After arriving in GuiLin yesterday evening and a good nights sleep. I had a couple of hours exploring the city before heading to YangShuo. I saw a few of the main sights and may have time to see the ones I missed when I return to catch my train to the next destination in China. While wandering what struck me most, as with my early more strolls in Beijing, is the amount of the older generation who do activities in the morning. I have seen them dancing, doing tai chi, swiftly walking with their arms out and new one for me today was Taiji Rouliqiu, which is an activity which involves great co-ordination to balance two balls on separate racquets whilst swinging your arms around.
My aim today was to get to my chosen location of YangShou. This would require an hour and half public bus trip. Yesterday walking from the train station to the hostel I passed the bus station so I had a good idea of what to expect, or so I thought.
Arriving I could see buses, lots of different looking one, behind a big fence. Then lots of random people just kept coming up to me saying ‘YandShuo’. I said no to everyone. I wanted to get in to the buses and see if I could find ticket office. Finding the gate into the bus station, I could see no sign of a place to purchase a ticket. I approached one of the buses to see if i could work out where it was going, then a lady jumped out in front of me saying, you guessed it, ‘YangShou!’ this time because I was near the buses I said yes.
Big mistake! She ushered me straight on the bus. I was not too comfortable with this. I could see no sign the bus was going where I needed it too. So as I was being ushered down the aisle ( sounds like a shot gun wedding 🙂 ) I was asking wide eyed ‘YangShou?’, looking for an affirmative response from the other passengers, a couple of nods made me feel better. The lady then pointed to where I should sit. In an attempt to regain control I shook my head and moved nearer the back, I would regret this later. Then trying to get me to sit down again. Something I did not want to do without a confirmed price. I asked how much? I knew from the hostel that it should cost around 22-30 Chinese Yaun (i.e. no more than £3). I was ready for a debate or to get off the bus. Her reply ’30’ meant we had deal, I gave her the money and to my surprise as I took my seat she gave me a receipt , this was later checked and approved by the conductor. With in a couple of minutes the bus was full, bar a couple of seats, and we were on our way, hopefully to YangShuo. We then stopped to let more people on, more than two. There were no handles to stand up. I wondered how it was going to work. Then I found out, the lady conductor produced some plastic stools from behind my seat. She placed them in the aisle for the people who were not lucky enough to get a chair. This happened a few times until the whole aisle was pretty much full of people sitting on plastic stalls. I was slightly concerned as to how I was going to get off the bus. Pulling into YangShou required me to complete an obstacle course whilst carrying all I have for my travels.
Now to finding the hostel! As I was trying to get my bearings a lady said ‘hello’. I was not going to miss a chance to get directions. She pointed to the road opposite and when I got to the road sign it was the exact name of the road I was looking for. It was 15 minute walk along the road until I found the hostel.
After getting settled in I had a quick look around YangShou and saw the craft market area, the park and got ideas for my stay here.
On the way back to the hostel I stopped in the meat market which is something I will never forget. It was very unhygienic and had meat of lots of different animals hanging on hooks as well as caged live animals ready to be ordered, killed and prepared. These animals included chickens, ducks, rabbits, cats and dogs. I took some photos, however please choose if you would like to see them. I have put a reminder in the gallery to give you the option to stop looking or continue.
It made me realise that animals are treated very differently here in China and I am pleased I have not eaten any meat here or in along time.
Once back at the hostel there was a little time to chill before the BBQ. I am very pleased to say that they provided me with my veggie option. This event also enabled me to meet other traveller who have given me some really good ideas for my time in China.
Whilst at the BBQ a big bug flew in to me and then just sat on the table. I took a photo. See in the gallery!
Today I learned that:
- In the future selecting a bus in China will be based on its outside appearance and then work from their.
- Remembering that different countries have different opinions and vary on which animals it is ethically ok to eat. In the west eating Cow is generally OK, where as in India it would be considered Sacrilegious. In China eating cats and dogs is OK, where as in the west it classed as unimaginable. Regardless of the animal and based on what I saw today I think Animal Welfare has along to go.
- Mixing and talking to other whilst travelling is a great way to learn and develop.