Peaceful, green, magnificent: A day in Yangshuo

Jenny Lee '13

Nature. That’s how I would summarize our days today. Away from more civilized Shanghai and relatively more “urban” Guilin, we moved to Yangshuo today. It was a pity that we had to leave the five star hotel in less than 12 hours, but it was not without regret because much more was waiting for us—peaceful, green, magnificent .

Zoey and I planned on waking up at 6:45AM, but apparently, we got over jetlag and it is getting progressively harder to get up early. We got up past 7AM, got ready, and rushed down to eat buffet style breakfast. The humongous buffet with all kinds of fancy Chinese food, gourmet pastries, unique fruits we’ve never tried before, and calming tea was waiting for us. Fueled up, we left Guilin at 8:30AM.

4-hour boat ride surrounded by tall, cylinder-like rock mountains and river from Guilin to Yangshuo. Fortunately, it did not rain and it was not as cold as in Shanghai. Hanging out in the deck, we took lots of pictures of nature. Appreciating its beauty, we talked about how the biome of Guilin is so similar to that in Chinese landscape paintings, mostly black, gray, and white, with distinguished sense of distance, and most importantly, the blank space. The fog played a critical role here. With red stamp and some Chinese calligraphy, the scenery would have been a perfect landscape painting.

On the deck, we used our imagination to find Nine Horses on the rocks, and figured out what the shapes of the mountains resembled. We also saw ducks that were “trained” to catch fish for people and white goats running around and posing for pictures.

We arrived at Yangshuo and went on shopping on the street shops right away. While I was on my way out of the boat, the sentence “Keep your heart as beautiful as the landscape” on the wall lingered on my head. Everyone was satisfied with what they got: things are cheaper than what we expect when we convert the prices to US dollars! Look at what Emily got!

Then, we went to a park, observed more nature, drank sugarcane juice, and saw three monkeys in uniforms, a white horse, and two dogs.

Then, the hotel! Personally, I found this hotel better than the one we stayed in the other day, since the hotel actually harmonizes with the nature and has a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere, one of the best ones I’ve ever been to. During our free time until dinner, we rode free bikes around the nature trail around in the hotel. We also listened to a man play many kinds the Chinese traditional instruments.
Dinner was at a local restaurant and we ate some special dishes such as sticky rice and pork in bamboo, beer fish and duck(not so much alcohol as to be drunk), rice noodles, and much more.

The event that happened after dinner? A lot of us would say that the show made our day, and is one of the best events of our lives. Freshman boys kept on saying “Oh my god!” every few minutes, and I could hear it from a few seats away. The show “Impression” impressed many of us, with all the lights, the grandiosity of rock mountains behind, and the sheer number of people that participated in the show—400. The songs were in local language, high-pitched, and purely amazing. The grand scale of the show reminded us of Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Although what each actor and actress did was relatively simple, the whole group work made us gape with awe.


We were all tired but content when we got back to our hotels, since it was a very compact, entertaining day. Although it was the first day we were away from EFZ or our partners, and did not have morning commitments, the length of this blog entry and the number if pictures I took probably tell you how exciting our days were.