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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Guilin and Yangshuo: Day 7

Yángshuò 阳朔 in the morning as seen from the roof of the Yangshuo C.Resort West Street Residence:

What constitutes a public "bus" in Yangshuo:

What's it like to ride on such a contraption in the local traffic: 

We managed to make it in one piece to the local bus "station" (the spot on the sidewalk where these vehicles started and ended their routes), before changing to a more conventional minivan for the short trip to Xīngpíng 兴坪, a small town noted in China for being the site for the photo on the back of the RMB20 bill. Soon after alighting, we came across these directional signs, including one indicating the distance to the Senkaku Islands 尖閣諸島, an inherent part of Chinese territory since time immemorial...or about 1971, in this case:

Xingping is hoping to become the next Yangshuo, dangling a street filled with old buildings in the process of being converted into restaurants and souvenir shops as bait to lure in tourists:

One such tour group appeared to be made up of Communist Party members on some sort of junket inspection visit. One member carried a red flag with a yellow hammer-and-sickle in the upper left corner:

For some reason, this store reminded my wife of her youth in Taiwan:

Plenty of shops here and in Yangshuo sell the same hanging scrolls and ink paintings. We ended up buying one, of course:

My daughter befriended a pair of local cats:

At the end of the street we saw a sign pointing to the location of the RMB20 note photo. Once again, we were back on the Lí River 漓江:

20 marks the spot:

Back in town, Pamela shows off some silver she bought just before lunchtime:

After lunch, we stopped in at a local temple that included a stage for Chinese opera performances:

A trip down memory lane, including some items demonstrating an inexplicable nostalgic yearning for the terrible days of a not-all-that distant yesteryear:

A beautiful old building converted into a cafe, a positive trend I've seen in several places in China. Instead of tearing down the old and replacing it with the hideous new, or preserving the past as some stagnant museum piece, better to give it new meaning (and new life):

At last! Something that I've sorely missed since coming to Shànghăi: hiking trails. As the sign says, it was only 30 minutes and 1159 steps to the top of Lăozhàishān 老寨山, but I was glad Amber stayed at the bottom of the hill with her mom. Parts of the trail were narrow and slippery, and one section required a climb up a rusty ladder bolted into the side of the mountain:

Views going up...:

...views from the top...:

...and views on the way back down:

On the way back to the bus stop and the return trip to Yangshuo, my daughter stopped to tip an old man playing an Èrhú 二胡, a traditional two-stringed Chinese fiddle:

The minivan was crowded, and the only spare seat was up front, next to the driver. Another passenger squeezed in between the two, and she later complained that he stank of alcohol. She was glad to be back in Yangshuo:

Scenes from our last evening in Yangshuo:

Taipei (Taipel?) Story, on Yangshuo's main drag Xījiē, specialized in shoes. Nearby were Beijing Story, selling handbags, and Shanghai Story, focusing on scarves:

Ending the day where it had began - on the roof of our hotel:

Next up: the end of our trip

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