Sunday, July 12, 2015

Guilin to Yangshuo:
After a late hotel check in we were up again early. We quickly packed an overnight bag for the three of us and shoved the balance of our things into the suitcases to be held by the hotel. Down to the Li River we went to catch a ferry for a cruise to Yangshuo. The cruise itself was fantastic! The river runs through the famous hills of Guilin. Just like the rock formations in Sedona, AZ (if you've ever been there) many of them have names. The most famous is probably Nine Horses. I took dozens and dozens of pictures none of which capture the beauty of the landscape whatsoever. Again, the heat and humidity were stifling but with the breeze on the open top level of the ferry it was actually tolerable. It was interesting to see the cloud cover affect the view of the hills. Beautiful.

Not surprisingly, the kids didn't have nearly the appreciation for the hills that the adults did. Georgie looked at them for about 15 mins tops and then, along with all the other kids, she headed below to the air conditioned area to play some ipad type game with one of the other girls. Oh well. What can you do?

After about 3.5 hrs of cruising down the river ogling pretty hills, we arrived in Yangshuo right at the end of the West Street shopping area. Bobby and I joked that in China, just like at Disney, you always exit through the gift shop.

West Street sells a lot of trinkets, cheapie and knock off stuff. For anyone who has never been to China this is the way most shopping works. First you ask "duo shao qian?" literally "how much money?"... they give you a matter what the price is you make a shocked/disgusted look and say "tai gui le" or "too expensive" and turn away... they will ask you how much you want to pay and then... this is key... you offer a ridiculously low amount like 10% of what they asked. This is usually the part that people have trouble with because they feel like its rude. But its not!

By the time we hit West Street we'd done a LOT of shopping. Georgie had gotten pretty good at asking for the price and saying too expensive but she usually looked to me to jump and finish the deal. This time, Georgie found this little owl purse she wanted to buy and I urged her to go ahead. She inquired and the price started at 60 yuan (about $9) she went through the process (she makes a great shocked face) and finally had offered the seller 20 yuan. After some back and forth, the seller (who was smiling through the whole thing) finally dropped her price to 25 and Georgie, without missing a beat, came back with 23... haha!! That kid cracks me up. But hey, if she's going to be shop crazy, girlie better learn to strike a bargain ;-) They finally settled at 25 yuan (about $4).
Our hotel was really beautiful. Unfortunately we had some trouble at check in because they didn't have a rollaway bed for us. Initially the suggested that we have G sleep on the floor with blankets... uh, no, my kid isn't sleeping on the floor. Eventually it was sorted out but it required us to change rooms and it was pretty annoying.

We grabbed a nap and dinner and then went to a gorgeous show called Impression Liu Sanjie. Its done on the water of the Li River with the surrounding hills and rocks creating a natural amphitheater. It had rained earlier in the day and in the distance over the hills we could see lightening. The show itself used music, fire and over 600 costumed performers. About 10 minutes into the show Georgie turned to me and said "oh mommy, this is amazing". Its difficult to explain but it really was.

The end of another great day!

Can you see the 9 horses?

The woman who sold Georgie the purse.. she loved Georgie!

that's some serious negotiation going on there!

there's the owl purse! and the panda purse from the day before.

view of West Street. Also home of the world's most disgusting bathroom. As I explained to Georgie, once you've experienced the world's worst, you are definitely ready to take on the globe without fear

I tried hard to perfect the selfie stick selfie on this trip with very limited success.

You soak your feet in the water and the fish eat off the crusty parts. I totally would have done it if we would have had more time. LOL!

love the street décor!

Seriously, I'm so bad at the selfie stick thing...

the ceiling of the hotel lobby was beautifully painted with images of the famous hills.

same thing only in panorama

this was the view from our balcony. So pretty!

I'm pretty sure that the show was done in the center of the hills on the left of this picture.

in front of our hotel. The area across the street looked fun... like I keep saying... next time!

terrible pix of the beautiful show

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