
We were told that we would be collected by someone at the station. As the crowds dispersed after getting off the bus we were sought out by an old Chinese woman with more eyes than teeth who beckoned us to follow and dashed across the parking lot like a rushing back and disappeared..
She returned bearing what looked like a number plate and have it to what can only be described as a Chinese Frankie Howard. This was to be our boatman for the afternoon. As we reached our small raft the heavens opened up…
The Li River was something special. Thousands of limestone karsts (cone shaped hills) dotting the landscape. Movie buffs will recognise it as it provided the backdrop for the scenes of the planet Kashyyyk in Star Wars Episode 3. (That’s the home world of Chewbacca for all the part-time nerds).
With all the rain there was a fair amount of mist and it produced photos like this:
And some video evidence:
The boatman dropped us at the riverbank and pointed up the hill. He handed us two tickets and we had to trek up the bank side through the pouring rain to make sense of it – the tickets were for a golf cart shuttle to the town. The town of Xingpíng is more than 1000 years old and is the place of the ¥20 scene…mission accomplished!
We spent some time walking around the old town and even fitted in an impromptu English Lesson with one of the locals who needed help with an exam. In return she pointed the way to the bus station.