May 9, 2000

City: Guilin to Yangshuo

Highlight: hanging out on the dock watching tourists

Favorite Food: fabulous salad at Le Voitre


Location Item Local US$
Train station noodle shopbuns and noodles30.36
Local busone-hour ride to Yangshuo121.45
Blue Lotus Cafebanana shake, stuffed tofu, Tin Tin coffe222.65
Le VoitreTour Eiffel wine, mixed salad, poisson Hollandaise, crepe13015.66
Fawlty Towers Hoteldouble room, priv bath, balcony303.61

Train Station
By some stroke of luck, the bus to Yangshuo leaves from the train station, and the train station was- across the street from our hotel. On arrival, it seemed like we were in such a crappy area, but it was only because this main street of town is under construction. After ambling across the chaotic traffic, we found the right bus, but decided to head for some breakfast first. We spotted a shop selling buns and noodles and ordered up a bit of each. Not bad for my first meal in China. Then Euge negotiated two tickets to Yangshuo at just greater than double the regular price. Since It was just a difference of 0.75USD each, I wasn't too shocked by this. Besides, who would have thought we could get a one-hour bus ride for less than a dollar?

Arrival in LaLa Land
It would have been better to save such a cushy place for last, but this was the best place for Euge and I to meet up. Anyway, being known for its beautiful scenery, Yangshuo is not wanted for tourists or foreigners. As we stepped off the bus, we had four people hounding us to stay at their hotels. We decided to go with one woman first and eventually ended up staying at her place. The Fawlty Towers. We got cute room with a balcony for almost no money. Again, I couldn't get the TV to function, but otherwise the room was more than adequate. I am already surprised at how cheap things are here. One walk around proved why this is a popular place. The beautiful scenery is complemented by a quaint town and nice people. This should be a fun stay

Yangshuo feels like a resort town, but actually not so many people stay overnight here. After wandering down by the river and changing some money at the Bank of China, we happened upon the docking area where all the tourist boats drop their droves from the Li River tour. There must be up to twenty boats a day each carrying 50-100 people. But most of the people file off the boats and through the trinket stands that line the river road before getting on a bus headed back to Guilin. We avoided some of this hustle (and a lot of the cost) by taking the bus down and actually spending the night in town

That Night
And where would we eat our first big dinner together in China? A french restaurant, of course. It seems, kind of silly, but I have a tradition of eating random unlocal food in all parts of the world. For example, I had Japanese food in Italy and Austria, Chinese food in France and Spain, Italian food in Japan and Germany, etc etc. It seems, only fair that with all the Chinese places in France and the rest of the world, there ought to be a French restaurant in China. And what a beautiful restaurant. Le Votre has only been open a few months, and it holds the most beautiful spot on the main street- a renovated clan meeting house that sits back off the street raised up on a platform. It makes for a great atmosphere for a romantic dinner over wine and idle conversation. We took a particular liking for the wine, the waitresses, and the owner, and decided to make this the official restaurant of our stay. After thoroughly gorging ourselves, we retired to the hotel and turned in

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